When Long Ma, a 33-year-old former medical equipment marketer, began his MBA program at CKGSB he had planned to switch to the finance industry after graduation. Six months into the program, he has become more aware of the gap that he must fill to achieve his goal, but is uncertain what the best approach might be.
Mr. Ma is only one of the several thousand MBA students who feel lost and anxious to ace a dream job in this challenging economic environment. But at CKGSB, alumni can offer a hand.
On Saturday, March 17, 2013, CKGSB held a “Super Day for Career Development” at its Beijing campus to bring MBA students and alumni together for a day of career planning and advice. Developed to help MBA students formulate feasible career plans and viable business models, the Super Day gives students access to a few of CKGSB’s leading alumni, who hold top positions in their industries. CKGSB 2012 MBA students were divided into four groups: Finance, Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and General Management, with three alumni assigned to each group. The alumni were asked to weigh the pros and cons of career plans presented by students and offer objective and rational advice.
I believe our alumni are one of the greatest resources that CKGSB has,” said Gavin Liu, Chief Career Coach in the CKGSB MBA program. “I want our students to be able to learn from the experiences of ‘upperclassmen’ who have travelled on a similar journey,” he said.
During the Super Day for Career Development, Ma had a chance to present his career plan to CKGSB alumni and exchanged ideas with them face-to-face. “They are very nice and professional,” said Ma after his presentation. “They guided me to do a comprehensive evaluation of my situation, and gave detailed advice on next steps.”
For students in the Entrepreneurship Group, Super Day provided an opportunity to present to potential investors. Kevin Lei, a mobile positioning technologist from Taiwan wonders whether his cellphone application has any chance of success in the Mainland market. “By talking to alums in the investment industry on Super Day, I obtained valuable feedback to my business story,” he said.
“If you have a great idea, I’d say GO for it. There can be no success apart from practice,” commented by Qiu, one of the three alums assigned to the Entrepreneurship Group.
For those presenting less mature ideas, the Super Day helped them to develop their business models and question their assumptions. Yuhui Diao, who had planned to do a kindergarten startup after graduation, decided to put her business plan on the back burner. “It is time to rethink our entrepreneurial plan, as we have a lot of undone homework,” she said.
“Sometimes, we need to help students to fix a goal in mind—and guide them to work towards achieving something with more feasibility,” said Liu.
Alumni who attended the 2013 Super Day included: Liping Qiu, founding partner of Milestone Capital; Hang Zhou, founder of Yongche.com; Xinhua Liu, HR Manager of Novartis, and Bin Liu, Marketing Manager of Nokia.
When asked how to balance the different opinions of the alumni, Ma said that he didn’t consider any opinion to be faultless and iron-clad, but nevertheless felt that all of their opinions should be carefully considered and taken into account. Getting such a wide range of opinions from more experienced professionals was the most important thing he took away from Super Day.
Read more about the CKGSB MBA program.