Meet The Team: Roy Chason, CEIBS
Roy Chason: Shanghai is the ideal place to see cutting edge business ideas being put into practice
This week, Meet the Team interviews Roy Chason, Senior Manager for Admissions and Marketing for the CEIBS MBA
Launched in 1995, The China Europe International Business School, commonly known as CEIBS, is the longest running MBA programme in mainland China. It was ranked 24th in the 2012 Financial Times Global MBA Rankings. CEIBS faculty pride themselves on offering an MBA programme that "fits the needs of an open China in a globalizing world."
Roy has worked, lived and studied in five continents. He speaks fluent English, Spanish and Hebrew and is conversant in Portuguese, Chinese, and French.
In today's interview, he discusses how CEIBS uses frequent curriculum reviews, an extensive alumni network and an enriched experience beyond the classroom to deliver its mission: “China Depth, Global Breadth” to students!
What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the business school world at the moment?
Whereas MBAs were first the exclusive domain of US schools, and then European ones, now the trend is clearly towards Asia and Asian business schools. This is the region that is experiencing the greatest economic growth at the moment - a growth expected to continue for many years to come.
In China for example, there is still a relative shortage of qualified talent with the necessary management skills that are needed in today’s global corporations. Asian business schools such as CEIBS are here to fill this gap. We are definitely witnessing a boom in demand for programs such as ours both by students seeking a global education with local roots, as well as employers searching for qualified talent with solid local know-how.
What makes the CEIBS MBA curriculum unique?
The unique courses we offer coupled with our strong emphasis on team work, and project work throughout the 16 month-long programme.
In the first year of the program students take a mandatory curriculum that covers all business functions as well as communication, teamwork, cultural understanding, the entrepreneurial mindset, and responsible leadership.
In addition there is a mandatory China module on issues like China’s human resources challenges, China’s trade and political relations, China’s economic reform, and hot topics in China’s business environment. Our international students also must study Mandarin if they are not already fluent.
Our first-year students are assigned to work teams that are designed to maximise diversity in culture and functional knowledge. They complete a lot of team assignments, forcing them to come to grips with the different values, work habits and decision styles of their classmates. The mandatory training on culture and teams helps them really develop their cultural sensitivities and competencies.
Tell us about the project courses. What are they?
There are two compulsory project courses: Integrated Strategy Projects and Responsible Leadership Projects, and they really put students' skills to the test! The projects require strategic thinking, a problem-solving mindset, excellent communication and teamwork skills, and an ability to get the job done.
The Leadership projects focus on challenges of environmental and societal sustainability, particularly within the China context.
Both sets of projects have attracted great attention and strong support from the business community, given their relevance to the major challenges faced by firms operating globally today. Several of our student projects have made their way into the boardrooms of major multinational firms, influencing firm-level thinking about the path forward in these challenging times.
Outside the classroom, what activities are CEIBS students involved in?
Outside the classroom, students are very active in clubs, international forums, and seminars hosted by the school. These activities allow the students to expand their knowledge as well as their professional networks. CEIBS has extensive connections to local and international business and academic communities, and students are actively encouraged to leverage these resources to build their own careers and capabilities.
INNOVATEChina is one example: founded in 2008, the annual INNOVATEChina competition is the first student-run international business competition in China. It draws global attention to challenges and threats within the Chinese market, and generates
innovative ideas that make a real difference for the sponsor. It is a platform for top business minds to interact and provide solutions to business problems unique to China.
What's the best thing about living and studying in Shanghai?
There is no better place to study business than where the business is actually ‘happening’. Almost every day another multinational moves its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Hong Kong or Singapore to Shanghai. It is the ideal place to see cutting-edge ideas being put into practice, and to closely observe the challenges and opportunities that come with rapid growth and globalization. And to be honest, considering the current world economic crisis, this is where the jobs are at the moment.
From a personal perspective Shanghai is just an incredible city. It has become a truly global metropolis, and offers a cultue and entertainment offering on par with cities such as London and New York. The city is also constantly evolving and improving. With many of the “green” initiatives that are currently being promoted, it has become a very comfortable and pleasant place to live.
How do you screen applicants to select CEIBS students?
CEIBS applicants are screened for their fit with our ‘China Depth, Global Breadth’ positioning. So, all CEIBS students have a strong English language capability and an international mindset. In addition, they have a strong interest in China’s business environment and development.
Our students come from all fields of business and all types of organizations: the private sector, state-owned-enterprises, join ventures as well as government and non-profits. Beyond that, we are looking for people who are proactive and willing to make a difference in their lives and in their professional organizations.
A growing number of students are entrepreneurs or are motivated to start a businesses after completing the MBA degree. Many are also attracted by our strong commitment to responsible leadership and sustainable business. A number of students have a background in charitable work or other efforts to support their communities, as well as very strong professional track records.
There is a culture of excellence at CEIBS, and a constant striving for quality. But equally strong is a culture of tolerance, respect and support for other people.
What is the MBA class profile?
According to our statistics for the 198 students in the MBA batch of 2011-2013, 21 countries are represented, the average age is 29 years, average work experieince is 5.3 years, 39% are international students and 30% are female.
On entering CEIBS, 30% of those candidates are at Manager level, 12% are at Supervisor level, 7% at General Manager / Vice General Manager level, and 5% Director level.
Do you offer global experiences as a part of the program?
Second-year students have the opportunity to spend a semester on international exchange at one of more than 30 leading partner business schools worldwide. Students are very active in international forums, international business competitions and international study tours/treks.
Do students live on campus or off?
Students can choose to live on campus or off campus during their 18-month study. However, it is highly recommended for MBA students to live on campus because dormitory life gives them a chance to meet other students from various backgrounds. The dormitory is located on campus. Student dormitory rooms are available to all CEIBS students as required. Students may also choose to live off campus. There are three dormitory buildings available to MBA students to make sure there is enough rooms for all MBA students. The MBA office and accommodation administration will make all the arrangements at students’ request.
How will MBA programs change over the next 20 years?
In this rapidly changing world, it is impossible to guess what will happen next year, much less in 20 years. Nevertheless, as in any business, MBA programs will continually have to fight to remain relevant and continue to grow. That means having more specialized curriculums and a broader offering of courses to appeal to different areas of interest and specializations.
Many entrepreneurship programs which have recently become less popular in other parts of the world due to the current economic crises, have ironically become more in demand here at CEIBS, as more and more students are deciding to strike out on their own in China after graduation. Using this as an example, it is our job as a MBA program to constantly tailor our curriculum and services to the needs of our students in the present while always keeping a watchful eye on global economic and business trends for the future.
The CEIBS Campus in Shanghai
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