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dementior

MBA in China thoughts

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dementior

Hi everyone!

I am starting this thread because I might be interested in taking part in one of these expensive programs in China hehe, but first, thorough research is fundamental. That's why I come here hoping to get some good first-hand advice. I have come up with a list of programs I consider interesting (I accept suggestions about others not in the list of course).

 

I have left out on purpose both CEIBS and Hong Kong Business School, even if they are ranked among the best. My reason, although I might be wrong, is that it seems to me that both have a very international focus. What I mean by this is that a good number of CEIBs students come to Shanghai to obtain a similar MBA they could get in another business school in Europe but with a Chinese touch, and many of the international students do not stay in China in the long run. But this is only an impression, the other reason for not choosing Hong Kong in the first place, is that the cost of living there is a lot higher than mainland and I do not want to stop speaking Mandarin while I study on the island.

 

Would you be kind enough to share with me any experience or comment you have about the list of programs below? 

I am interested especially in the following aspects: quality of education rather than position in the ranking, avarage salary after master (depending on industry of course), best fit for entrepeneurs. But any other thoughts are very welcome

 

 

 
Guanghua (peking university)
  • International MBA (2 years) English
  • Full time MBA (2 years) Chinese
  • Part time MBA (2 years) Chinese
 
CUHK (english)
  • Full time MBA 12 months
  • Full time MBA 16 months (4 months exchange programs or elective course)
 
BIMBA (Peking university)
  • Full time MBA (1year and a half) English
  • Part time MBA (2 years)  English
 
Tsinghua
  • MIT Global MBA Program (21 months) mainly English
  • Tsinghua Part-Time MBA Program (33 months) Chinese

 

thanks a lot for this valuable information!!

regards,

黎明

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dementior

thanks gato!!!!

 

But I already checked those posts, one is dating 2007 and the other is three years old... which is not much but in China these three years for young MBA programs could mean a difference... I am looking for info from people familiar with these programs in the last couple of years which would provide me with uptodate information.

 

Of course I am taking into account most of the info in those threads anyway since a lot of it still applies now.

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gato

There is some good info in those threads. I don't think that much has changed. I haven't seen any current MBA student posting here for a while. You'll find more MBA info on more MBA-focused sites. Those sites are likely to be in Chinese, though.

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dementior

someone there? anyone else adding their two cents hehe

I am a little bit in the dark for this one, any further advice will be very appreciated... Otherwise I will start browsing Chinese websites to get what I can find there

 

thanks!

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Basil

I know someone who recommends the one at 川大. He did it in Chinese mind...

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MarsBlackman

Those articles gato posted still have relevant advice. I also recommend you check the Chase Dream MBA forum. Its a Chinese website with Chinese MBA applicants discussing all the questions you're asking here. Its particularly insightful to see their point of view when comparing schools considering you're interesting in coming to China for your MBA. (If you don't use Google Translate, navigating that forum is great language practice as well.)

 

I strongly recommend you go on LinkedIn and contact current students and alumni from these schools. Pick their brain. Why did they choose the school? Did it meet their expectations? Etc, etc. They will give you the best feedback and advice.

 

I'm considering doing an MBA myself and have looked into Chinese schools. Everyone's priorities are different so I'm not going to tell you which program I think is better than the others. However, I think you need to ask yourself a few questions.

 

1.  How important to you is career placement? Industry, sector, job function, etc?

2.  Where would you like to work immediately after graduation? In China or elsewhere?

3.  Why an MBA? Why now? Do you need an MBA to reach your goals?

 

Going to these programs, you should be committed to working in China for a few years after graduation. The name recognition simply doesn't carry enough weight in the west to find a job right out of school, despite all of the comparisons of Beida and Tsinghua to Harvard and MIT. Because of that, do you have any experience working in China or with Chinese? I found that my time studying in China and working in China to be vastly different. 

 

The mainland programs place graduates across various industries and CUHK places heavily in finance and IT because its Hong Kong. The MBA is an American construct so the MBA is a fairly new thing in China. As a result, these programs simply aren't as mature as programs in North America and even Europe. Therefore, I would take a close look at which schools these programs have partnerships with, incoming class profile, and faculty. Something to keep in mind with mainland programs, the faculties' salaries are capped. Whether or not that affects the quality of education is subjective but its something to consider when evaluating programs. All of these programs have an international focus to attract foreign students interested in China and to give local students a way to look outside China. I wouldn't throw rankings out the window because they exist for a reason. Just pay attention to how certain criteria is weighted. Look at job placement and the quality of the career services departments.

 

You say you're concerned about the quality of education. Most of the materials for instruction are the same as the US. I'm told Tsinghua uses HBS casebooks. But if you talk to anybody with an MBA, they learned just as much or more from their peers in class discussion and group work than they did from actual instruction. So see what information you can find about each incoming class. 

 

For me personally, I don't find an MBA in China worth it for my goals. I found this post in one of the threads from gato's reference to strike a chord with me and be particularly true:

 

 

 

As yourself this question - are you willing to live in China for a minimum of 10 years if you plan to do a MBA here. That is about how long it will take you to build a substantial network, comfortably pass the Advanced HSK levels, speak Chinese and literally know all of the characters tones, and lastly, have a network of MBA classmates that have 8+ years of experience. 

As a laowai - you're going to have to suck up the 50K to 80K US a year job in China for the next decade, unless you find President of a small to medium sized foreign company who is willing to pay you 100K+ or vice versa, you work for a Chinese company - either for the rich Chinese who has a SME or a large Lenovo/Huawei/Haier that really values your work and makes you in charge of a global unit (as most MBAs still only make 50-80K in these departments unless they get promoted quickly). 

The secret of the laowai making a good salary (aside from starting your own business) is good Chinese and good business skills and Western and Chinese EQ. It really comes down to this - sitting down at a dinner table with said Western CEO worth 1 billion dollars, a Chinese Governor or some Western Province, and some other Chinese business men, and being the translator/business broker/investor/commedian. Know your 成语, know how to talk about sports, know Chinese history, and know about the latest trends on profit margins and new innovation in the industry you are in. Then you should at least make $200k US - with hopefully a lot more if you have $1 to $5 million on the side for investments. 

The MBA classmates - that is the secret to getting the Chinese governor and rich business man to the dinner table. But that again will take 10+ years. 

 

Lastly, you said you're interested in entrepreneurship. Have you considering foregoing an MBA and spending that same amount of money starting a business full time? Through that struggle and tangible experience, you may arguably learn more.

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dementior

thanks @Basil for adding one more university I was not considering into the list. I will check it out since Sichuan itself is a very appealing place to live in anyway.

 

thanks @MarsBlackman for very helpful insight. Good to know there is other people asking themselves the same questions I am asking myself now hehe :)

I am going to check right away that forum you mention and see what gold I can mine... 

 

Everything you have posted, including the quoted text from the other thread, makes absolute sense to me, I mean, you have to consider a lot of things before you make a final decision and it is very hard to predict in advance how useful or enriching the experience will be... or whether, as you say, I might as well invest the time and money in starting a business if that is my ultimate goal anyway.

Basically for me, the question of staying in China for such a long time is not a problem currently. I knew when I made the decision to come to China that things here require a serious investment of time: from learning the language well, to making the right contacts or finding the right opportunity to ramp up your career...

 

I am not planning to move from China in the next few years as long as I believe I can achieve the goals I have set for the next 5 or 10 years. I am still in the phase where I am gathering information and what you mention about using linkedin to contact alumni is definitely worth trying. Nobody will give you better advice about these programs that either someone who is currently enrolled or someone who took part five years ago...

 

I will continue researching to gather different points of view till I make up my mind.

 

thanks! 

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MBAchina

Hello guys!

 

I'm looking into moving from Canada to Beijing to do an English-taught MBA. My main concerns are after completing the MBA and coming back to Canada, how worthy would that diploma be in North America? Would companies really underpay me because the MBA is not from the US or Canada?

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ZhangKaiRong

A value of MBA depends on where you work. Business is driven by the North Atlantic part of the world, an MBA from a decent US/Canada university worth much more than an MBA from Asia, simply because of the different prestige level. An MBA from China might be treated better at a company requiring knowledge about China and the Chinese way of doing business (most Chinese unis' MBA programmes have subjects on this topic). If you want to do a Chinese-related job, then go for it. If you want to work at high-end companies like investment banks or top tech companies then you should save some more money and attend a decent uni at the US (and in the meantime prepare for a CFA exam, which has much more added value than an MBA if you want to work in finance).

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MBAchina

Interesting, by all means I would like to work for a top company most likely in Canada or US, I don't know if the company would want me to have knowledge of the Chinese businesses, but even a middle level company where my salary starts around 60K and has opportunity for growth would do it for me.

Thanks for your opinion ZhangKaiRong!

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ZhangKaiRong

If you insist on working in the US or Canada after completing your MBA, then you should stick to a US or Canadian university when it comes to MBA. I know these are on the pricier side of MBAs, but it worth much more (i.e. more lucrative opportunities). It's pretty embarassing when you have to explain for a top firm's HR employee what Tsinghua or Fudan is, and why you attended MBA programme in China instead of the "developed world".

I'm working at a big4 firm and former colleagues who moved to good industry roles got their MBAs at decent Swiss/UK/US unis, and these are pretty much market standards for top companies.

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