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Friday, March 29, 2019

Exploration, Connection, and Inspiration

~ CEIBS Career Treks to Seattle, Paris, and Beijing

March 25-29, 2019. Seattle/Paris/Beijing – Organised by the CEIBS Career Development Center (CDC), CEIBS MBAs recently completed career treks to Seattle, Paris, and Beijing. Over 40 MBA students were joined by their EMBA, Global EMBA, and MBA alumni counterparts to further explore career opportunities on the three continents, which included first time treks to both Paris and Seattle.

Seattle – ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Economies Come Together in the Emerald City

Following on the recent overseas elective in Silicon Valley, students were excited to come to Seattle to see how world-famous giants such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon co-exist with booming start-ups. Aside from these three companies, students were also welcomed to the offices of Boeing, Accenture, and Tune, where they were left with a deep impression of how the economy is defined a balance of industrial giants and new digital or clean technology players. After being given the opportunity to understand their operations, culture, and talent requirements, it became clear that innovation is an important key for both the old and new economies. Accenture, for example, described their acquisition of FJORD, a design and innovation lab, to create new digital solutions for their clients. Starbucks took students through an amazing tour of their Tryer Innovation Lab, they had a chance to see how they create new retail spaces and equipment to optimise customer interactions.

Seattle is the widely regarded as the jewel of the US Pacific Northwest, with an economy driven by a mix of older industrial companies and "new economy" players such as internet and technology, service, design, and clean tech companies. Not only did students look forward to visiting these companies, they also found that many of these firms looked forward to showcasing their companies’ products, culture, and innovations with CEIBS students. They also demonstrated that Seattle is indeed a city which nurtures the growth of leading companies and industry leaders – features which are very attractive to MBA students. Also, as globalisation and the mobility of talents continue to increase, companies in Seattle can benefit from getting to know CEIBS as the leading business school in Asia.

In addition to company visits, students also had the chance to mingle with Seattle-based CEIBS alumni, many of whom graduated from the EMBA programme and who were able to share their personal experiences relocating to Seattle.

Paris – Drinking in Champagne, Culture, and More

During a packed three day career trek in Paris, students visited Schneider, Kering, Station F, House of Champagne, Tattinger, Altran Consulting Services, and Roland Berger.

To kick things off, CEIBS MBAs made a visit to the Kering group, where they were given an overview of multiple brands in the luxury domain, including how their history and mission have informed their investment strategies. The visit to Schneider then walked us through their ‘user-centric’ approach to innovation, digitalisation of business models, brand management, and affordable solutions for emerging markets.

From a ‘China Depth, Global Breadth’ perspective, one of the biggest trek highlights was the visit to Station F. The Paris business incubator represents OuiCrea's ambition to establish a real ecosystem of cross-border innovation between China and France. Next, MBAs met consultants from Roland Berger, who explained that the company has harnessed knowledge, capital, and technology to establish itself as a leading strategy consultancy in the global market.

The trek concluded with a unique visit to Champagne, which accounts for 10% by volume and 36% by value of the global market for sparkling wines. The region also represents 0.5% of world’s total vineyards and is also the world’s leading wine producer. The session included an elaborate understanding of the territories, stakeholders, relationship management strategies, and sustainability initiatives in use in the region.

Beijing – Career Opportunities in Tech and Finance

Over the course of a three-day career trek in Beijing, MBA students visited Baidu, JD, Xiaomi, Zhen Fund, Springs Capital, Didi, Legend Capital and Alibaba Pictures on a mission to discover how technology and finance are making people’s lives better.

Through these on-site visits, students learnt about the commercial implementation of cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence, drones, big data, and autonomous driving. They also had the opportunity to interact with alumni, senior managers of companies, and to explore corporate strategies, future industry trends, and personal career development planning.

At the end of the trip, the career trek team and the CEIBS Career Development Center (CDC) organised an alumni party, which brought students closer to local alumni and enabled them to better prepare for their future career life.

Zhenzhen HUANG, Rohit KUMAR, and Ke ZENG
Michael Thede