China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) is the gateway to careers in China. And the annual CEIBS Summer Pre-MBA Boot Camp gives aspiring MBA students a taste of life in China before they take the leap.
This July, participants on the immersive week-long program will visit multinational corporations and high-potential startups in Shanghai, and gain exposure to the cutting-edge CEIBS MBA curriculum and esteemed professors.
More surprise activities, like last year's behind-the-scenes tours of Shanghai's McKinsey & Company offices and the Shanghai Tower - the world's second tallest building - are soon to be announced.
“[It’s] one of the highlights of the year,” says Roy Chason, assistant director at CEIBS. “We have a really exciting schedule lined up, providing boot campers with the opportunity to see first-hand what it is like to live, study and work in Shanghai.”
China is a land of opportunity for ambitious young professionals. And the CEIBS summer boot camp helps to develop the world’s next generation of business leaders; giving them a unique insight into China, but with a global perspective.
“My boot camp experience was very rewarding,” says Dennis Allen Bridgeforth, an American, 2015 boot camp participant, now an MBA student at CEIBS. The CEIBS MBA was the only non-US program Dennis had seriously considered.
“Based on the boot camp, I knew [CEIBS] would be more diverse than any other top tier program in the US,” he continues. “We had people from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania, all in one classroom.”
71 aspiring MBAs from 23 countries and a wide variety of professional backgrounds took part in last summer’s boot camp. 66% were international applicants and 53% women.
And already, Dennis’ decision has paid off. Less than five months into his MBA, he landed a new job, approached by a Chinese firm to come up with a marketing strategy for a new market entry.
His MBA colleague, Samwel Odundo has enjoyed similar success. After last year’s boot camp, Samwel chose CEIBS over both INSEAD and HKUST for his MBA. Now, he’s landed a consulting internship in Germany, and in a few weeks he’ll visit Europe for the first time.
Samwel sees China as a model for emerging markets. And in the long-term, he aims to use what he’s learnt at CEIBS to help drive development back home in Kenya.
“[At the CEIBS summer boot camp], you get to understand why China behaves how it does, where China is coming from, and you’re in a better position to know where China is headed,” he says.
“[And] because of their contextual knowledge of China, the way the professors delivered content was inspiring and very unique.”
Whether boot camp participants go on to take an MBA or not. In terms of career development, the opportunity is priceless.
Emily Swan still plans to take an MBA. But after last year’s boot camp, the New Zealander landed a job as business development manager at food and beverages firm Sanitarium in Shanghai.
“[The boot camp] helped me more clearly understand and define my specialty,” she says.
This year’s boot camp is only a month away. And Roy is excited to introduce another ambitious group of aspiring MBAs to life in Shanghai: “Changing perceptions of China and watching the excitement of boot campers grow in such a short space of time, [is] extremely rewarding,” he says.
This year’s CEIBS Summer Pre-MBA Boot Camp runs from July 13th to 17th. More information is available here.