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  • How To Get Accepted Into An MBA In China

    How To Get Accepted Into An MBA In China

    Elle Ayres, Business Because

    Business Because News:

    It’s well known that China is the second largest economy in the world, and business schools there are consequently attracting more and more attention from overseas MBA applicants.

    In fact, nearly half of business schools in the Asia-Pacific, where China is a huge player, received more international applications in 2018 than the previous year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.

    But what does it take for international applicants to stand out, and gain a place on a Chinese MBA program?

    “Having a long-term career interest in China makes an ideal candidate,” says Majid Ghorbani, director of the International MBA (IMBA) at Renmin Business School in Beijing.

    Launched in 2009, the IMBA at Renmin is a two-year program with core courses in Data Modelling and Decision-making, as well as the opportunity to study courses from other faculties at the university including Law.

    Renmin is also partnered with schools across the globe ensuring the MBA is truly international; from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town in South Africa to SDA Bocconi in Italy and the School of Management at University of Laval in Canada. Students can consequently gain China knowledge whilst also embarking on a global program of study.

    Majid explains how having an open mind and leaving cultural preconceptions at the door is key for internationals wanting to study and develop their career in China, and that they often find this in bilingual applicants.

    So, always emphasize your linguistic talents if you have them!

    “We look for students with an eagerness to unpack social queues and assumptions within business,” he continues, “those who want to learn about other work cultures not just from the program but their international peers as well.”

    This means being a good listener isn’t something to stay quiet about in your application.

    IMBA students at Renmin Business School also have the chance to learn from industry leaders during their MBA, with five company visits per semester. Guest lecturers and CEOs also visit Renmin to share their business wisdom and previous presenters have included Dr. Haico Ebbers, a leading expert in Europe-China trade and professor in International Economics at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.

    Company inclusion in the program only serves to bolster the China knowledge that the school provides. In fact, Renmin’s location in the country’s cultural capital, Beijing, enhances this learning as the city is a melting pot for business; being host to the most multinational companies of any city in the world.

    Nontarom Manathanya is experiencing this first-hand as a current IMBA student at Renmin Business School.

    With four years of advertising experience in Thailand, she wanted to pursue an MBA to develop systematic thinking as part of broader business knowledge, with the long-term ambition of becoming an entrepreneur.

    It was this combination that got her a place on the program. China-bound MBA applicants, she says, should be able to communicate their achievements and goals effectively.

    Nontarom chose Renmin because of the exchanges on offer and the consequent international network the MBA would help her build. Students can study for a semester at any of the 70 partner schools and Renmin itself welcomes 30 international exchange students each term.

    Renmin even offers a concurrent degree program with Yale School of Management. The nine-month Master of Advanced Management (MAM) taught at Yale is only available to schools who are part of the Global Network for Advanced Management —of which Renmin is a founding member— and provides MBAs in their second year at Renmin with the context in which to apply their China-knowledge in a western setting.

    Nontarom is thrilled to be studying in Beijing as she believes the China knowledge she’s gaining now will only become more important in years to come, especially with regards to tech.

    She explains that when the private sector has strong support from the government this enhances the innovative possibilities which benefit the overall economy, China being a prime example.

    It’s because of this, she says, that China is such an exciting study destination. “There are so many different business opportunities,” she beams.

    What’s advice does Nontarom have for applicants interested in Chinese business schools?

    Do your research, outline your goals, and highlight what you can bring to the table as an international.

  • International MBA Students In China Are Benefiting From A New World Of Opportunity

    International MBA Students In China Are Benefiting From A New World Of Opportunity

    New Zealand-born Amber Miller-Greenman has a strong, personal connection with China.

    She’s a descendant of Chinese heritage—her grandmother is Chinese—and has always been interested in Chinese culture.

    Her passion for China guided her education during her undergraduate days, where she majored in Chinese and then studied Mandarin at The University of Queensland in Australia.

    A stint in China beckoned, and four years working in project management and marketing for Tourism and Events Queensland, Amber arrived in Beijing in September 2017.

    Her employer had given her a career break to embark on the IMBA at the Business School of Renmin University of China. Now, she’s seeing the benefits of studying an MBA thousands of miles from home.

    Amber Miller-Greenman, IMBA of 2020


    Advance your career

    China is an important market and the driver of several industries, says Amber, and one that has experienced rapid economic and social development over the last few decades.

    According to The World Bank, China’s GDP growth has averaged nearly 10% a year, ‘the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history’.

    For MBA professionals, doing business in or with a thriving economic market can open up a host of opportunities, from an increase in capital investment and profits to the creation of new jobs.

    Amber says her IMBA in China has solidified her profile within the tourism industry.

    After her career break—she is expected to graduate in June 2020 — Amber’s role changed significantly when she returned to Tourism and Events Queensland. She now focuses solely on China and managing multimillion-dollar budgets to invest in the Chinese market.

    “If you’re doing anything to do with international business in this day and age at an MBA level, you cannot pretend that China isn’t an important market,” she says.


    Build your international outlook

    Renmin is a part of the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), which is a collaboration made up of 30 leading business schools worldwide.

    Renmin’s MBA candidates can take courses at any other school in the network as part of Global Network Week—they also take part in international competitions such as the Case Study Analysis Competition and Integrated Leadership Competition.

    During Global Network Week this year, Amber travelled to the Philippines for an eco-tourism course, which proved to be perfect for her career.

    She learned about how the Philippines manages its own tourism landscape, comparing the similarities and differences to Queensland, Australia.

    “I honestly think that the best thing for me was learning how to work with different cultures and those connections that you make, it was really great,” she says.


    Exposure to industry experts

    Nepalese-born Abiral Khatri (pictured below) has had his eyes opened to a world of rich industry insights since joining the Renmin IMBA class of 2020.

    And he’s no stranger to the intricacies of China—he’s also a master’s in financial economics grad from Renmin University of China, School of Finance.

    “There’s so much to learn about the culture, language, people, work ethics, and a lot of things happening, especially in a city like Beijing,” he says.

    He learned about entrepreneurship from Yossi Dashti—a guest lecturer on the IMBA whose expertise lies in Silicon Valley startups—and pivoted his IMBA focus to technology, innovation, and how entrepreneurship can help to exploit opportunities.

    “It made more sense to hear about what’s happening in the real world, despite lacking the experience,” Abiral says.

    “Hearing from other people who have made mistakes and can add value gave me a glimpse into knowing what not to do [in the business world].”


    Learn the Chinese approach to business

    Abiral has been constantly challenged throughout his IMBA.

    He has taken part in a number of the competitions Renmin provides, including the Yale Global Network Investment Competition, where his team won the $3,500 prize on behalf of the school.

    He says that these competitions gave him the opportunity to work with competitive Chinese students and learn from their working style, management style, and work ethics.

    “This competition [challenged me the most] because we didn’t sleep at night, we were working for 24 hours. It was the toughest competition and it paid off well,” he says.

    “People say they know about China, but you really know about China when you actually live there, be with the Chinese people, work with them, listen to them, and participate in all the activities that China offers for international students.”