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CEIBS boot camp: Insights about China

By on 17. August 2015

Would an MBA from China fit for me? Participants from all over the world attended a five day boot camp at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai to learn more about the MBA program, the school and China. Three of them from Germany, the U.S. and the Netherlands share their experience. 

Shanghai Blick auf Pudong © Schwertfeger

Shanghai Blick auf Pudong © Schwertfeger

Shahin Dehmiyani is 26 years old and did his Bachelor in Economics & Business Administration at Goethe-University Frankfurt. He just recently came back from a one year lasting gap year in Asia and is currently looking for a new challenge.

 Why did you decide to do the boot camp in Shanghai?

I already spent a considerable amount of time in China and since I can very well imagine working in China in the future I wanted to take a look myself what CEIBS as the most prestigious business school in China has in store for its students.

Did you have any experience with China before?

Yes, I did an internship for Henkel in Shanghai in 2013 and just finished the semester off as a tutor for business in Taiyuan before attending the camp.

What were your expectations?

I definitely wanted to get a better understanding of what it means to be confronted with various case studies throughout the lectures. Case studies are an essential part of an MBA and since the undergraduate studies at German universities – thankfully – focus on first laying a theoretical foundation I was curious how that approach would compare to what I had experienced before. Of course I was also eager to meet all the other participants coming from all around the world and learn more about their backgrounds.

What are your most important impressions and experiences?

Frankly I had not expected that a business school would be able to put several pieces like history, culture, politics or business together so properly. I think it’s absolutely necessary to broaden one’s horizon when trying to understand the underlying forces that drive an economy so from that perspective the professors did a great job of urging us to not only think about figures like GDP. While for instance Prof. Bala kept reminding us to stop thinking about China as one country, Prof. Gosset made an interesting point by teaching us to „learn how to unlearn“.

Do you consider doing an MBA in the near future? And do you consider going to CEIBS?

Yes, at this point in time I would say I do want to go for an MBA abroad sometime in the future. However, since it is always difficult to foresee what the future holds in store that decision is subject to change anytime. As for CEIBS, after having attended the event I think it’s safe to say it would be an excellent choice.

Would you recommend prospective MBA students to attend a boot camp like this?

From my standpoint a boot camp is a great opportunity to experience a business school first hand. However, students considering to participate at such an event should spend enough time on making proper research about the business school beforehand. Could I imagine living and working in the corresponding country? Does the school have a good reputation for the direction my career is headed for?

Boot Camp an der CEIBS  © Schwertfeger

Boot Camp an der CEIBS © Schwertfeger

Natalie N. Smith is from Texas in the U.S. and 31 years old. She has a MS in Mechanical Engineering and was working at BP for six years, till recently at BP GSH Subsea Connection System Delivery Lead – Juniper Project. Meanwhile she has started her MBA at Rice University in Houston.

Why did you decide to do the boot camp in Shanghai?

As a National-Black-MBA-Association-Houston Chapter officer, I had been introduced to an opportunity to compete in a national essay competition hosted by the organization that would allow the winner to gain international experience by attending the Chinese European International Business School Pre-MBA Boot camp. The boot camp would provide exposure and experience to life in Shanghai, participating and learning within a top-tier business school environment, and familiarity to concepts of fundamental global business topics. From the details of the program, I definitely envisioned the opportunity to be selected could help prepare me for the upcoming beginning of my first year MBA candidacy at Rice University, located in Houston, Texas, for the fall semester. Unfortunately, I did not win first place; however, I was selected to by the organization to attend with partial financial support!

Did you have any experience with China before?

Fortunately, I did have previous experience in China. In 2005, I attended Wuhan University for a mechanical engineering focused study abroad where I took courses with a focus on Chinese language, history, economics, and an independent study on the Yangtze Dam. This previous experience allowed me to be an additional mandarin speaking escort for the classmates who did not have the capability to speak while sightseeing, having dinner, and attending socials

What were your expectations?

I expected to undergo a rigorous week and half of non-stop teamwork, coursework, introduction to finance and accounting, marketing, and strategy. In addition, providing opportunities to visit companies and network amongst the cohort of the program.

What are your most important impressions and experiences?

I was very unfamiliar with the school and program prior to attending. Upon learning that CEIBS is #1 in Asia and #11 in the world was very impressive. Immediately, I became even more honored that I was selected to attend the program. Moreover, the conversational structure during class amongst majority of the professors was also enlightening since I have an engineering background and most engineering courses are taught with the professor solely speaking to the students. This method of teaching allowed me to have a voice and to become confident in my voice and opinion despite me not having a functional expertise in business.

Do you consider in doing an MBA in the near future? And do you consider going go to CEIBS?

I do intend to achieve my MBA in the future. Currently, I have been accepted into the Rice Jones School of Business – Class of 2017. The experience at CEIBS has provided me a solid advantage to beginning business school in the fall semester. Unfortunately, while researching universities and undergoing the application process, I was unaware of CEIBS as an option.

Would you recommend prospective MBA students to attend a boot camp like this?

I would definitely encourage other students to attend a boot camp like this to gain international experience, exposure to global markets, exposure to real courses seen in an MBA program, and to expand their Network.

CEIBS Campus © Schwertfeger

CEIBS Campus © Schwertfeger

Donia Saidi is 30 years old and from the Netherlands. She has a Bachelor in Laws, a Master in Political Science (University of Amsterdam) and a Master in Public Administration (New York University) and works as a business consultant for Ernst & Young Advisory.

Why did you decide to do the boot camp in Shanghai?

Although I have 2 MA degrees, I always wanted to do a MBA. Since I had studied in Europe and in the US, and worked in the Middle East and South Africa before, I thought taking the next step towards the East would make sense. Especially with the growing emphasis on China from an economical, financial and more cultural perspective.

Did you have any experience with China before?

No not at all. Not other than the things I read in The Economist or hear from the news.

What were your expectations?

Honestly, I didn’t have any expectations and I didn’t want to have any either. They only disappoint. I did have a goal, though. I have studied abroad before and met a lot of great people from around the globe. Unfortunately, I never really had Chinese friends, so before taking the step to China I thought it would be good to have a taste of Shanghai. Some Chinese students were very open and pro-active, and that was great. So I got the opportunity to ask questions about the cultural differences.

What are your most important impressions and experiences?

In a way my overall experience can be best described as enlightening. The most valuable part of the program were the insights I got about the Chinese market, from a financial, geopolitical perspective and the enormous role it plays in the world. I had never thought about China in the way that it was framed in the lectures. The country has a lot of opportunities and it was good to hear about that. It was also very inspiring to meet young entrepreneurs. Furthermore, I met very interesting people from different backgrounds at the camp.

Do you consider in doing an MBA in the near future? And do you consider going to CEIBS?

In my case no, but the Executive MBA is probably better for me. CEIBS is definitely the perfect place if people are interested in the region & in China. I’m too much focused on the European market at this point in my career. If I would get a job opportunity in China I would definitely do it!

Would you recommend prospective MBA students to attend a boot camp like this?

Yes!! It gives a great look into the university, the campus life, the type of students and you can talk directly to students and admission office. That definitely helps to make the right choice.

 

The boot camp, a marketing activity for the international MBA program, took place from July 8-12 at CEIBS in Shanghai. Participants paid $ 1,264 (plus airfare) for a well organized program of lectures, company visits and social activities including accommodation and food.

 

 

 

 

Über Bärbel Schwertfeger

Bärbel Schwertfeger ist Diplom-Psychologin und seit 1985 als freie Journalistin im Bereich Management, Weiterbildung und Personalentwicklung tätig.

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