Meet UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class of 2021

Ying Men

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“I am a professional healthcare consultant and an amateur cook with talent.”

Hometown: I was born in a small town named Hulin in the northeast of China and have lived in Beijing for many years.

Fun Fact About Yourself: One fun fact about myself is one day at Disneyland I was so busy enjoying a Turkey drum steak which was bigger than my face, while a bunch of people were watching my performance without buying a ticket!

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate School: Peking University (Beijing, China), Pharmacy

Graduate School: Peking University (Beijing, China), Pharmaceutics, Master’s

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Beijing Strategy & Action Management Consulting, CEO Assistant & Project Manager

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Supportive. I came late for the Analytical Skills Workshop, but I have gotten so much help from my classmates on both studying and life. 

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? The key fact was that UNC can provide me with resources from an entire health sciences ecosystem covering every aspect of healthcare. My post-MBA career goal focuses on the healthcare industry, so I believe I can get comprehensive training through Career Labs, GIEs, Case Competition and courses related to the healthcare industry.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Consulting Club, Healthcare Club and Carolina Women in Business (CWIB)

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What is the biggest challenge for you in your MBA study and how will you overcome it?

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In the past five years, I worked in management consulting for biotech and pharmaceutical companies and prior to that, in medical research. I am now looking to leverage my background in operations in the healthcare industry and hope to extend my consulting work to the global arena.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? NYU Stern full-time MBA program, CMU Tepper full-time MBA program, Cornell Johnson full-time MBA Program.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I regarded cultures, resources on the healthcare industry, and locations as the most important factors that affected my choice of business school. I did the research by looking into the school website, chatting with current students and alumni in the admissions events, and attending information sessions. I also shared my career goals with the alumni who work in the healthcare industry and students who were also pursuing career development in the healthcare industry and asked them for advice.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I was born in a small town located in the northeast of China, where gender inequality is, unfortunately, the norm. I once felt so depressed as a girl until one evening my mother took me out to see fireflies. She told me why she named me “Ying,” which in Chinese means “firefly.” It is a creature, though small and weak, that has the ability to light the darkness. It was her hope I would persevere and realize my value just as a firefly does. From then on, I have never let my name down. With the spirit of fireflies, I embarked on an arduous journey to change my fate. I left my hometown to receive a better education when I was 14 years old, entered the best university in China, and became the youngest project manager and the only female consultant in my company. Then I felt obliged to spread the firefly spirit so that it can benefit more people, one of my proudest accomplishments has been helping a friend conquer thyroid cancer. I learned from this experience that we can always be stronger than we imagine and I hope I can light the darkness for more people just as fireflies do in future.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I aspire to establish my own business to provide comprehensive and customized services covering management consulting, project investment and talent introduction for pharmaceutical companies worldwide, from small to large-sized. In particular, those companies that emphasize innovation or are in early stage of development are my favorite target clients.

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