Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2022

CEIBS “Teddy” in front of the Shanghai campus

A TOP PROGRAM FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

This year’s class features 144 students from 21 countries. 41.67% of the class is women, up a point from the previous year. By the same token, 28.47% of the class comes to CEIBS from outside China and Hong Kong. The class also averaged a 668 GMAT, with just 2.78% of incoming students taking the GRE.

Academically, 46.5% of the Class of 2022 holds undergraduate degrees in Business and Management. Another 36.3% of the class studied Science and Engineering. The remainder of the class earned degrees related to Language and Arts (3.8%) and Other Fields (13.4%). In terms of professional experience, a fifth of the class most recently worked in Financial Services. The Manufacturing sector accounts for 16.6% of the class, with the Technology and Consulting sectors each making up 13.4% of students. The rest of the class includes students with backgrounds in Healthcare, Retail, Real Estate, Consumer Products, and Government Service and NGOs, Energy, Logistics, and Media and Entertainment.

What is one surprise awaiting MBA students? For one, CEIBS is an entrepreneurial powerhouse! The school ranked 14th in P&Q’s most recent ranking of the Best MBA Programs For Entrepreneurship. In fact, the school placed 3rd among non-American programs (and the best among Asian schools). One reason: 46.81% of all CEIBS courses involve Entrepreneurship. On top of that, CEIBS ranked 8th in the world – and 3rd among non-American programs – for MBA pay within three years of graduation according to The Financial Times. By this measure, alumni are pulling down $178,558 in base pay – higher than the London Business School and HEC Paris. Within these three years, CEIBS grads enjoy a 158% increase over their pre-MBA pay, which is the 7th-highest rate in the world (and the best among Top 10 MBA programs).

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MBA DIRECTOR

Here’s another unexpected part of the CEIBS MBA: The school boasts campuses in Beijing and Shenzen, China and Accra Ghana (in addition to Shanghai and Zurich). What else can MBAs students and applicants expect from CEIBS in the coming year? How does CEIBS support students changing industries and functions? Why is the Integrated China Strategy Project such a fundamental part of the CEIBS experience for students and alumni? Last month, P&Q posed these questions (and several more) to Shameen Prashantham, the associate dean and MBA director. Here are Prashantham insights on where the school is headed and what makes the MBA experience at CEIBS so unique.

Shameen Prashantham

P&Q: What are the most exciting new developments in your programme?

Prashantham: “The pandemic we are going through is unprecedented and the challenges that it has brought about are totally unexpected. As international travel remains uncertain and unsafe, we have decided to introduce two new China modules in Hangzhou and Beijing. These two cities are home to some of the most cutting edge companies in China. This will give our students more opportunities to dive deeper into China’s business ecosystem and engage with leading companies like Alibaba and Microsoft. Going forward, I’m also keen to explore how students can engage more with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) in classroom and co-curricular activities.”

P&Q: What are the two most unique or differentiating features of your full-time programme? How do they enrich the MBA experience?

Prashantham: “First, our motto “China Depth, Global Breadth” really does exhibit our programme curriculum and it is the China depth part that sets us apart from other top business schools in the world. We deliver this depth through a wide range of China modules, a week-long China discovery series, a three-month compulsory Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP) and by utilising China-focused cases taken directly from our in-house ChinaCases.org case library which has grown to be most influential China-related case platform in the world.

Second, we introduced a digital business concentration into our programme in 2018, and have added digital focused electives such as Blockchain Business Applications and Rethinking Strategy for the Digital World to the programme. Currently, 32% of our electives offered are innovation/digital related. More and more of our students are now choosing to graduate with a concentration in digital business.”

P&Q: CEIBS is able to strike a very difficult balance. More than three-quarters of your graduates are career switchers, yet they are able to nearly triple their starting pay after graduation. What types of programmes do you offer that enable students to make this type of career acceleration?

Prashantham: “We have a strong and dedicated Career Development Centre (CDC) team of 14 members whose sole role is to help our students realise their career goals. Our students go through a comprehensive Career Development Programme (CDP) that complements and runs parallel to the core MBA programme. From practical training workshops such as resume writing, case interview techniques and valuations skills to alumni and industry expert sharing and soft skill assessment and development, students receive a host of tools and information to maximise their potential in the job marketplace. It is, however, our student’s proactivity in utilising these resources that leads to their success.”

CEIBS MBA Students

P&Q: Talk to us about your Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP). What types of projects do students complete and what companies have they worked for? What are some of the biggest skills they gain from this experience?

Prashantham: “The ICSP (Integrated China Strategy Project), is a real-situation learning course that involves MBA students in business problem-solving. Students help participating companies address strategic issues at no charge. During the project execution, students work under sponsor partners’ guidance and a CEIBS faculty advisor to develop innovative, effective and practical recommendations.

The ICSP presents a unique opportunity to examine strategic China-related issues in a real-world setting. It brings innovative and useful insights from MBA students’ diverse experience and formal business education. Meanwhile, MBA students gain general skills and competencies in problem-solving that are applicable across industries and organisations. The course also cultivates students’ soft skills such as listening, communicating, teamwork, collaboration, and time management. Some of the companies that have taken part in ICSP include PepsiCo, Nike, and Bayer.”

P&Q: CEIBS is located in Shanghai. What are some ways (besides the ICSP) that CEIBS is able to connect MBA students with leading firms on the mainland?

Prashantham: “Our CDC has a strong relationship with many top companies which frequently recruit our students. In our ongoing recruitment season which started in August 2020, representatives from 42 companies including Apple and JP Morgan have already visited our campus to engage with our talented pool of students. Additionally, more than 100 companies took part in our annual recruitment fair held in January 2021.

Furthermore, our in-house pedagogical innovation – the Real Situation Learning Method (RSLM) – that we deploy in our China modules helps students learn about concepts and companies at their premises.

Our student community is also very proactive. Many of our 14 student-run professional clubs invite industry leaders for events on campus and at times also organise company visits for their club members. Thanks to our proximity to the business world, students get ample opportunity to get connected to the leading companies in Mainland China.”

Participants in CEIBS’ annual INNOVATEChina Business Proposal Competition

P&Q: Some prospective applicants may be surprised to learn that classes are taught in English. At the same time, CEIBS maintains programming to boost students’ proficiency in Mandarin. Talk to us about some of this language programming that make students more marketable to employers.

Prashantham: “Although our programme is taught 100% in English, a certain level of Mandarin proficiency does help our students make the most of their life in Shanghai. For all our international students, we have a month long intensive Mandarin course before the MBA commences. Once the programme starts, and the focus shifts on core curriculum, the students continue to have one three-hour Mandarin class per week.

However, given that Mandarin is one of the harder languages to master, it takes years to gain business-level proficiency that is required for Mandarin speaking roles. Therefore, our aim is not to get our international students prepared for jobs that are meant for native Mandarin speakers, but to get them conversational in the language as an indicator to the recruiters of their commitment to work in a Mandarin speaking country with Mandarin-speaking colleagues.”

P&Q: How has CEIBS been able to navigate COVID-19 this fall?

Prashantham: “China was the first to be hit by the pandemic and we had to react very quickly. Thanks to our talented IT department and highly adaptive faculty and programme administration team, we managed to take all our courses online within a month in a reasonably seamless manner. However, as the country recovered from COVID-19 very quickly, things were back to normal much sooner than our most optimistic estimations. In May 2020, we resumed our on-campus offline classes fully and extended online facilities for those not currently in China owing to border restrictions.

As far as career placement is concerned, many of our recruitment activities had to be conducted virtually, including our most recent recruitment fair. But kudos to the CDC team that worked tirelessly to bring opportunities in for our students. Our most recent graduating class beat the pandemic odds to achieve a 91.4% placement rate.”

Page 3: Profiles of 12 Full-Time MBA Students.

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