2019 MBAs To Watch: Tian Tian, CEIBS

Tian Tian


A business-savvy Renaissance man.”

Hometown: Shenyang, China

Fun fact about yourself: An abstract expressionist painter who is also a concert pianist specializing in Chopin.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Wabash College (USA), Bachelor of Arts

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Louis Vuitton

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? J.P.Morgan Private Bank (HK)

Where will you be working after graduation? J.P.Morgan Private Bank (HK)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Student Ambassador

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am proud of all the study groups I have participated in and formed during my entire MBA journey (such as the ICSP consulting project). I have not only learned how to collaborate with professionals with different backgrounds, but also formed unique friendships that I will treasure for a lifetime.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Took the leading role in organizing fashion shows and grand events for Louis Vuitton in Asia and in Europe. Witnessed and worked through a complete luxury industry cycle.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? CEIBS Professor of Economics and Associate Dean Dr. Bala Ramasamy. He always delivers extremely compelling information and insights about macroeconomics with a humane touch, at the same time encouraging me to think outside the scope of econometrics itself.

What was your favorite MBA Course Leadership in Action. This course (an 88 km, three-day hike in the Gobi Desert with my 10-pax team) combines business management theories with physical challenges and prepared me intellectually, mentally and physically for challenges I will face in my future career.

Why did you choose this business school? As the school slogan indicates, “China Depth, Global Breadth.” The unique China-focused modules make CEIBS stand out, and it is especially pertinent to my career, which has a China focus, while also offering a global view — which is also indispensable.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your schools MBA program? CEIBS is an extremely strong platform and fortress with tremendous opportunities. Don’t underestimate your own potential to discover those opportunities.

What is the biggest myth about your school? CEIBS has the reputation of being extremely academically-driven. We work very hard, but in reality— at least for my batch — we still play pretty hard.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you known before starting your MBA program? If I had known how much the CEIBS MBA experience was going to transform me, I probably would have joined the program earlier.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? Extremely transformative. Before joining the CEIBS MBA program, I had accumulated tremendous knowledge and know-how in the luxury industry. Now my classmates and the school’s alumni are experts in a vast majority of different industries. Thus, in such a compact amount of time, I can learn and hear from the very best of all those different industries. How cool is that?

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kyle (Kaichi) Lin. I admire Kyle for how much he devoted his time to benefit the entire CEIBS community in so many different ways. He brings our batch together with such a warm and philanthropical spirit.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother. She pursued her Master of Music degree in Beijing Central Conservatory at age 40. She has taught me the importance of continuous learning.

What is your favorite movie about business? The Big Short. This movie taught me the lesson that one should persist in believing in one’s self, even if the entire world is against his belief. In that way, one can achieve… big time!

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered — and what did it mean? All of them were quite goofy to me before I understood what they actually mean.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…still trying to get into business school.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it — worth more or worth less? It’s definitely worth more.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I want to work towards a status where material things can no longer influence my decisions, either in my career or in my personal life.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? The most business-savvy artist/musician, and the most artistic businessman.

Hobbies? Classical piano performance, Incense Taoism, abstract expressionist painter.

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

“Tian Tian is such a gentleman, a thoughtful student and probably the best pianist I have ever taught in my time as a b school professor. His prior global experience in the luxury sector has, I believe, contributed to innovative thinking around entrepreneurial opportunities. With his unique blend of business exposure and artistic sensibilities I expect Tian Tian will carve an elegant niche for himself as his career continues to unfold.”

Dr. Shameen Prashantham

CEIBS Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy

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