Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2021

Karan Sharma 

CEIBS (China Europe International Business School)

“A passionate, down-to-earth, living-in-the-moment guy who loves exploration of all kinds.”

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun fact about yourself: I have done modeling and have even been featured in a youth magazine. I run a travel and food blog too. I also like sports, and baseball and cricket have always been very close to my heart.

Undergraduate school and major: Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University – Bachelor of Commerce Honors

Most recent employer and job title: Leverage Edu (EdTech startup) – Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was during my stint at PwC, India when I led an eight-person team on a sales and production review of a consortium of polyester film manufacturers. This proved to be a phenomenal training ground for me. I was not only managing a large team for the first time, but also leading members at a level more senior than me. The most challenging part of the assignment was to plan review dates and travel logistics for the whole team, which involved coordinating with clients at 17 different locations across India every month for an entire year. To add to the multiplicity, I myself had to travel to 8-10 locations in less than 2 weeks every month to carry out the reviews. Within a stringent timeline, I had to collect and review data from the team, finalize the report, and get it approved from PwC management before finally presenting it to top management at the client side on a monthly basis. The hard work truly paid off as I managed to maintain an above average project profitability of 55% and accomplished an Above & Beyond rating and received a PwC Experience Award from the leadership.

What is the biggest appeal of earning an MBA in China? I firmly believe that moving to China will be my first bold step towards a truly global career. Over the last two decades, Shanghai has seen double-digit growth nearly every year, making it one of the world’s most dynamic metropolises and home to many of the world’s biggest corporations. Lately, the Chinese government is focused on transitioning the economy from labor-intensive manufacturing to an innovation-driven paradigm and is pumping funds into education and research projects. It is aggressively pushing for reforms in education by revamping the gao kao (entrance exam) system and putting more focus on STEM content and MOOCs. In light of these initiatives, my CEIBS MBA in Shanghai will put me in close proximity to this evolving EdTech landscape, help me absorb the cultural nuances and local idiosyncrasies, develop in-depth understanding of the Chinese and Asian business in a truly global context, and encourage me to emulate the success of tech companies such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu with backing from more than 500 incubators and accelerators.

To sum up, CEIBS’ strategic location in Shanghai will provide me with an ideal launching pad into China ($13 trillion USD economy) and allow me to become an EdTech visionary and materialize my entrepreneurial and humanitarian goals.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? ‘Complementary’ is the quality that best describes my MBA classmates. Coming from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, everyone brings uniqueness and dynamism to the cohort. Whether it is any group assignment, class discussion, festive celebration, city exploration or party, together we make a perfect ‘right angled’ group where each individual completes, embraces and enhances the others.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA curriculum or activities that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? After talking to a few alumni and reading online about CEIBS, I realized that the CEIBS MBA program perfectly fit my aspirations. Its unique pedagogy emphasizing the Real Situation Learning Method and innovative curriculum focusing on entrepreneurship and digital business would be invaluable for my professional career. The opportunity to learn about the nuances of entrepreneurship from business education stalwarts such as Professor Rama Velamuri and Professor Shameen Prashantham would help me overcome gaps in my business repertoire.

Innovation-focused initiatives such as the CEIBS eLab and Entrepreneurship & Innovation Club have helped many CEIBS graduates start disruptive ventures in the past, such as CureApp and Falafel Games. I feel certain that my stint at CEIBS would help me conceptualize a venture that would be a perfect fit for the market’s needs. In all, I felt that CEIBS MBA would bring me up to speed with current ideas and provide me with a radical framework of outlook and perspective towards my endeavor.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? HKUST, CUHK

What do you see yourself doing ten years from now? Right after my MBA, I plan to work in the education consulting practice of top consulting firms to develop an in-depth understanding of issues plaguing the education industry. Gradually, I will then transition to a senior role and after having developed a high-level perspective of things, I would like to have started my own entrepreneurial venture in the education sector.

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