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Shanghai Super Woman On Finishing Business School

Wang Xiaoyan worked 40 hours a week as research director in the Chinese Academy of Sciences while studying part-time for an MBA at SAIF and looking after her newborn son. Wow!

By  Harriet Murdoch

Tue Sep 6 2011

Wang Xiaoyan was born in Xichang, Sichuan Province, China. The 35 year-old worked as a research director of a core facility at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Membership of the Academy is extremely prestigious and represents the highest level of national honor for Chinese scientists.

I asked her what it was like working full-time as a molecular geneticist, and having a baby half way through her MBA at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF).

What motivated you to do an MBA?
In 2004 I received my PhD degree in molecular genetics and I started my career in sales because I was sure business was my preference. In 2009, having worked in the healthcare industry and the Academy for five years, I was considering a career change to healthcare venture capital. Therefore I decided to go back to school at SAIF for an MBA.

Did you consider studying at any other universities?
I thought about Fudan University but SAIF provide the “pure” finance MBA program which most closely matched my needs. So I could gain more finance knowledge as I want to be an expert in early-stage ventures in my career.

What have you learned during your career? You have worked for many scientific companies – is that a personal interest?

The start-up experience built my experiences in exploration, business acuteness and risk awareness. Working as a director of a research core facility, I was exposed to product value propositions and business strategies from various companies, fostering my understanding of potential disruptive biological sciences.

What did the MBA teach you?
The SAIF MBA is so rigorous and systematic on all aspects of finance. It’s given me a great financial analysis framework.

Did you do any internships whilst you were studying for your MBA?
As I settled for a part-time MBA and delivered my baby in the summer, I missed the opportunity to get an internship. My work/life balance was demanding, as a part-time MBA student I led a stressful and busy life.

Every week I worked about 40 hours at my job and had more than ten hours of class. After my son was born, I spent hours caring for him every day. I enjoyed studying in my “free time”.

What’s next for you?
I’m working for a biomedical industry VC firm