CEIBS MBA Director: ‘China Is Hot’

On the campus of China Europe International Business School. Marc Ethier photo


HEC Paris recently signed a strategic partnership deal with two Chinese universities, SUSTech in Shenzhen and Tsinghua University in Beijing, aimed at strengthening academic research, developing executive programs, and creating world-class degrees in such fields as innovation management, entrepreneurship, and creative industries. To which CEIBS’ Fernandez responds: Check out our school’s opportunities abroad before you get too excited about what other schools are doing.

CEIBS offers 120 exchange program spots annually at 30 schools including Wharton, Chicago Booth, Dartmouth Tuck, Northwestern Kellogg, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua, London Business School, INSEAD, and IESE, Fernandez notes, as well as coordinated degree programs with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School (MBA/MPH), Tufts University Fletcher School (MBA/MALD), and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (MBA/MMH). The school has career reciprocity programs (use of resources) with Harvard, LBS, INSEAD, IE, and IESE.

Additionally, despite having a mostly Chinese student body, CEIBS likes to emphasize the international flavor of its faculty, two-thirds of whom are non-Chinese. It’s a faculty with a strong pedigree, with professors hailing from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Wharton, Columbia, LBS, Cambridge, Michigan, and Northwestern, among other elite schools.


Fernandez says the 18-month MBA program at CEIBS emphasizes the experiential. Terms 1 and 2 (August to December) include foundational instruction, basic functions and skills, optional Mandarin training, and an overseas elective; term 3 (January to March) is basic functions, China module, integration and specialization; term 4 (March to June) is a China module, integration and perspectives; term 5 (June to August) is the internship or specialization, dual-degree option, and an overseas elective; term 6 (September to December) is specialization or exchange; term 7 (January to February) is specialization.

In addition to a raft of other programs like the Program for Company Chairmen, the Sports and Leisure Industry Management Program, and programs tailored for CMOs and CFOs, CEIBS’ MBA director is proud of the school’s entrepreneurship offerings. The school has four dedicated entrepreneurship faculty teaching the entrepreneurship concentration and seven electives, an “eLab” and an Entrepreneurship & Investment Camp, and overseeing two investment funds worth a total 80M RMB ($12M). There’s also an Entrepreneurship Club, entrepreneurship faculty advisor and mentors, and $100M in available funding through Chengwei Venture Fund/HGI Finaves Fund. Among the 22 scholarships CEIBS offers MBAs is one focused solely on entrepreneurship.

“We are very entrepreneurially oriented here at CEIBS,” Fernandez says. “Entrepreneurship and innovation are a big part of what we do. Entrepreneurship is so important to China that it must be important to our school.”

All that is without mentioning CEIBS’ highly ranked executive MBA program, hyped by the school as the “largest in the world” with 750 students annually, which The Financial Times ranked No. 14 in 2017. Part of that annual crop of EMBAs comes out of the small CEIBS campus in Zurich, Switzerland; another part will be based in Accra, Ghana starting this fall.

See next page for a Q&A with CEIBS’ Juan Fernandez, professor and director of the MBA program. It has been edited for length and readability.

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