2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Andreas Glaefke, CEIBS

Andreas Glaefke

CEIBS (China Europe International Business School)

“Physicistturned-consultant from Germany with a strong interest in East Asia.”

Hometown: Hannover, Germany

Fun fact about yourself: Many break their legs while playing football – I once broke my foot while watching football.

Undergraduate School and Degree:
B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics, University of Hannover, with exchange years spent at Yonsei University, Korea and the University of Glasgow, Scotland

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? McKinsey & Company (Berlin Office), Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I did not do an internship. I used the summer break to travel to remote places in Korea where I also spent my exchange term.

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Company (probably in their Shanghai office), Senior Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President, Leisure Club; Vice President, INNOVATEChina Business Competition; Dean’s List; Winner of Amalgamation, an international MBA student competition in Singapore with a focus on M&A

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I was part of a team that organized INNOVATEChina, a leading business competition for MBA students with prizes totaling $8,000 (USD). It took several months to organize and, quite frankly, it was not always fun. However, it was worth the hard work when we had a smooth final event with more than 500 people in attendance, great judges from different industries, and (most importantly) happy teams competing from top business schools around the world. It was even more fun since I was able to share this success with an amazing team.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I was a master’s student, I was part of an international collaboration that detected gravitational waves – a major breakthrough that confirmed a century-old theory by Albert Einstein. Being at the right place at the right time, I won a $2 million dollar prize for it. Alas, I had to share it with more than 1,000 other people (most of whom, frankly, deserved it much, much more than I did).

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Richard Carney taught an amazing class called China within the World about business opportunities arising from major changes in geopolitics such as the Belt and Road Initiative. It was amazing to get insights on the intersection of two of my great interests – business and politics. Professor Carney made it even more fun with his fine sense of irony. The class also allowed me to better understand the observations I made while traveling with MBA classmates, such as the tremendous impact of Chinese investment in Cambodia.

Why did you choose this business school? I wanted to learn more about China – it is just a place where a lot of exciting things going on, but that I knew very little about. CEIBS is the only business school in mainland China that gives a truly immersive experience with a great mix of international and Chinese students.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? I would first encourage them to apply. It takes some courage to move to Shanghai for an MBA, but it is a fantastic choice – there is hardly a more exciting place to be for young and curious people.

Secondly, I would recommend that they talk to current students and alumni. I always found the insights from a quick conversation very valuable.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Some might view it as a local school that mostly attracts Chinese students. In fact, however, international students made up about 30% of our cohort, and our classes covered cases from around the world with mandatory study trips to other countries.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would spend more time practicing dragon boat rowing. Last summer, I participated in a rowing competition with other Chinese business schools to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. We missed the final by only a few hundredths of a second. If only we had practiced a little bit more, it would have made this an even better experience!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my Japanese classmate Shunya Ikeda. He came to Shanghai not knowing any Chinese and took up to 11 hours of one-on-one classes a day. This hard work and determination paid off – he reached the highest level within a few months and became an inspiration for all of us.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Konrad was my first manager after I started working as a consultant. He has a similar background to me and gave me the trust I needed to believe that I could be successful in that role. He became a good friend. It was over beers on his balcony in Berlin that he asked exactly the right questions and I really decided to do an MBA.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I would like to work in many different countries, getting to know a wide range of cultures. I have found the years I have spent abroad so far very enriching, and I want more of that.

One day, when the time is right and I have the right idea, I would like to start my own business.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As someone who is trustworthy helped others whenever needed, and has a good sense of humor – even if you might not notice it as first.

Hobbies? I like traveling, hiking, gym, cooking, and Karaoke (although no one likes to listen to me sing). I am also an unshakeable supporter of two constantly awful-to-mediocre football clubs, my hometown team Hannover 96 and Partick Thistle from Glasgow.

What made Andreas such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Of all the students I have taught while at CEIBS, Andreas stands out. I got to know him from his superb performance in two of my courses: Corporate Governance and China within the World. While he was clearly among the best in the CG course, which over 175 MBA students were required to take, I could more closely observe his talents in the CWW where there were only 50 students. It may help to mention that this is a challenging course which explores the transition from a US-dominated to China-dominated world economy, with in-depth case studies covering five continents. Andreas really shone in this course when he delivered the team presentation for his group’s final project – it was the best project not only with regard to its content and excellent analytical insights, but also because Andreas gave a crisp, clear and convincing presentation. This included calm, insightful answers to some challenging follow-up questions. I was partially prepared for his excellent performance due to his incisive contributions during our analyses of various case studies throughout the course, but he still exceeded my expectations. It should therefore come as no surprise that he was the best student in the course. Overall, his cool intellect, sharp presentation skills, and quick-thinking in response to challenging questions made Andreas an invaluable part of the class of 2020.”

Prof Richard Carney
Assistant Professor of Strategy


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