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Friday, February 21, 2020

From the Classroom to the Cloud

- MBA Town Hall Meeting held to discuss impact of coronavirus at CEIBS

February 21, 2020. Shanghai – Town hall meetings in which CEIBS leadership and faculty meet with current students to share updates on admissions, the curriculum and career placement progress are regular events on campus during the MBA calendar. Today, however, the very first virtual town hall was held to provide updates on the school’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the recent COVID-19 virus outbreak on students’ learning journeys and job prospects. With many students living off campus and eager to return to Shanghai, the session also provided a platform for students to raise questions and share their own experiences in places such as Wuhan and Shanghai to India and beyond.

Hosted by CEIBS Vice President and Dean Yuan Ding; Associate Dean and MBA Director Juan Antonio Fernandez; MBA Administration Director Ma Ning; Assistant Director of the MBA Career Development Centre Jennifer Zhao; and Assistant Director of MBA Marketing, Admissions and Financial Aid Steven Ji, the session was joined by over 230 students from the MBA 2020 and MBA 2021 cohorts, as well as those currently on exchange at CEIBS.

Prof. Ding opened the town hall by sharing the good news that MBA courses will resume from next week with the school rolling out e-learning solutions until permission is granted to resume campus-based lectures. “Although we have seen encouraging signs of improvement recently, we must balance this optimism with caution when it comes to the safety of the CEIBS community,” Prof. Ding stated. “As such, we have introduced a series of measures to adjust our schedules for term dates, overseas lectures, INNOVATEChina and MBA graduation, so as to avoid large scale gatherings until the coronavirus is brought completely under control.”

Noting that it has been more than a month since the MBA community was last on campus together, Prof. Fernandez further reminded students that although everyone at CEIBS is eager to resume campus life as soon as possible, the important thing now is that everyone is safe. “Despite the geographic distances involved, the MBA Office will strive to remain close to you all, now more so than ever as we temporarily more lectures from the classroom to the cloud for term three,” he said.

Additional updates from Ma Ning, Jennifer Zhao and Steven Ji were followed by student stories and videos, sharing insights and messages of support. Joining the session from Wuhan, where she is still under quarantine in her apartment, MBA 2020 alumna Deng Xiya said she has been touched by the swell of support from China and the global community.

As an example of the students’ strong commitment to maintaining their MBA momentum, Vice President of MBA 2021 Student Committee Willa Xu then highlighted the team of students who were unable to fly to Barcelona to participate in the recent Roland Berger case competition in person, but instead joined the event remotely. 

The town hall concluded with a Q&A session to address students’ specific questions about academics and the job market, with the closing words coming from Ma Ning, encouraging the community to embrace this temporary period of e-learning. “We all look forward to the day when we meet again and the masks come off,” she said. “But in the meantime, stay connected, stay safe and rest assure in the confidence the school has in its capacity to overcome this crisis.”

James Kent
Michael Thede