2020 MBAs To Watch: Bingzi Li, CEIBS

Bingzi Li

CEIBS (China Europe International Business School)

“Adventurous but observant, persistent but fashionable, Chinese but international.”

Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Fun fact about yourself: Cooking makes me feel alive

Undergraduate School and Degree: Concordia University, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Bombardier Aerospace, Professional Engineer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Microsoft China, Beijing

Where will you be working after graduation? Microsoft China, Sales Specialist

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: VP of the Women Leadership Network Club, Merit Scholarship Winner

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As the VP of the Women Leadership Network Club, my team and I organized the first CEIBS MBA 2019 Female Leadership Forum. We attracted over 300 participants, raised 50,000 RMB, led an operations team with over 50 people, and invited more than 20 female leaders from top global companies. I also joined as a panelist for the “Women in STEM” panel.

I’m very proud of my team and myself for organizing this event because it was the very first time that an international forum was organized by MBA students at CEIBS. The whole team worked extremely efficiently. Moreover, the feedback from the audience was very positive and we hope it will become a regular addition to the MBA events calendar.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m proud that I participated in the CSeries Aircraft (now Airbus A220) flight test when I was a first-year engineer. The A220 is a $10 billion (USD) program and therefore engineers needed to be extremely careful with every detail for budget control purposes. Even though I was a new professional engineer, I was assigned key tasks. I learned hard and worked hard every day, and was happy to receive 5/5 “Outstanding” in my performance review during the flight test period. Only 2 staff (out of >100 employees) received such privilege.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Nikolaos Tsikriktsis was my favorite MBA professor. He was my professor for Operation Management and Service Management. He is humorous and always makes jokes. He speaks very fast because he has too many cases to convey to us, but I remember every case he talked about because they were all so impressive. I could tell from Professor Tsikriktsis’ face and voice how much he loves his work and how much he wishes us to really learn something from our MBA classes.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I love the events that CEIBS alumni organized, such as the New Year Concert. I was honored to be the host of the 2019 New Year Concert. I believe all of the CEIBS alumni events convey a strong message: CEIBS is a family. CEIBSers are families. CEIBS values its alumni very much, so every newly on-boarded student and graduates can benefit from continuous learning within the CEIBS network. Meanwhile, CEIBS becomes better and better because the alumni keep contributing and giving back to their school.

Why did you choose this business school? Besides the fact that CEIBS is the No. 1 business school in Asia, I believe in the CEIBS culture. It makes me feel at home. I talked to several CEIBS alumni and staff before applying to CEIBS. Their professional attitude, pertinent advice, and warm words deeply surprised me. I was very moved. I believe CEIBS is a business school with ambition and it would be there to boost my career.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be confident. Be honest. Have clear goals and know how you want to achieve them.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Before coming to CEIBS, I thought most business schools had many very hypocritical students. However, CEIBS isn’t like that at all. All my classmates are honest and nice people. Everyone is very willing to share, help, and encourage each other. The slogan of the CEIBS MBA 2020 class is “We are one”. We believe in it, and we do as we say.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I wish I could have made stronger bonds with my international classmates. Because I lived in Canada for nine years before coming to CEIBS, I always feel like I am an international student even though I was born and raised in China. I was away from China for so long. Therefore, I took every opportunity to learn about the new China, to understand Chinese enterprises and make Chinese friends. We all know MBA life is extremely busy, so I must admit that I didn’t pay enough care and attention to my international classmates. If I could start over, I would strive to make closer friendships with my international classmates, and let them know more about the beauty of China.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire Shoko Ogasawara. She is an international student from Japan. She is the most persevering, responsible, and kindest person I’ve ever seen. Of course, she speaks perfect Mandarin, which is very impressive. Shoko and I, together with other two classmates, participated in the 2019 Roland Berger case competition in Barcelona, Spain. I’m always amazed by her logical thinking and her persevering attitude. With her kind heart and strong abilities, she organized dozens of events for us and for CEIBS. She became a marathon runner during our MBA program. I watched her run around campus every day, even at midnight. Once, I asked her, “Why? It’s so late already.” Shoko replied, “I decided to be a marathon runner, so I have practice.” I’m proud to have such an outstanding classmate. Shoko is great, but so are many CEIBSers.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother is a big influence. She is a professional businesswoman. The most valuable attitude I see from her is to keep learning. She keeps learning new things, from AI to fashion. She is very open-minded, so she is happy to see society changing so quickly and technology booming. My mother inspired me to pursue an MBA degree. I was an aerospace engineer and I love aircraft. I didn’t think about business school even though I was always interested in management and becoming a business leader in the future. However, I learned from my mother that if becoming a professional manager is my career goal, I should take professional business classes to better prepare myself. I’m glad I did an MBA. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Become a CEO.
  • Help advance technology to better serve society.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A funny, energetic, honest, and professional peer.

Hobbies? Swimming, hiking, mountain climbing, and dancing

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

“During my time together with Bingzi LI, she displayed great talent in leadership and management. My first impression of Bingzi was formed during the CEIBS MBA2020 Opening Ceremony. She was chosen as a student representative and to give a speech to her new classmates. Her presence on stage made me believe she had great potential. Soon, during daily life at CEIBS and while organizing numerous events, I grew impressed with Bingzi’s leadership capabilities and attitude towards work. She is one of our student leaders for the MBA Women Leadership and Network Club and I still remember how hard she worked to pull off the Leadership Forum. She exhibited remarkable abilities in communicating with her team, the other students, and stakeholders. She is always able to keep things organized no matter how complicated they are. She is always an honest, kind, and nice person to everyone. As an administrator for the MBA Programme, I believe in Bingzi’s capability. She was supportive of many major events at CEIBS, including hosting InnovateChina 2019 and the 2019 CEIBS New Year Concert.”

Claire Yuan
Programme Manager
MBA Programme, CEIBS


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