Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Lancer Yuan, University of Michigan (Ross)

Lancer Yuan

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“I’m from a small village to Shanghai; 5 years in a musical and 7 years in education.”

Hometown: Huzhou/ Shanghai, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: An extreme slasher: singer/actor/ teacher/ entrepreneur/ brother-ent

Undergraduate School and Major: Musical Theater, Shanghai Conservatory of Music

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Founder and CEO, ITS Center

Michigan Ross is best known for experiential learning programming like MAP, Living Business Leadership Experience, and the Leadership Crisis Challenge. What experiential program interests you the most? I am extremely intrigued by ALL three experiential programs at Michigan Ross! Each of them presents unique opportunities that resonate with my career goals and personal experiences.

Firstly, the “Leadership Crisis Challenge” and “Living Business Leadership Experience” stand out to me, especially due to the challenges I faced in my K12 education career in mainland China. Participating in these programs would not only allow me to gain valuable insights into handling leadership challenges, but also provide me with an opportunity to fuse my real-world experiences with the knowledge and legacy I will acquire at Ross.

Secondly, as an international student, one of my short-term goals after completing my MBA is to work at an MNC. The MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) program excites me greatly as it offers hands-on experiential learning. Engaging in real-world projects with MNCs through MAP would provide me with invaluable exposure to diverse business environments and practical skills crucial for success in the corporate world.

Overall, the experiential programs at Michigan Ross align perfectly with my goals and aspirations. They present extraordinary opportunities for personal and professional growth, and I am eager to immerse myself in these transformative experiences at Ross.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Aside from my classmates, what led me to choose Michigan Ross’s MBA program was the personal touch during the admission process.

While I received offers from other top business schools, the moment that made me “irrationally” put my heart into Ross was when Lysa Wang, the admission officer, reached out to me in a way that no other school did. She personally called me at a time convenient for me in China and elaborated on why Ross wanted me. Lysa highlighted my diversity, resilience, potential, and even acknowledged a music video I uploaded as additional information. This personal attention touched the softest spot in my heart.

To be honest, every top business school has its strengths, but as a seven-year entrepreneur from a challenging industry in China, the love and attention I received during the admission call revealed how wholeheartedly Ross values its applicants. The Ross Difference became evident to me during that moment.

Feeling the sincerity and dedication of the Ross admission team reaffirmed my belief that this school cares deeply about each applicant as an individual. It made me feel valued and appreciated from the very beginning. The personalized touch and genuine interest in my background and experiences made Ross stand out as the perfect place for me to thrive personally and professionally.

The warmth and personal connection I felt during the admission process were the key factors that led me to choose Michigan Ross. It has since become the defining aspect of why this business school is so important to me.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? Having attended several mock classes after being admitted, I found the Marketing and Strategy class extremely intriguing. As someone with business experience in another country, I want to explore how different business models succeed and differ. This course offers insights into the success stories of classic American companies and the future of new businesses worldwide.

Understanding the strategies behind renowned American companies’ achievements and exploring the future of global businesses are essential for my growth as an entrepreneur. I look forward to engaging in discussions, collaborating with peers, and learning from esteemed faculty to prepare myself for the dynamic world of international business. The Marketing and Strategy class aligns perfectly with my passion for exploring new possibilities in the business landscape.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? The first word that comes to my mind when I think of the Michigan Ross MBA program is “Blue”!

This association is unique because my name, Lancer, rhymes with “Blue” in Mandarin. So, “Go Blue” feels like a personal cheer, inspiring me to embrace the program’s spirit and pursue my dreams. Moreover, “Blue” represents the close-knit and supportive Ross community, known as the “Ross Family.” Joining Ross means becoming part of a vibrant and passionate network that values individuality and diverse perspectives.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment so far is the remarkable growth of ITS from 2015 to 2021.

During this time, I established three branches in my hometown and one department in Shanghai. We expanded our offerings from English training to a comprehensive K12 whole-package curriculum. This strategic expansion made ITS the most influential and well-known training center in Huzhou City, with a population of over 2 million.

It was a challenging journey, but with dedication and innovative thinking, I led a committed team to achieve this success. Witnessing ITS evolve from a small venture to a renowned educational institution, positively impacting thousands of students, has been the most fulfilling experience in my career.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? I want to do management consulting or general management.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? My advice to potential applicants aiming for admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program is to be authentic and true to themselves throughout the application process.

Understand the unique culture of Ross and let your genuine personality shine through in your application. Don’t be afraid to show your true colors and share your real experiences, passions, and aspirations. Ross values diversity and appreciates applicants who bring their authentic selves to the table.

If you have concerns about being different or coming from a minority background, use the “additional information” section to address those concerns. This gives you an opportunity to provide context and insights that may not fit within the standard application questions. Be open and honest about your experiences and how they have shaped you as an individual.

Michigan Ross is a school that genuinely cares about each applicant and their unique background. They take the time to look carefully at the “additional information” provided, making it an excellent platform to showcase your true self and the perspectives you bring.

Remember that the goal is not to fit a specific mold but to find the right fit for you. By sharing your genuine story and experiences, you increase your chances of finding a program that aligns with your values, goals, and aspirations.


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