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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

MBA22 Students Explore Options during Career Exploration Programme

November 10, 2020. Shanghai – The CEIBS Career Development Centre wrapped up the Career Exploration Programme today. Over the course of four days, senior business leaders and corporate executives from different industries shared their insights with MBA students. The programme is conducted to help students better understand the trends and talent recruitment needs of various sectors, enabling them to establish their career goals and development plans. The series of sessions covered numerous industries popular with MBA graduates, including technology, finance (PE/VC, investment banking), industrial products, healthcare, consulting, consumer packaged goods and beauty & luxury. Speakers also discussed core business functions such as digital marketing, B2B marketing and strategic planning.

The programme this year was run via the “twin-city model” for the first time. All the offline sharing sessions on Shanghai campus were simultaneously streamed online to CEIBS Zurich campus, allowing students in Zurich to engage with the speakers and audience in Shanghai.


John Shen (MBA2001)

Former Senior Partner, Roland Berger Strategy Consulting & Managing Director, Accenture

During the programme, John Shen told students he believes that to become an excellent consultant, one must have strong logical thinking skills, curiosity and cross-industry learning and communication capabilities.

He also clarified the similarities and differences among strategy consulting, management consulting and technology consulting, and gave a comprehensive introduction to the development trends, major companies and personnel in the industry.

John then reminded students that the rapid advancement of technology has brought tremendous changes to the consulting industry. The traditional business model taking advantage of “information gaps” is no longer be sustainable. Students who are interested in working in the consulting industry need to keep pace with the trends and improve their abilities.


Nicholas Cong (MBA2008)

Established Brands Director – International, AstraZeneca

Rogers Shih (MBA2013)

Senior Marketing Manager – Oncology, AstraZeneca

Dexter Sugiono (MBA2012)

Renal Launch Lead – International, AstraZeneca

Nicholas Cong, Rogers Shih and Dexter Sugiono, three alumni working at AstraZeneca also shared insights about the healthcare industry. They said they believe what science is responsible to do is to push boundaries and deliver life-changing treatments. Focusing on this purpose, they shared the different life cycles of pharmaceutical brands, as well as the R&D and commercialization process, eventually summarizing the 4P (Product, Price, Promotion and Place) framework through brand management.

The establishment of each new brand requires cross-departmental collaboration, involving aspects such as marketing, sales and government relations make for good marketing in pharmaceutical sector.

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. The alumni suggested that in order to search for good career opportunities, one needs to have good communication skills, project management skills and PowerPoint and Excel skills, while also maintaining a strong curiosity and learning ability. For international students who want to find a job in the local Chinese market, it is more important to learn Chinese, maintain a positive attitude and work hard on networking. In short, the candidate must actively look for opportunities and not give up when encountering difficulties.


Sophia Xu (MBA2007)

BU Director – Integrated Industrial Testing, Fluke

Before coming to CEIBS to pursue an MBA, Sophia was an engineer. After graduating, she transitioned from an engineering background to a B2B marketing-related field. Her sharing was particularly meaningful to students with engineering and technology backgrounds seeking a career switch.

Sophia shared practical experience and challenges in the field of B2B marketing. She warned students that a career transformation cannot be achieved overnight, and the final success only belongs to those willing to work extremely hard.


Greg Ye

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Delta Capital

Greg has more than 15 years of experience in private equity investment, entrepreneurship, senior corporate management and consulting. Combining his investment experience in consumer services, IT, Internet, energy and environmental protection and high-end manufacturing, he introduced the characteristics of the PE/VC industry, the difference between China and the US market and the status quo of industry development.

The global economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 epidemic, valuation bubbles in popular fields such as technology and healthcare, uncertainties in Sino-US relations and the setback in traditional investment are the current challenges facing the PE/VC industry. However, PE/VC still remains an attractive industry, providing opportunities for life-long learning while enabling accumulation of wealth faster than other industries. If working on the buy-side, one can control working hours in a more flexible way.

He suggested that the students need to assess whether they have unique industry insights and background if they are interested in the PE/VC industry. They must practice hard skills such as finance and analysis during MBA and constantly improve the soft skills such as interpersonal interaction.


Kevin Xie

Managing Director and Head of Healthcare & Life Science, China Renaissance

Kevin is one of the founders of China Renaissance. Drawing from his own experience, he introduced the development and changes of the investment banking industry, the work and lifestyle of investment bankers, and his industry insights and experience of investment banking in China.

According to Kevin, the interviewers on investment banking positions pay a lot of attention to candidates’ enthusiasm and motivation, whether they are highly sensitive to numbers and their ability to think independently and solve problems.

He suggested that students who are interested in entering the industry must have thorough knowledge in economics, accounting and finance (healthcare and engineering backgrounds are very popular as well). During MBA study, more participation in finance-related lectures and activities, enthusiasm for investment and capital market history, and understand market trends well, are all needed, he added.

In Kevin’s view, on the basis of various technical capabilities, curiosity, enthusiasm and a sense of purpose are the foundation for long-term development in the industry.


George Mao (Global Chinese Enterprise Course 2018)

Heads of Sales, Google Customer Solutions

As the field of science and technology undergoes rapid change, George spoke in depth about three major facets: business models, customer success and innovation.

From George’s perspective, although a team might be well-rounded, each person will have their own characteristics. Only with an attitude of equity and inclusion can a team provide customers with higher value. He said he believes diversity, equity and inclusion will be imperative talent needs for the industry.

Although the technology sector values students with science and technology backgrounds, others can find their place in the industry as well. If a candidate can maintain curiosity, recognize the shortcomings of knowledge structures, be down-to-earth, willing to stand on the front line and maintain an independent thinking attitude, he or she can also break through.


Megha L’Esprit Malagatti

Business Development Director, L’Oréal

Born in a village in India, Megha began her career as an IT engineer in India in 2004, working in telecommunications and healthcare and leading a team that established the very first telemedicine platform in India. After obtaining an MBA in International Luxury Brands from ESSEC, Megha successfully transitioned to the luxury industry joining S.T. Dupont.

After mastering the marketing and branding aspect, and to further strengthen her commercial role, she started a new chapter by joining L’Oréal Group in Paris as a Business Development Director.

In her view, in the past 10 years, the number of consumers have increased substantially. The beauty and luxury goods industry is undoubtedly a hot industry that is worth exploring for MBA students, she said. Even though technology has a huge impact on the industry, the nature of business will not change dramatically.


Julie Sivanthaphanith (MBA2017)

Marketing Director – Innovation, Budweiser APAC

For MBA students, marketing in the FMCG industry is very attractive. The sharing by Julie Sivanthaphanith, Managing Director of Innovation at Budweiser APAC, was well received by the audience.

She reminded students to be sensitive to the emerging behaviour patterns of consumers. Since the epidemic, the business environment has changed dramatically, and new behaviours will continue to emerge. For example, people will stay at home and pay more attention to health, which will have an impact on consumer products.

She also specifically mentioned that China is a very large market, which should be analyzed in multiple dimensions and different market strategies should be formulated for different locations.

While interviewing, Julie said she prefers candidates who have strong observation skills, curiosity, clear self-awareness and the ability to deal with stress.


The 2020-2021 job recruitment season has officially started. If recruiters have any full-time jobs or internship opportunities, please contact the CEIBS Career Development Centre at +86 21 2890 5142 or cdc@ceibs.edu.

Loewe Wang
Michael Donald Thede