2019 MBAs To Watch: Jensen Ren, CEIBS

Jensen Ren


“Passionate, practical and considerate; being the best of myself, for the betterment of others.”

Hometown: Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

Fun fact about yourself: I love music, I enjoy not only listening, but also playing and creating original songs. I am a guitar player and, together with my guitar, I have created 10+ original songs. I am also a core member of CEIBS Maple Chorus; as tenor, I have performed in a couple of concerts for the school.

Undergraduate School and Degree: East China University of Science and Technology, Bachelor of Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? SC Johnson & Son, Inc. As the brand manager of Mr. Muscle Cleanser for the Greater China Region

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? The Kraft-Heinz Company, ecommerce Marketing Department for Greater China Region. Based in Shanghai, I was the project leader for the department’s social ecommerce marketing strategy.

Where will you be working after graduation? Roland Berger Management Consulting Company, with a focus on consumer goods and the retail industry.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Coordinator of CEIBS Consumer & Others Student Club. I organized a couple of events focused on consumer goods, in order to bring MBA students closer to companies such as Heineken and LVMH.
  • Member of CEIBS eLab service team to support the Entrepreneurship Incubation Camp. I helped to plan and execute sharing sessions, lectures, and discussions, which led me to pick up the award for ‘Excellent Contributor Honor of eLab’.
  • Volunteered to support TEDxCEIBS, VCIC case competition, INNOVATEChina and Shanghai Night. These are some of the best annual flagship events for the CEIBS MBA programme. It was a pleasure working behind the scenes to welcome influential thought leaders for TEDxCEIBS, as well as teams from top global business schools to compete in INNOVATEChina.
  • Project Manager and Project Vice President of ABC NGO consulting community, which provides professional consulting service to NGOs.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My proudest moment at CEIBS was our team’s success in winning the final of the integrated business management simulation competition. The competition lasted for five days, covering every detail of running a real automobile company. Our team’s company initially struggled with low margins, in a declining market segment, and with low technical capability. Finally, we won the competition. As a ‘change maker’, I believe my impact was highlighting the importance of sticking to our strategy for the long term benefit of the company.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my professional career, the achievement that I am most proud of took place was when I was working for the Coca-Cola Company. Having doubled the Fanta brand’s market share from 5.5% to 11% within half a year, my efforts were recognised with the “Annual Fastest Growth Award” for the Coca-Cola Greater China Region.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? There are three reasons why Assistant Professor of Marketing Dr. Hyun Young Park was my favourite professor at CEIBS:

  1. She is super earnest and always goes out of her way to help us. This may sound like a throwaway comment, but having received personal emails from her — including a whole page of text with her comments and helpful suggestions on cases — we could easily see how much she cares about individuals growing from her class experience.
  2. She is really knowledgeable in the area of consumer behavior, which is also my favourite. The most important thing is that she seems to always understand where you are stuck and can directly point out the key points you need to move ahead.
  3. She is a really nice and thankful person, which inspired me a lot about how to be a truly successful person. I still remember her saying: The happiest people might not be the ones who seek their own personal happiness, they might be the ones who seek the happiness of others.”

What was your favorite MBA Course? My favourite MBA course was “Rethinking Strategy for the Digital World” by CEIBS Professor of Management Practice Dr. Jeffrey Sampler. The biggest insight I gained about business was from his explanation and application of the industry lifecycle model. For example, some companies are good at innovating new products. They are the most suitable ones to start a new industry or a new segment, but won’t get the most revenue. Some companies are good at distribution and expansion. They will get the fastest growth in revenue when the industry is going well. Some companies are good at price promotion and consumer service. They will perform well when the industry is more stable and will attain a sufficient margin to run the business better than its competitor. This insight helped me a lot when analyzing the performances of different companies.

Why did you choose this business school? Since my future and long term career will be in China, I wanted to gain more knowledge about China’s market and its business cases. Secondly, I wanted to build more networks and local connections. CEIBS is the No.1 business school in China, owns the strongest networks in China, and teaches more Chinese cases compared to other top business schools around the world.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Think deeply and carefully about your career plan and career goals. Go through your past career experiences, all the decisions of changing and switching companies, industries, and the reasons behind them. Make yourself fully sure about your decision to choose CEIBS MBA program and that it aligns with your entire career plan, and what you want to get from the program.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I think the biggest myth about CEIBS is about the network and how important this is for your experience. I had heard about the power of CEIBS network before I enrolled, but didn’t fully comprehend what that meant at the time. After I joined CEIBS, I realised there were many opportunities to connect with influential professionals everywhere: company visits, c-suite level sharing and also with my batch mates. One particular highlight was sitting down for a one-on-one mentoring session with the former Group CEO and Chairman of Sony Corporation Mr. Nobuyuki Idei.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? I wish I had been exposed to the case study method before starting the MBA. It would have been a valuable experience to apply lessons from the cases in real time to the projects I was working on then.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? It has transformed my way of thinking from a mainly marketing perspective to more strategic thinking; I approach things from a ‘higher’ place.

During my previous professional experience, when I looked at business performance, my point of view always focused on how to better manage my product portfolio. But now, my way of thinking has shifted from short term business performance to the bigger picture, I think about long term business strategy first.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The term two teammates I admire most is Henry Chen. He has a finance background but also great business sense. During our discussions, he reacts fast, and, in most of the situations, goes directly to the key pain point. He is smart and can explain complex problems in a way that is easy to understand.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I think this was totally my own idea. It was not the result of others’ influence, but right there in my career plan starting from my graduation from university. For the financial part, my parents offered me some help which removed my worry and helped make it happen.

What is your favorite movie about business? My favorite movie about business is The Founder, which tells the story of the founder of McDonald’s – Ray Kroc. The biggest lesson I gained from it was an understanding of the journey to disrupt a business model, as ‘the founder’ Ray transforms McDonald’s from a restaurant business into a real estate business.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? The goofiest MBA term I encountered is the SWOT analysis. I think it is the goofiest because in most situations, for most people who use SWOT analysis, they can’t provide a solution or decision about which direction to go after the analysis.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…the same brand manager I had been before, managing business in the same way without any significant improvement; I would be really full of regret as I wouldn’t have had this amazing journey, benefitted from all this inspirational knowledge and shared deep discussions and thoughts together with my amazing classmates from around the world.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? I think my MBA education is worth far more than I paid for it.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I’d like to somehow have another chance at two experiences that I missed at CEIBS, joining the overseas elective on ‘excellence in manufacturing and industry 4.0’ in Germany and the career trek in Seattle.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Jensen is someone I can rely on, or the person I can work with when I have problems or opportunities. He is always willing to help others, and, most importantly, can always make things happen.

Hobbies? Playing guitar, singing, basketball, traveling.

What made Jensen such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Even without any official leadership titles, Jensen has played an important role within the CEIBS community. As a volunteer, he has helped to coordinate a series of campus-based events and activities throughout his journey at CEIBS, and it has been a joy to have him in the MBA class of 2019. I am sure that the ownership he takes for successfully building and being a part of harmonious teams will make him a vital asset in his new role.”

Ms. Sherry Wu  

CEIBS MBA Senior Program Coordinator

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