Meet IMD’s MBA Class Of 2019

Anita Chia-Ling Lee

IMD Business School

“True happiness comes from helping others.”

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love having new adventures in different countries, including paragliding in Nepal or diving in Palau to swim with sharks.

Undergraduate School and Major: National Taiwan University, Animal Science and Technology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Product Manager in Roche Taiwan

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While working as a product manager with Otsuka, I found that the awareness of Tourette syndrome in Taiwan was low. Younger sufferers were often bullied in schools due to their erratic behavioral patterns. Exacerbating the problem was that many family members did not know how to deal with symptoms, which led to missing opportunities for necessary treatment. In order to combat these problems and increase disease awareness, I helped put together a series of public awareness presentations detailing what exactly Tourette’s entailed and how important it was to seek early treatment for those suffering from the syndrome. I also developed an educational program for psychiatrists to use to educate more than one thousand sufferers as well as caregivers in thirty hospitals.

These programs helped bring about the awareness needed as well as lessen the stigma for those suffering from the syndrome. In turn, more sufferers sought treatment and the psychiatrists I worked with were grateful for the impact I was able to make. I felt a great sense of satisfaction in educating the public and making a positive contribution to the lives of both sufferers and their family members.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My MBA classmates come from 38 different countries and with different backgrounds. They are smart, energetic and friendly. They are fully committed to the work and willing to share their know-how and help the group grow. They are the most fascinating people I’ve ever met.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? IMD is a well-known one-year MBA program. The surrounding area of IMD has the best health care industry and environment, with biotech startups supported both by the Swiss government and IMD. I hope to join the health care industry as a consultant after my MBA journey.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to joining the consultant club. Practicing cases with my classmates helps me structure my logical thinking and enables me to pinpoint the problem immediately. It also helps me better understand the consulting industry and get closer to my future goal of becoming a consultant.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I used to study and work in Taiwan and didn’t have the chance to live abroad. My dream was to become a global leader and gain self-awareness, so I decided to leave my comfort zone to pursue IMD’s MBA program.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Berkeley Haas and INSEAD

How did you determine your fit at various schools? My aim was to strengthen my global strategic planning skills, collaborate with people from different backgrounds and get closer to healthcare companies to understand their global strategies and perspectives. All this was possible at IMD.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? When I was at university, I participated in a club called “Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship Society” (ASES), organizing the ASES Summit in Taipei, Taiwan. The ASES Summit gathered the top university students from US (Stanford university and USC), China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan to discuss the global business environments as well as entrepreneurship related topics.

I had to hold one section with the Singapore ASES, my first collaboration with foreign students having to present in front of 70s foreign students. Although I was nervous and my English was not so good at that time, I found out that I enjoyed collaborating with people from different backgrounds and presenting my idea to others. This experience made me want to join a foreign company after I graduated from university.

Besides holding the summit, I had the chance to attend ASES Stanford summit, which was held at Stanford University. There, Apple’s co-founder and the famous VCs from Silicon Valley shared their experiences with us. We also visited the headquarters of Google and IDEO. I was amazed by Silicon Valley, the extensive resources available and the positive atmosphere, allowing entrepreneurs to concentrate on what they want to develop. Innovation and new ideas were their priorities, failure only a means to get closer to success. I was moved and immediately inspired to create new strategies and bring new ideas in my daily work.

Where do you see yourself in five years? After completing my MBA, I would like to work as a consultant in health care industry. This will allow me to gain more experience in dealing with marketing challenges as well as industry regulatory and reimbursement issues in APAC markets. Moreover, I will be able to develop the global strategic planning skills needed to eventually serve as the CEO of a Taiwanese pharmaceutical company.  I would then like to help the company expand into APAC markets in order to promote newly-developed medications in the region, maximizing patient benefit.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.