Supporting International MBAs Seeking to Study in China: The CEIBS Perspective

Given the required investment of time and resources, pursuing a full-time MBA today takes a certain adventurous spirit.

Jul 18, 2017


Given the risk/reward equation that prospects exploring an MBA overseas need to calculate, it is easy to see how some may be overwhelmed, particularly by the idea of studying abroad. Inside the classroom, CEIBS MBA offers an experience like any other top-tier MBA program, but it is outside of the classroom that our international students require the most support.

Here are five initiatives we employ to help our international MBAs navigate everything from Chinese culture and language to China’s unique business environment.

  1. Summer Pre-MBA Boot Camp. Many of the young professionals we speak to are curious about China, but have little idea about what it would be like to study for an MBA here. YouTube videos and blogs are great places to start, but for that extra level of due diligence, there is no substitute for personal experience. Now into its fifth year, the CEIBS Summer Pre-MBA Boot Camp is designed to allow an elite group of professionals who are actively considering an MBA to come to the CEIBS Shanghai Campus and experience life as MBA students for a week. The roster of activities includes company visits, career coaching, alumni sharing and MBA lectures, and is designed to allow participants to get a feel for life in Shanghai, both inside and outside of the classroom. 

  2. Chinese Language and Culture Pre-Course. Once students have enrolled, we host a month-long pre-course in July to provide international students with intensive Mandarin classes and a soft landing for getting used  to Shanghai life before the real MBA workload begins in August. In addition to offering Mandarin classes, we provide an opportunity for new students to network and experience Chinese culture through calligraphy classes, Kung Fu training, and visits to popular local sites,including Shanghai’s famous water towns.

  3. Local Career Trek for International Talent. Many globalizing Chinese enterprises are joining the likes of Alibaba and Huawei as both household names and national champions on the international stage. The expansion of these companies domestically and overseas has led to an increased demand for international talent. Besides providing MBAs with a platform to explore internships and career opportunities at these enterprises, CEIBS, this year, launched our first Career Trek specifically designed for our international students from 20-plus countries to explore and access career opportunities in China.

  4. International Alumni Chapter in Shanghai. With more than 500 international alumni from our English-taught MBA and Global Executive MBA programs living in Shanghai, CEIBS’ International Alumni Chapter is introduced to the MBA class early on in their academic journey. Often a platform for discussion about their experience in China, career mentorship, and networking, the chapter offers a vibrant support community for alumni who continue to live and work in Shanghai after graduation. Adding to this community in 2016, 100 percent of the placed international students successfully landed jobs in Asia, with 64 percent remaining in China.

  5. Integrated China Strategy Project. For students who have never set foot in an office in China or Asia, hands-on work experience is critical for those eager to pursue opportunities here after graduation. The Integrated China Strategy Project is a core part of our curriculum that provides MBAs with a platform to address real-life strategic issues at multinational companies and globalizing Chinese enterprises. The projects underway this year are exploring topics, such as Internet of Things, sustainability, smart logistics and virtual reality.

About the Author

FernandezJuan Fernandez is Associate Dean and MBA Director of Admissions at CEIBS.