- Nationality: Chinese
- Programme: Full-time MBA, 2020
- Pre-MBA: Deputy director, Shandong State-owned Assets Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., China
- Post-MBA: CEO (General Manager), Shandong Culture and Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd., China
- Current industry: Hospitality / Tourism
- Transitions made: Function, Industry, Location
Why did you choose the Bayes (formerly Cass) Full-time MBA programme?
I had around 14 years’ experience in the financial industry before getting my offer from Bayes Business School (formerly Cass). I was an employee of a local state-owned investment company for about ten years in Jinan, Shandong Province, China.
The reason for choosing Bayes was because I applied to the School many years ago when I first planned to do a masters. Unfortunately, I had to give up the chance but that application experience deeply impressed me. In the past decade, Bayes has achieved fabulous rankings, which was an important reason for me to choose it as my ideal School.
Furthermore, I wanted to experience life in London, this world-famous capital city and the world financial centre. I thought this was the best way to get to know a place with such a diverse culture and the leading financial industry.
When I enrolled, I hoped that I would learn new and advanced knowledge and skills, update my global vision, elevate my cognition in both professionalism and career development, and improve my career skills (now I know it would be the transferable skills after learning this programme). More than that, I also wanted to give myself a piece of time to seriously think about my next step of my career.
How did the Full-time MBA impact your career?
I couldn’t imagine my present position and what Bayes (formerly Cass) could bring me when began this programme in September 2019. What I learned from classes and the unexpected experiences brought by the pandemic strengthened me and led me to my current career path.
I’m now the CEO (which is also called the General Manager in China, same as follows) of a local state-owned company in Jinan, Shandong Province, China. The company focuses on culture and tourism related industry investment, fund management, PE/VC, and finance leasing and has deployed its capital into industries of digital cultural products online-trading, cinema, education, entertainment, advertisement, sporting events, etc.
The MBA made a difference to my career plan in three ways—industry, function and location. In terms of the industry, the MBA experience provoked me to broaden my eyes from the finance industry to other industries where I can make the most of my advantage of financial professional. This transformation broadened the scope of selection when I searched for good job opportunities.
Secondly, my self-awareness and the question of ‘how this MBA programme benefitting my future career’ from my career coach, reminded me to understand myself thoroughly. I found out that besides my financial background, I had strengths in strategic and managerial areas. This encouraged me to apply for positions which were higher than my previous role before studying on the Full-time MBA programme.
Last but not least, the best place for an MBA graduate is where you can adequately deploy your strength, your value and your knowledge from Bayes when you decide the next step of your career. This must be a place that makes you to be better. From there, you can obtain the valuable career growth and the enthusiasm of life. I’m fortunate that I finally found this place. Though being a CEO is really challenging, it indeed provides me opportunities to meet with a fresh, different and better myself.
What were your first impressions of the programme and what was it like to return to an academic environment?
My first impression of the MBA programme was that it was going to be a challenge. My first weekend was spent reading books before the courses began. However, the Full-time MBA programme at Bayes was so different. The structure gave me a surprise as our first month was fulfilled with career related trainings, which shaped my other first impressions of the programme.
I had kept the minset of studying like a student since I graduated from my first master’s programme, so there were no any uncomfortable feelings when I returned to an academic environment. I could successfully accommodate this change of role from an employee to a student very quickly. Thanks to strict self-discipline, studying full-time again after a period of working was not that challenging for me. Actually, it gave me more time to focus on academic issues without being distracted by other working things. I cherished the chance of being back to on campus.
What were your highlights from the programme?
What I learned from the strategy module has been applied to my current work based on my responsibilities as the CEO of the company where I’m working for. Though my previous work also fell into the scope of strategy before taking the MBA programme, the knowledge I learned from the class gave me deep and new understanding of strategy. When I joined my current role, I used the framework and tools from this core module to analyse and redesign my current company’s business model.
Several other core modules, although were arranged in the second semester, also played important role to me to my professional life, these included Human Resource Management, Marketing, and Digital Technologies and Business Innovation. The modules of Advanced Strategy & Business Models, Mergers and Acquisitions, Consulting to Management, and Investment Strategy and Practice reinforced my existing strengths and took me into further areas of management and finance.
The knowledge and skills I learned from the classes have been applied to my current job to help me further strengthen my current employer.
What part did the Careers and Professional Development team play in your Bayes (formerly Cass) experience?
The first orientation month played an important role in my MBA experience in terms of career skills. Loads of what I learned during that month I still use today, such as the networking, mind mapping, CV and interview skills. In particular, “self-awareness” played the most important role when I considered my next step of my career and my life.
Knowing yourself well is extremely paramount, which can lead you to pick up the right way for the future. The service from the Career Coaching Programme inspired me to link the learnings from the MBA programme and my career development. Workshops of strategic questioning, project management, and companies presentations were useful.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience of the Business Mastery Project?
My final project was “Asset Allocation - Optimising for risk, return, impact” offered by Snowball, a company based in London.
Through doing the Business Mastery Project (BMP), I practiced sociable skills of networking and teamwork with people from the UK and Europe, though the whole progress was taken online. More than that, this BMP broadened my professional vision on new investment themes, including ESG, impact investing and responsible investing.
Thanks to my self-studying habit, I continued to explore this new area even after finishing this BMP when I was stuck in London due to the flight restriction. Though this BMP didn’t support me to pivot into a new career, it guided me to switch my professional attention to a new trend of finance, which broadened my professional vision.
What advice would you give to prospective MBA candidates?
Something to the next generation of MBA students: if you want to meet with the better yourself, make sure to be proactive in this programme, study hard, work hard, engage, melt, and pin yourself into this programme. Never give up no matter what happened.
Life is not easy, but you can choose to lighten it if you’d like. When you graduate, you will know how valuable this period at Bayes in your life will be. You will never experience it again, but it will never disappear in your life time.