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MBA’s Journey From Made in China to Made for China

Julia Millard engaged with China and its business future on an ESMT field seminar this summer

American Julia Millard has learned a lot about Chinese business culture while studying at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin. She talks here about her international field seminar in Shanghai.

The 29-year-old from St. Augustine, Florida first studied International Studies and German at the University of Chicago before working at Epic, a healthcare software company in Madison, Wisconsin.

Julia chose ESMT after reading an article about its relatively new MBA program; ESMT was founded in 2002 by more than 25 corporate founders and backers, including BMW and Deutsche Bank. ESMT offers its students work experience both before and after graduation.

She decided it was the right choice for her because of its “strong ties to business, its location in Berlin, and its emphasis on developing responsible leaders”.

The highlights of the MBA for Julia have been “the strong emphasis on group work, developing a solid foundation in business, and the diversity of our MBA class.”

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Julia with classmates on the China Field Seminar

Julia was also excited by the opportunity to attend an international field seminar in China which was “incredible!” Julia had visited China once before but said that the International Field Seminar offered a much closer look into how business operates in China, especially for foreign companies.

Whilst out there the group discussed issues such as: the ongoing shift from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Made for China’; the struggles surrounding talent management; and the diverse impacts of rapid economic growth.”

They were also able to visit companies from a wide range of industries, including banking, manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, “Which helped us to identify common themes for doing business in China and provided an excellent overview on the current challenges facing foreign companies there.”

Julia appreciates the number of opportunities in China right now, “especially for MBAs and people with management experience” but it is not where she sees herself working in the future.

For the moment she is keeping herself busy as President of ESMT’s Social Impact Club. The Club’s first project is to raise money and send computers to a school in Haiti that was severely damaged by the January 2010 earthquake there.

We’ll report back on the progress of the school and the Social Impact Club in coming months!

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