CEIBS (China Europe International Business School)
“Born in Romania, raised in Spain, moved to China to work in fashion retail.”
Hometown: Barcelona, Spain
Fun fact about yourself: I financed my university studies with a fashion modeling career that I left behind when I joined Deloitte as a financial auditor.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Universidad de Barcelona – Bachelor in Business Administration and Management
Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Baozun E-Commerce – Director of Strategy and Planning
Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Gucci, Shanghai
Where will you be working after graduation? Strategy and Planning Senior Manager @ Chanel in Shanghai
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Student Ambassador, Member of the Leadership Team for INNOVATEChina, Recipient of the Diversity Scholarship and Awarded Dean’s List Recognition
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? One of the highlights of my MBA at CEIBS was being selected for the exchange program at Wharton.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I understood that the epicenter of the business of fashion had shifted to China, I decided to move here and place myself at the center of this retail revolution. This was a pivotal moment in my life, which allowed me to steer my career towards my aspirations.
Why did you choose this business school? After moving to China, my objective became even clearer, and with it the few steps that I had to take to make it happen, including:
- Beginning to understand the particularities of the Chinese market.
- Learning to speak Chinese.
- Getting more exposure to China’s very advanced digital ecosystem.
- Finding the right MBA programme.
More than most academic degrees, an MBA may be the most rooted in the realities and practicalities of the world community, business trends, and economic shifts. My understanding is that an MBA’s value depends on how connected it is to the outside world and where its students and faculty come from. It is for these reasons that I think CEIBS’ location is a massive advantage.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? CEIBS is full of amazing professors from around the world. One of those who left a huge impression on me is Prof. Kristine Xie. She teaches statistics and analytical models for business. I have always admired people who are able to simplify very complex and technical concepts in a way that everyone can understand. She made complex notions easy to understand and very practical for the business world.
What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? One of my favorite traditions at CEIBS was the different country night celebrations. I enjoyed the immersion in different cultures, while embracing diversity and building strong bonds.
Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Knowing what a great experience my MBA was, I would probably have tried to do it earlier.
What is the biggest myth about your school? One myth is that if you already know China well, you don’t need to do an MBA here. In reality, the CEIBS MBA can really help you to amplify your network, knowledge and hands on experience here.
What surprised you the most about business school?
I didn’t expect the learning process to essentially undo everything I thought I knew and allow me to rediscover each of the foundational elements of business. The process then helped reconstruct my understanding on a much stronger fundamental structure, solidified by knowledge and experience, but also supplemented in areas where I had only had very little academic training (e.g. leadership, digital marketing, and strategy).
What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I had a clear direction and aspirations in my mind, and knew that an MBA at CEIBS was aligned with my experience and future plans. As a result, I had a very compelling story. I think learning Chinese ahead of the MBA allowed me to focus on the MBA program without having to worry about learning a new language at the same time.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? There are so many amazing people in my cohort that I admire for different reasons. One of them is Aravind Thodupunoori because of his incredible generosity and kindness throughout the program.
How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? Although the second half of the MBA has been particularly challenging, as we could not conduct any of the regular academic activities on campus, we have still been very connected as a group, leveraging technology to ensure continuity while staying safe.
An MBA is a reflection of what happens in the business world. Businesses were also heavily disrupted by the pandemic and had to conduct work from home and host Zoom meetings. We have to adapt to the market changes and stay flexible, so it was a good lesson of persistence and making things work, despite the circumstances.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
I don’t think anyone did. It always felt to me like what I would enjoy the most as a career. I am a dual profile, highly analytical student with a strong sense of creativity and arts. I believed that I would enjoy an occupation where I had to be very analytical and structured, but at the same time creative and innovative in my approach.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Luxury retail and strategy.
What made Raluca such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?
“I have been very impressed with Raluca since she took my course, Strategizing in Digital China. Having worked in China before her MBA, she contributed a deep understanding of Chinese digital ecosystems to the class and offered very insightful comments and presentations.
After getting to know her better, I discovered that Raluca is truly someone who cares about the CEIBS community. She has benefited from, and sincerely appreciates, our mentorship programme, which led her to develop a firm belief that it is also her duty to give back. As a result, she has offered support and mentorship to many prospective students interested in an MBA in China. In addition, Raluca has been instrumental in helping to expand the school’s retail industry network, which has helped to generate new opportunities for other students with similar backgrounds.”
Guo (Ginkgo) BAI
Assistant Professor of Strategy, CEIBS
DON’T MISS: THE FULL LIST OF MBAS TO WATCH IN 2021
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