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CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA

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CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2012, 19:34
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Good day everyone.

I have been accepted by both of these schools, and I need help in getting a better understanding of these schools.
I know that they are both top MBAs, but as mentioned in the posts I've been reading on these boards, there are many contingencies on what makes one more suitable than the other for me.

A little background: I am an American born Chinese, and I am fully fluent in Mandarin. I am fascinated by the growth of China and plan to establish myself and stay in China for at least the next 10 years, but I am always open to opportunities.
I am hoping to do general management for big firms, whether for local or MNCs (again, I am open to opportunities).

From my limited interactions with the staff and some students, I feel that I have a better fit with CEIBS. This is valuable because of the emphasis on connections in business.
However, from a prestige standpoint, I believe Tsinghua has an advantage. Every Chinese person I have ever talked to knows Tsinghua, but no one I knew prior to doing research on schools had heard of CEIBS. My pool of Chinese friends include recent immigrants, Master's graduates, PhD students, as well as working people. Of course, I suppose CEIBS is specialized and people outside of business professions would not have exposure.
As an afterthought, Tsinghua also has the MIT connection, while CEIBS is a standalone entity.

At first, I had ranked CEIBS higher than Tsinghua in my preferences before completing my applications. CEIBS was actually ranked on FT, a lot of information was accessible, and a family friend had gone there and become highly successful (although he did finance, which is in a naturally higher income bracket). I can't get an objective response from my friend, because to him, his school is the best in China and the world (I don't blame him for having school pride).
After reading some boards, I have seen a lot of comments saying that CEIBS is "overrated."

I only have one chance to make this choice, and I would like to have all the information possible.

This is where I am currently, and I humbly ask for your thoughts.

Thank you.
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 02 May 2012, 08:58
Hi Polarbear,
I also got accepted into Tsinghua and still deciding whether to go. I didn't get to apply to CEIBS because I was too late.
I think it all depends on what you want to do in the future. Tsinghua and Beida are what they call state owned university(体制内), which means it's a public school where budget and professor salaries are controlled by the Ministry of Education. Also most of their graduates goes to state-owned companies. CEIBS on the other hand is an independent school, where professors are paid a lot more and have a more business like environment.
In terms of incoming students, Tsinghua and Beida are not as diversified as CEIBS. Since most of Tsinghua and Beida MBA recruits domestic students, the IMBA is a relatively smaller program.
As for the branding and credential factor, that is also my dilemma. Tsinghua is best known for its undergraduate program, the master and PhD programs are often second thoughts for people who didn't get accepted into top US/European colleges. Of course I'm just been a bit too general, but that is generally the case.
Hope it helps you a bit. I have to reply by 5-7, so decision decision.... emmm....
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 02 May 2012, 09:56
Hi there,

I have also been accepted to Tsinghua and will be attending. I'm from North America and speak 0 Mandarin. I went and visited 4 of the "better" schools in China, Tsinghua seemed best to me.

re: FT rankings - Tsinghua isn't on the ranking by choice, they elected to not be ranked. Beida for the fist time elected to be ranked and placed at 54. If you look at inner-China rankings, they elected to be involved and they placed 1st. I can't post the link for 5 days because I am a new member, I can PM though if you want; sino-manager is the website.


ayyada wrote:
Since most of Tsinghua and Beida MBA recruits domestic students, the IMBA is a relatively smaller program.


I was told that this year Tsinghua will be over 50% international. Beida is already well of 50% international


After some research, it seems that CEIBS is a better fit if you're looking to do work outside of China and Tsinghua/Beida if you want to stay in China.
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 03 May 2012, 03:11
@ayyada
Thanks for your response. We have probably read the same boards and sources from which you've gathered your info.
I think for one of China's flagship universities, the government won't let Tsinghua decline because of lack of funding. I am sure that the professors and staff are highly capable, and my confidence is reflected by the partnership of MIT, as well as the access to the Harvard and Stanford alumni networks. As for your concern about domestic vs. international recruitment, I have read the same problem on other forums, but the posts are dated to 5 years ago. That is a long time considering the business school's age, and it is continuing to improve very dramatically. There is an MBA program that caters to Chinese people, but I have seen the stats showing that international recruitment is fairly high, as mariner19 pointed out.

From my reading of several forums, I have pieced together a picture of the schools and where they stand in terms of branding and public perception (of course, it is merely my humble opinion):
Beida and Tsinghua are like Oxford and Cambridge, which are very old and prestigious universities with a long history of excellence in many areas, but young and above average b-schools.
CEIBS is a specialized business school like London Business School, which is an amazing b-school, but not as well known to the layman.

I don't think that Tsinghua SEM is going to get worse, and it can only continue to improve. I believe the brand will continue to grow until it matches its main Tsinghua reputation.

@mariner19
re: FT rankings - I have also considered this. I know Beida is ranked at 54, but I have also read that Tsinghua has a better IMBA program (heavily influenced by MIT), so I can't imagine it being ranked too poorly if it elected to join the ranking. I have seen that sino-manager ranking, but the one I saw was from 2008, which is 5 years ago. A lot of the easily accessible research on these schools seem to peak in that year. Is your sino-manager ranking more recent? Either way, Tsinghua is not going anywhere except up. As one of the top universities of China, I am sure it will have plenty of MNC opportunities as well. I watched the IMBA coordinator give an interview last year speaking of plans to support and cultivate more students for international businesses. This is where I think a smaller class is advantageous, as more resources can be concentrated on giving students the support they need to succeed. The alumni network won't suffer much either, because there will be access to other departments (law, politics, medicine, engineering, etc) as well as MIT, Harvard, and Stanford.

I am fairly sure that I will be attending Tsinghua as well, so I am looking forward to meeting you and becoming great friends. It's good to know a fellow American in a foreign country :D
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 03 May 2012, 07:19
It really depends on what you look for post-MBA. Tsinghua and Guanghua are in Beijing, while CEIBS is in Shanghai. If you understand China, then you will understand the different industry/business environment in the two cities (similar to the East-West coast divide). The job opportunities available to the MBAs at these schools are largely a result of that difference.

Another point you need to consider is your language abilities in reading, writing, and speaking. Both Chinese and MNC prefer candidates who are fluent in both English and Chinese. In fact, not knowing Chinese will eliminate you from most jobs in China.

As far as school goes, I feel that CEIBS is better than Tsinghua. There are many reasons, but the most important one is that the professors have more academic freedom. I have listened to lectures where the professors outright criticize the government policy, and back it up with solid rationales. I do not believe that would happen in a state run institution.
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 03 May 2012, 07:33
Hi guys,
I had couple lengthy discussions with my friends who graduated from Ross(U of Michigan) and CEIBS last night, and I finally decided to accept the Tsinghua offer. You guys were right about diversity this year, the IMBA class size is reduced from 120 to 70, while retaining same number of spots for foreigners (~35).
From what I understand the main difference between CEIBS and Tsinghua is the goal of the students. CEIBS is more like traditional MBA schools, where they prepare you for a high paying job like consulting and finance. Tsinghua on the other hand is not as strong in terms of MNC company recruiting. The students went there are more local people who wants the brand of a prestige school.
I think you guys are going to love the life in Beijing. I just came back from US last year, and already consider to spent next couple years here. :)
Hope to meet you two in class!


Polarbear wrote:
@ayyada
Thanks for your response. We have probably read the same boards and sources from which you've gathered your info.
I think for one of China's flagship universities, the government won't let Tsinghua decline because of lack of funding. I am sure that the professors and staff are highly capable, and my confidence is reflected by the partnership of MIT, as well as the access to the Harvard and Stanford alumni networks. As for your concern about domestic vs. international recruitment, I have read the same problem on other forums, but the posts are dated to 5 years ago. That is a long time considering the business school's age, and it is continuing to improve very dramatically. There is an MBA program that caters to Chinese people, but I have seen the stats showing that international recruitment is fairly high, as mariner19 pointed out.

From my reading of several forums, I have pieced together a picture of the schools and where they stand in terms of branding and public perception (of course, it is merely my humble opinion):
Beida and Tsinghua are like Oxford and Cambridge, which are very old and prestigious universities with a long history of excellence in many areas, but young and above average b-schools.
CEIBS is a specialized business school like London Business School, which is an amazing b-school, but not as well known to the layman.

I don't think that Tsinghua SEM is going to get worse, and it can only continue to improve. I believe the brand will continue to grow until it matches its main Tsinghua reputation.

@mariner19
re: FT rankings - I have also considered this. I know Beida is ranked at 54, but I have also read that Tsinghua has a better IMBA program (heavily influenced by MIT), so I can't imagine it being ranked too poorly if it elected to join the ranking. I have seen that sino-manager ranking, but the one I saw was from 2008, which is 5 years ago. A lot of the easily accessible research on these schools seem to peak in that year. Is your sino-manager ranking more recent? Either way, Tsinghua is not going anywhere except up. As one of the top universities of China, I am sure it will have plenty of MNC opportunities as well. I watched the IMBA coordinator give an interview last year speaking of plans to support and cultivate more students for international businesses. This is where I think a smaller class is advantageous, as more resources can be concentrated on giving students the support they need to succeed. The alumni network won't suffer much either, because there will be access to other departments (law, politics, medicine, engineering, etc) as well as MIT, Harvard, and Stanford.

I am fairly sure that I will be attending Tsinghua as well, so I am looking forward to meeting you and becoming great friends. It's good to know a fellow American in a foreign country :D
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 09 May 2012, 03:36
Maybe a better way to gauge the program is by the calibre of students attending the program and the curriculum - both of which are available for audit by physically visiting the schools and by checking out the profile on the website?

I guess that's better than betting on a future trend - who can accurately predict the future? Any MBA programs can come up tops. Some even say Peking U. MIT has tie-ups with many schools, including Fudan and Nanyang Business School.
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 17 May 2012, 02:56
Tsinghua and Guanghua are in Beijing, while CEIBS is in Shanghai. If you understand China, then you will understand the different industry/business environment in the two cities.the main difference between CEIBS and Tsinghua is the goal of the students. CEIBS is more like traditional MBA schools, where they prepare you for a high paying job like consulting and finance. Tsinghua on the other hand is not as strong in terms of MNC company recruiting.
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 17 May 2012, 08:15
I have ultimately decided to attend CEIBS.

From my research, I have concluded that it is not only the higher ranked school, but it is higher regarded by businesses, especially the MNCs.

For a school like CEIBS to come into being only 17 years ago and be where it's at today, competing with the likes of Oxford's SBS and Cornell, really impresses me. The trajectory for future success seems much higher.

Tsinghua is still great, but to have only come so far despite being able to rely on its old prestigious brand, is a bit worrisome to me.

The last thing that impressed me most about CEIBS is their ability to reach out and have a pulse on the world. Not only is their marketing ability very strong, but they have people handling public relations. One of their representatives contacted me after seeing my post from the forum and was very informative and helpful. Their proactive style and large budget give me confidence that the CEIBS brand will become far more famous in the next decade, and will one day definitely become a top ten world ranked b-school.
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 05:28
Polarbear wrote:
One of their representatives contacted me after seeing my post from the forum and was very informative and helpful.
That's a bit scary, that they figured out who you are from only 2 posts and no stat posting. I'm sure you weren't the only ABC to be admitted to CEIBS. Or was it through PM?
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 08:26
JeremyLin wrote:
Polarbear wrote:
One of their representatives contacted me after seeing my post from the forum and was very informative and helpful.
That's a bit scary, that they figured out who you are from only 2 posts and no stat posting. I'm sure you weren't the only ABC to be admitted to CEIBS. Or was it through PM?

Haha, it wasn't in person or anything. It was through PM :)
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Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2013, 23:55
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As someone who was part of the Tsinghua-MIT IMBA program I can tell you through first hand experience that the overall program leaves a lot to be desired.

Although it is often ranked as one of the best universities in China, and the relationship with MIT Sloan is highly publicized by the school, I was quite surprised at how badly run the IMBA program is.

There are definitely some quality local and international students that you will get to meet in the program, but the number of students that would typically be unqualified for a typical Western MBA is astonishing. A number of students are in their early 20's with little, to no work experience. Also, some students are admitted purely based off family background, despite the fact that they are clearly not capable MBA candidates.

As for the MBA program staff, they do genuinely try to help students, however it is so unorganized and under resourced that they are heavily reliant on students themselves to come up with ideas and put in the effort to run the program. The processes and policies are not consistent, and there is strong favoritism that goes on to particular individuals, depending on their background.

Which brings me to my final point regarding the teaching staff. From time to time you will get some visiting professors from MIT running one day lectures, and there may also be some foreign professors who teach certain courses, however the majority of your courses are taught by local Chinese lecturers. The local Chinese professors are usually quite bad in that they often times have poor English proficiency (at least not enough to be able to teach a core MBA course), have no practical experience or real-world experience whatsoever, and are stuck in the traditional Chinese way of teaching which is so narrow minded and unwilling to consider outside viewpoints.

I know that this may appear to be a bit of a rant about the Tsinghua IMBA program, and is quite negative. I just want to give you all a real representation of the program from the point-of-view of someone who has gone through it. I really do hope that the school and the program office can get their act together, to make it the great program that it could be, however I don't see this coming anytime soon.

Going to Tsinghua will give you a good chance to experience China and understand the challenges, however do not go there expecting to get a professional quality MBA experience and education.
Re: CEIBS vs. Tsinghua IMBA   [#permalink] 06 Jun 2013, 23:55
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