Chinese embroidery has a tradition that goes back centuries, with the growth of distinctive styles paralleling dynastic shifts.
Jing Jing Wang, an MBA candidate at Aston Business School, believes that the richness and vibrancy of this tradition hasn't been given due attention in Western fashion trends. Leveraging knowledge she's gained through her MBA, Jing Jing is aiming to develop a brand that shines light on this ancient heritage.
Among an elite 1% of business schools in the world with triple accreditation, Aston is located in Birmingham, the country's second largest metropolis, dubbed a cradle of the UK’s startup revolution. Hosting initiatives such as BSEEN—a program specifically targeting entrepreneurs at university—Aston is well-placed to make use of a city teeming with industry and innovation.
In line with the city's growing emphasis on startup culture, Aston hosted the Student Enterprise Conference organized by the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) this year, providing students with the learning, and networking opportunities, to help bring their business ideas to life.
How does the MBA at Aston Business School help with the development of new business projects? BusinessBecause spoke to Jing Jing to find out more.
Tell us about your business.
The name of the fashion brand I am developing is Jingembro—Jing is my name and 'embro' is short for embroidery. I'm from China, and embroidery holds a lot of significance in my culture.
However, there are limited channels for people over here [in the UK] to understand the meaning of this tradition, with mainstream fashion brands always replicating designs of dragons or birds. There's clearly a stylistic difference in Chinese embroidery as compared with anywhere else in the world, and we want to create clothes with designs that capture that distinctiveness while remaining accessible to consumers in Europe.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I worked in a global company operating in the healthcare industry prior to my MBA. It was a very international environment, allowing me to expand my understanding of world markets and develop my communication skills.
That experience also helped me realize that I lacked a foundational understanding of topics like accounting, finance, operations, and human resources. This knowledge is expected of leaders with sharp commercial awareness and big-picture vision.
I have been in the healthcare industry for a while, and I am taking this opportunity to learn about other sectors and innovations.
Why Aston Business School?
Aston is a well-reputed business school in a great city. The university enables access to a network of local business practitioners, while the school's global alumni network provides marvellous resources and potential support. My brother mentioned he had a colleague who had studied at Aston ten years ago. He recommended getting in touch with an Aston graduate in Shanghai, which opened up a whole new network.
Aston offers a double-degree program as well, which will also allow me to learn about digital marketing at EMLYON Business School in France this year.
What stands out from your MBA experience at Aston Business School?
I am currently doing a consulting project for Aston Villa Football club, involving research on the club's engagement with fans. This current role also allows me to utilize what I've learned during the MBA and put it into practice.
The entrepreneurship course part of the MBA program has given me so much insight for my business. Learning about lean strategies, the business canvas, and effective thinking, benefited me when I established my project in the second term. Building my understanding of financial models also clarified crucial ideas—for example, how revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash flow is reality in a business.
I believe that my leadership and versatility has grown with the course, and increased the potential of my career. Before, I deeply understood the Asian market, but now I know more about the UK's more mature branding culture too.