Joined: Aug 28, 2017
This review is for CEIBS
Program Full Time MBA
Class of 2017
My motivation to join CEIBS was two-fold. First, I wanted a global program that would be challenging on multiple levels. Other schools I considered were Fuqua, Insead, IMD & IESE. I finally chose CEIBS because of how different it is from American or European business schools, coupled with what I feel is a stronger value proposition. CEIBS’ exchange program also lets students experience Western MBA programs so that I didn't feel like I was missing out completely on that experience (I did my exchange at IESE, they also offer at Insead, Wharton, Booth, etc). Within this reasoning is value for money. CEIBS is like an undervalued stock. As the axis of business rotates East, and more MNCs and new technologies emerge from China, CEIBS is poised to be the next top business school in the world. I believe in 3-5 years, it will consistently rank in top ten (currently #11), and within 10 years will be in the top 5. The tuition is less than half of most business schools, and they offer many scholarships to further subsidize the cost. I worked at a Shanghai-based tech start-up for my internship and along with the CEIBS scholarship was able to graduate with no debt, plus job offers from top firms in both China and U.S. The benefit of graduating without debt is that pressure is lifted so one can make choices based on fulfillment and interest rather than signing bonus or monetary payoffs. It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to have that leverage.
Regarding living and studying in Shanghai, it wasn’t easy; however, it was fun and full of learning. Shanghai is truly the city of the future. You will feel this immediately. I believe that going to school in a country or environment in which one is familiar limits opportunities for growth and for that reason I wanted a place that would be more challenging. I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone. That being said, Shanghai is by far the most accessible Chinese city for foreigners. The options in terms of culture, community and food cater to an international palate. Anything you’re used to having back home you will be able to find in this city. Despite that, it’s still very Chinese. For me, that was a great mix. Toward the end of the academic intensive period of the first 3-5 terms, there are more and more chances to network and the Shanghai business community is extremely robust. Many co-work spaces and entrepreneurship hubs are popping up and adding flavor to the already vibrant MNC and industry landscape. Shanghai is a city unlike any other, where old meets new on an unprecedented scale. You will feel this as you sit at rooftop bars and look out at the Bund, where some of the tallest buildings in the world glitter and boats laced with golden lights glide along the Pu river. CEIBS is located in Pudong (dong means East, so this translates as East of the Pu river), crossing the river from downtown Puxi (Xi, you may have guessed, means West), and a bit beyond the financial district. The balance is appropriate: you have your campus life, which is insulated with infrastructure like dorms and study spaces. Then, you also have the option to venture downtown for nightlife, networking and internships. As I write this review from nearby Hangzhou, I realize how much I love and miss Shanghai!
Finally, the part that most students hone in on: career prospects. By almost any metric it’s apparent that China features prominently in the new global business dynamic. Within that milieu, CEIBS is quite famous and commands a lot of respect. This helps with job searching, both in terms of network and credentials. Above, in William’s review, he references an American student that joined Alibaba’s Global Leadership Academy (AGLA). That student is me. When I got that job offer, I was already working for an incredible Shanghai startup that I only would have left if I landed a dream job like AGLA. There is significant opportunity to bridge cultural divides as Chinese businesses look abroad and vice versa. For this reason, job prospects in Shanghai are manifold. They become even more diverse if you can grasp the paradox of being both focused yet flexible–opportunities arise that may not have been in your plan but can offer great experience. When it comes to careers, people tend to have more specific questions so if you do, feel free to ask on this thread or PM me. If I can’t help, I’ll try to connect you to alum from CEIBS with your background, interest or target company. The CEIBS career development coaches are also super strong and will be able to direct you to the right people to answer questions and provide guidance.
Best of luck and I hope that whatever school you choose, it’s a wonderful learning experience! 加油！
Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)
Curriculum, Classes, Professors