Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2024

Meet the MBA Class of 2024 CEIBS

If you want to measure the strength of an MBA program, look to the experience of its candidates.

In the 2024 MBA Class of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), there’s Jenny Tang who founded her own translation company which serviced the United Nations’ Women Enterprise Training for two consecutive years. Ninety percent of Shanghai Yuwan Translation Company’s employees are women.

There’s also Jingshi Su, a University of Wisconsin-Madison civil engineering alum, who was hired to support the electrical construction at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. “It was, as you can imagine, a huge project as we were involved in everything that connects to power. Meeting Elon Musk and seeing his ambition was certainly inspiring, especially given my own journey since as an entrepreneur,” he tells Poets&Quants.

And there’s Serena LI who launched the first-ever China office for Wasserman, an L.A.-based international sports marketing and talent agency. LI, who describes herself as a die-hard fan of the NBA, has been working on bridging East and West through sports for the past six years.

“The Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP) is a perfect example of CEIBS’ vision of ‘China Depth, Global Breath’. The key objective of the program is to apply our learnings from class to the context of a real business in China,” says LI who studied mass communications and public relations as an undergrad at Kansas State University.

“Given my past six-year professional experience was mainly sports marketing focused and based overseas, the ICSP is an excellent opportunity for me to explore different industries and functions in China from a deeper and more practical perspective.”

Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2024

CEIBS MBA Class of 2024 kick off their Leadership Journey. Courtesy photo


Tang, Su, and LI are three of the 120 MBAs in the 2024 class at CEIBS, oft considered the top business school in the East. The Financial Times ranked the 16-month program No. 20 in the world for 2023, falling from No. 16 in 2022 and No. 7 in 2021. It ranked No. 14 in Poets&Quants’ 2022-2023 International MBA Ranking, a composite of the major ranking publications of the year, after rising four spots from our previous list.

Pretty impressive for a school that ranked 92nd in the Financial Times two decades ago.

“While studying with the bright future leaders of China on the MBA, being able to connect with established leaders who went to CEIBS or still learning at CEIBS, was one of the most attractive aspects of the programme to me as an applicant,” says Kempei Hori (Leung), MBA ‘24, who describes himself as a father of two who never missed a single event for his children. As assistant manager of corporate planning at Panasonic, the Tokyo native set the company record in annual revenue and profit for disposable batteries for three consecutive years.

“It is important to me as an international student to always have the community to learn from and to rely on since China is just huge, evolving, and diversified in all aspects.”

Hori is among the 15.6% of his classmates who come to CEIBS from outside China, representing 14 countries – down sharply from the 38.3% international students of the 2023 MBA class. That’s almost certainly a consequence of the freeze on student visas for international students coming into China as a result of the pandemic. That policy has since been reversed after a three-year hiatus.

“As a school built between China and Europe, this is fantastic news for us and the wider CEIBS community,” says MBA Administration Director Michelle Zhu.

Historically, CEIBS MBA classes have averaged 5.7 years of work experience. Most students (68%) have come from mainland China while 9.4% come from North America, 8.4% from Europe, and 9.9% from Asia Pacific and Oceania. Another 4.3% have hailed from Latin America, Africa, and other locations.

While only one elite U.S. MBA has achieved gender parity – The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania – CEIBS has met the milestone the last two years. 2024’s class was 51.6% women while 2023’s was 50%. The class also maintained a 684 GMAT average – the same as the previous class which was a 16 point bump over the class of 2022.

Class of 2024’s employment prospects continued to be strong, considering the CEIBS MBA 2022 employment report. Of 2022 graduates, 93.8% landed job offers within three months of graduation, down a smidge from the 95.5% the year before.

Within three years of Graduation, CEIBS MBAs earned $177,132 in weighted salary according to The Financial Times, down slightly from $178,558 for the previous class. That’s the second-highest earnings among Asian MBA programs.

Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2024

The dramatic glass pyramid, built to resemble Paris’ Louvre museum, is the centerpiece of CEIBS' Shanghai campus. Courtesy photo


Established in 1994 by the Chinese government and the European Union, CEIBS is committed to its motto of “China Depth, Global Breadth.” It has three campuses in China – in Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen – along with one campus each in Zurich, Switzerland and Accra, Ghana. Its signature Shanghai campus features a dramatic glass pyramid built to resemble Paris’ Louvre museum.

“Location is important as proximity strengthens the links we have with our alumni, hiring companies and mentors,” says Zhu.

“In this sense, the Shanghai campus becomes a hub of activity, strengthening our reputation amongst executives through part-time degree programmes and company sponsored executive education. This in turn makes it easier for us to arrange career treks, job fairs, company-based strategy projects and experiential China modules.”

In terms of curriculum, “China depth” sets CEIBS apart from other top business schools in the world. Students take a wide range of China-focused modules, a week-long China discovery series, and a three-month compulsory Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP) in which MBAs get real-world Chinese business experience with companies like Alibaba, AstraZeneca, British Petroleum and Coca-Cola.

The school’s China-focused cases are taken directly from its in-house – a case library among the most influential platforms in the world. CEIBS also provides an ongoing mentoring program to provide career guidance and deepen students’ mastery of Chinese business etiquette.

Further, CEIBS’ trademarked Real Situation Learning Method (RSLM) is an upgraded version of the case-based teaching method. Although RSLM is also based on cases, it brings students into the cases and into the companies involved. “This enables an entirely new level of student engagement by allowing students to visit these companies and interact with top executives there. We have already incorporated RSLM into our domestic electives in Shenzhen, Nanjing and Ningbo,” Zhu told P&Q in a 2021 interview.

Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2024

CEIBS MBAs pose for a photo on campus. The 2024 class represents 14 different countries. Courtesy photo


This “China Depth, Global Breadth” value proposition is what prompted Wei Lynn Tang of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to apply to CEIBS and only CEIBS for her MBA. Tang earned a Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, but has worked in China for four years – most recently as a reporter for the China Global Television Network (CGTN).

“I aim to solidify my understanding of China’s business landscape through (and out of) the classroom,” she tells P&Q. “In particular, I am interested in digging deeper as to how local Chinese think, approach and solve problems, and what makes them tick – for they will be the ones driving China’s future economic growth. This comes as I plan to continue developing my career here in the short to medium term.”

Similarly, Sergi de Pablo Quesada says the school’s philosophy describes him perfectly. Born and educated in Barcelona, Spain, Quesada has spent the last seven years building the company he founded in China, OUT1N – a miniprogram development venture to help businesses reach Chinese e-commerce customers.

“There have been many challenges over the years. One of the most complex challenges has been successfully developing and implementing a cross-border e-commerce solution into our platform while navigating through the complex Chinese regulatory system,” says Quesada.

CEIBS' curriculum was  updated in 2021 to boost the percentage of courses incorporating entrepreneurship to nearly 47%. Entrepreneurship clubs attract about a fourth of CEIBS’ MBAs. The school also cut core course requirements by a fourth to add nearly two dozen electives, offering greater choice and flexibility.

There’s also a greater demand for social impact and sustainability among CEIBS students, like at a growing number of business schools around the world.

Take Angelina Lin YE of Shanghai, China, who previously worked at the UN, focusing on impact investment and social entrepreneurship. As the President of Social Impact & Responsibility Club, she hopes to raise social impact awareness across CEIBS by energizing more campus initiatives and echoing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“I noticed that a lot of CEIBS students really hope to be environmentally friendly and take some sustainable moves forward, but still wonder how to achieve that in their daily lives, and how they could do something easy to make a big difference collectively,” she tells P&Q.

“Therefore, our club will be dedicated to educating, involving and influencing CEIBS students, alumni and beyond to further acquire the positive social impact awareness and work together for the shared prosperity of people and planet.”

Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2024

CEIBS MBA Class of 2024 celebrates Chinese New Year. Courtesy photo


CEIBS’ 26,000 alumni are positioned to drive decisions in China’s top firms. They include founder Liu Qiangdong, Sun TV co-founder Yang Lan, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group Chairman Huang Nubo, and Gree Electric chairwoman Dong Mingzhu.

“The lifeblood of the CEIBS community is our alumni. The connection we share with them is vital for the school to continue to thrive,” Zhu says.

To strengthen these connections, the school has established a series of post-MBA camps. One will explore win-win partnerships at Anhui’s Yellow Mountain while another in Shanghai dives into digital strategies on the ground at smart companies.

“Even for our alums who graduated many years ago, these camps offer the opportunity to refresh knowledge, recharge batteries and re-engage with the school,” Zhu says.

This network and access it provides is a main reason Mars LIN Jian chose the school.

“CEIBS has built an outstanding alumni network in China. A lot of senior leaders and successful entrepreneurs from various industries are in this alumni network, who are impactful business leaders, and their stories inspired me a lot. I hope one day I can become one of them,” says Jian, who studied management at Zhejiang University and worked as an investment director at Qin Capital.

“I’m so passionate about being an impactful business leader in the future, but it requires much effort, and there is a long way to go. CEIBS offers a mentoring program at the very beginning of the MBA journey, and I can choose a CEIBS alumni mentor. With the guidance of an experienced mentor, I am confident I will eventually get there.”

Joanna Chen of Wuxi, China, agrees. Previously the director of international marketing and sales at Accurature, she understands how important your professional network is to doing business with foreign customers in China’s healthcare industry.

“Besides the diverse background of the faculty team and my classmates, the mentorship programme and strong alumni network provide me with a multifaceted industry perspective,” she tells P&Q.

“Mentors provide multi-faceted guidance to mentees on diverse aspects based on their extensive experience, including self-awareness, industry insights, career planning, life direction, and even value building. During the regular conversations and interactions with my mentor, I have gained deeper industry insights from the big picture as well as a firmer understanding of what industry and career path is suited to me.”

Meet The CEIBS MBA Class Of 2024

The CEIBS Information Centre (Library). Courtesy photo


CEIBS 2024 MBAs come from a range of academic backgrounds: 44.3% studied science and engineering, 27% studied business and management, and 22.1% studied Language and Arts. That’s a bit of a flip from the Class of 2023 which had 42.5% business and management undergraduate majors and 30% science and engineering majors.

There’s even more diversity in their professional backgrounds, with 19.2% coming from consulting, 15% in financial services, and 14.2% from manufacturing to round out the top three.

For candidates exploring careers in China, Class of 2024 CEIBS MBAs offer valuable advice.
Dmytro Soroka of Sumy, Ukraine, a professional ballroom dancer in his pre-China life, suggests taking advantage of the resources offered during admissions. “The Beyond Borders Camp, observing a lecture, or having lunch with a student ambassador: Those are great entries to let you get to know the programme and its people.”

Carolina Pereira Maciel of Uberaba, Brazil says international students can bring a lot of value to the cohort based on their different cultures and business environments.

“The best (advice) is to really show how unique your background can be to other students in China,” says Maciel who became the first woman and youngest partner on the investment team at Nucleo Capital.

“On the other hand, you must be aware of what lessons you want to learn from CEIBS. Why are you interested in studying in China? How is this going to help you in your future?”

And Sabrina Zhou, a dancer with a nuclear electronics background from Beijing, says candidates should think about their career plans and what they want to learn during the MBA journey in advance of submitting their applications.

“There are a lot of things that the MBA can provide. You need to have clear priorities. Talking to students and friends who have relevant MBA experience is highly recommended! And everyone is open and happy to share experiences and thoughts with you,” she says.

Next Page: P&Q's Interview with Michelle Zhu, MBA administration director at CEIBS

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