Career Advice 進修新知

Students go to China for MBAs, stay for jobs


The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai offers both full- and part-time MBA programmes, as well as an Executive MBA and other executive-education programmes. The school, which was established in 1994, will also launch a PhD programme starting in the 2013-14 academic year.

While the part-time programmes tend to attract students already living and working in the mainland, the full-time programme attracts students from around the world. For the 2011 intake, nearly 45 per cent of students, representing fully 21 countries, were classified as “overseas” students (this includes Hong Kong – “international” students, which excludes Hong Kong, make up 39 per cent). Students have an average GMAT score of 692 and 5.3 years of working experience. Nearly one-third are female.

“In the past five years, almost 30 Hong Kong students have enrolled on CEIBS’s full-time MBA programme,” says Professor Chen Shimin, associate dean and academic director of MBA programmes. “Most of them had previous experience studying abroad and had jobs in Hong Kong. They came to Shanghai specifically to do a CEIBS MBA and ended up staying in the mainland after graduation.”

The 18-month, full-time MBA has been ranked by the Financial Times as the best MBA programme in China and one of the top 25 MBAs in the world. To graduate, students must complete 68 credits, made up of 50 credits of compulsory subjects and 18 credits of electives. Required classes include managerial skills, economics and decision sciences, finance and accounting, marketing, and management.

During the course, students can choose to focus on either general business management or one of two concentrations: finance or marketing. They are encouraged to participate in an international exchange programme with another leading business school for a semester and/or complete a summer internship. They can extend their studies by two months in order to pursue more study options.

One of the programme’s key features is its China focus. Non-Chinese-speaking students are required to achieve a basic competency in Chinese in order to make them more competitive in the marketplace. A summer pre-course is compulsory for those that don’t speak Chinese. Non-credit language courses in Chinese, French and Spanish are also offered free of charge during the first year.

Two courses, “China HR” and “China within the world”, are compulsory. An intensive lecture series called “China discovery week” is also staged each year.

Tuition fees for the 2012 intake are 336,000 yuan (HK$411,000) for students from Greater China and US$56,800 for international students. Several types of scholarship are on offer.

The school has four dormitories with fully equipped rooms, but students can also live off-campus if they prefer. A professional Career Development Centre helps students advance their careers.

Anyone thinking about pursuing a career in what Chen calls “the world’s largest potential market” should consider a move to Shanghai. “An MBA in China is an excellent way to jump-start a career in China or provide the competitive edge that comes from being able to operate effectively in both the East and the West. It’s simply a better return on investment,” he says.