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Friday, June 21, 2019

May Your Life Be as Beautiful as Summer Flowers

Dear CEIBS Alumni,

The sounds of spring have faded away and summer is already upon us. Over the last few months, as the seasons changed, we received a number of responses to our inaugural edition of this newsletter. We are greatly encouraged by the comments. One alumnus told us that his time at CEIBS enabled him to “let go of the past and strive for my ideals.” Another told us, “It is love that inspires the CEIBS community to transmit knowledge and wisdom.” It’s always a pleasure to hear from our alumni and learn about how you view the school. We also have a lot more news to share with you. Going forward, we will send out an email newsletter every quarter so we can get to know each other better. These newsletters will also be a way to keep you up to date on what is happening in the CEIBS community.

On April 13, we kicked off the China festivities for CEIBS 25th Anniversary Celebration with a majestic launch event. The gathering — held simultaneously in Shanghai and Beijing — was attended by CEIBS Honorary Professor Wu Jinglian, who reflected on his journey with the school since CEMI was set up. Prof. Wu is widely regarded as China’s most celebrated and influential economist whose disciples criss-cross the globe. Despite this, he showed great modesty, focusing on how the school kick-started his academic career, rather than his own contributions to CEIBS. He remarked, “My CEIBS story can be summed up in one phrase: ‘growing up together’. I have come a long way academically, and my colleagues deserve some of the credit for providing intellectual inspiration.” His words and deeds formed a pattern that evolved into a blueprint for the CEIBS community to follow and motivated all of us to learn and grow in pursuit of excellence. At the launch ceremony, we looked back on the journey and experiences over the past quarter of a century, reflecting on our dreams, strategy, achievements and purpose. Driven by our 25th Anniversary mission statement of China Essence, Global Significance, we will embark on a new journey to expand our global reach and enhance our international visibility. We are confident that an even more splendid future is ahead!

The anniversary celebrations could be compared to a ‘train of hope’ that has called at a number of major stations. We began at the 3rd CEIBS US Forum in Boston on May 15, where we explored four driving forces for global economic growth: digitization, innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. We also engaged in a friendly dialogue with professors from Harvard, MIT and Northwestern University. Next, at the 5th CEIBS Europe Forum in Zurich on May 17, guests learned from one another by comparing distinct approaches to innovation in China and Switzerland. In addition to these overseas events, we also welcomed some of our old friends to the Shanghai Campus. On May 10, the EU Ambassador to China, Nicolas Chapuis, delivered a speech at our CEIBS Master Class, in which he shared his thoughts on promoting economic and cultural exchange between China and Europe. In CEIBS’ early years, Chapuis visited the school several times in his capacity as Consul-General of France to Shanghai. He has seen the school realize its dream over the years and believes it will grow into a very influential Chinese business school in the world, within the context of China’s economic rise. Then, at the CEIBS Insights Executive Reception on May 24, Dominique de Villepin, Distinguished Professor at CEIBS and former Prime Minister of France, delivered a speech entitled “The New World Order and the Power of Culture”. He made the point that in an era of competition and confrontation, “We need, more than ever, the art of dialogue, learning, and bettering ourselves.” In July, the ‘train of hope’ will also be visiting Munich, Brussels and Singapore. We will travel far and wide to promote continuous learning, communication, reflection and growth. We hope that as CEIBS alumni, you too will come aboard the train on your quest for knowledge.

While CEIBS frequently draws on current business philosophies abroad, it also keeps abreast of the latest business practices in China, which we expect to provide fertile ground for the school’s sustained development. Another important anniversary event is our 2019 Class Representative Homecoming Day, which will take place on our Shanghai Campus on June 22. We look forward to hearing the views of class committee representatives as we gather together to discuss the school’s latest developments and plans for the future, building mutual understanding and sharing insights during the process. In addition, Ms. Feng Ming-chu, advisor to Beijing’s Palace Museum and former Director of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, will give a presentation on cultural treasures; famous Peking Opera performer Wang Peiyu will host a Peking Opera musical appreciation event; and our very own Professor of Economics Xu Bin will give a talk on modern parenting philosophies, based on his personal experience. In addition, at the inaugural Business Experience Camp in mid-July, children of alumni will attend an MBA class and visit prominent Chinese and international companies, giving them an immersive learning experience on the Shanghai Campus where their parents previously studied.

Already on campus are the talent-packed EMBA2019 and HEMBA2019 Spring intake; we welcomed them in May. On average, students of the new EMBA cohort have 12 years of management experience; 98% of them are senior executives; 38% hold a master’s degree or above; and 34% of them are from listed companies. As noted in a CEIBS profile of new EMBA recruits, “Surveying the new EMBA intake offers insights into trends and changes in Chinese enterprises, and even China’s economy.” What is also exciting is that the new cohort identifies with CEIBS’ culture and values. After attending their first class on social responsibility, EMBA recruits commented, “We want to be honest and innovative.” Others said, “We regret not attending CEIBS earlier, but we’re glad we finally made the right decision.” We, in turn, would like to extend our own thanks to this latest cohort: their dedication and kindness rubs off on the school and its faculty, who put even more into CEIBS as a result.

Social responsibility is not just part of our curriculum and work; it also finds expression in the daily lives of members of the CEIBS community. This spring, the school and the Alumni Association once again jointly released the CEIBS Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which lays out alumni enterprise best practices and our faculty members’ research findings. CEIBS also stated its intention to cooperate with Mars, incorporated on joint academic research that has implications for nurturing socially responsible business leaders. This collaboration makes CEIBS the first Asian academic partner of Mars Catalyst’s Economics of Mutuality (EoM) initiative. Another globally significant event was CEIBS’ hosting of the When China Meets Africa Forum on the Shanghai Campus, a demonstration of the school’s commitment to furthering China-Africa economic cooperation and bilateral relations. There was also a visit by a panel of higher education experts from the AACSB who spoke highly of the way the school is run. We are grateful for the frank comments provided by students and alumni who were invited to receive members of the group during their visit. 

In observing the beauty of the work being done by the broader CEIBS community, we can’t help but recall Shakespeare’s famous line: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” CEIBS alumni chapters in Nanjing, Changzhou, Chongqing, Hefei and the US recently wrapped up their board of director elections, providing fresh leadership to ensure their long-term prosperity. We are also proud of our alumni cultural and sports clubs, who put in strong showings in a number of major competitions and embodied the CEIBS spirit! Meanwhile many alumni organizations and classes continue to make public service an integral part of their daily operations, reflecting the values of the CEIBS community.

Please allow us to also thank you for your staunch support for CEIBS. In 2019, the number of recruiters that accepted invitations from the CEIBS Career Development Centre (CDC) rose by 27.6% over 2018. Based in large part on the recommendation of alumni, WuXi AppTec, Juss Intelligent Sports, Xiandou Intelligent Robot, Fanli.com, DiDi and other well-known enterprises have recently added CEIBS MBA talent to their organizations. TEDxCEIBS was again supported by a donation from Zhang Yongbian (EMBA2008), a major factor in the event’s success. According to preliminary figures, in 2018 CEIBS Case Centre had 39 cases supported by alumni and their companies, 110 alumni shared hands-on experience as guest speakers at both the CEIBS Innovation Forum and overseas forum series; 201 alumni served as admission interviewers and MBA mentors, despite managing busy schedules; 1,146 alumni recommended outstanding applicants to us; and thousands of alumni actively participated at our events in China and abroad… The dedication of our alumni ties them together with us even more closely.

There are simply too many things that we would like to share with you from this spring: the winning photo in the Beautiful CEIBS faculty and staff mobile photography competition; the sense of accomplishment shared by new HEMBA students completing a group project together; the signboards on campus covered with announcements of knowledge-filled lectures; the numerous tales of learning, encounters, and transformations; and the sparkling glass pyramid under the night sky on the evening of our TEDxCEIBS event... These fleeting but authentic images provide a vivid snapshot of CEIBS and speak volumes about its resolute pursuit of excellence under the mission statement of China Essence, Global Significance.

Today is the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year and the start of midsummer. If you couldn’t find the time to visit CEIBS in the spring, do make sure you don’t miss out on the splendid sight of the grounds at our Shanghai Campus this summer!

Finally, we hope that you may all remain positive... and enjoy a life that’s as beautiful as summer flowers!


        President            President (European)
Prof. Li Mingjun          Prof. Dipak C. Jain