There are plenty of reasons why China is an ideal place for MBA students—proximity to some of the biggest financial centers in the world; the opportunity to join exciting tech start-ups; doing business in what is predicted to be the world’s largest economy by 2028.
The world of work is also changing—the most recent Graduate Management Admission Council Corporate Recruiters Survey found that some of the skills now more valued by employers in the wake of coronavirus are the ability to navigate technological disruption, communication skills, innovation, and versatility.
Zion Cao, the director of the Career Development Office (CDO) at Fudan University School of Management, explains that every industry—both emerging and traditional—needs talent with these skillsets.
For this reason, the International MBA at Fudan University emphasizes preparing students for an ever-changing future—“we consider it very critical to equip our students with the ability to navigate the challenges of technological disruption,” Zion emphasizes.
MBA students foresee massive employment prosperities. In this year’s Financial Times Global MBA ranking, Fudan ranked first in the world for salary increase, with graduates boasting a whopping 190% increase after the program.
Learning about technological disruption
In 2020, 20% of Fudan International MBA graduates took positions in tech companies—making it the most popular career path for students.
“Most of our MBAs have no tech background, but take tech companies as their career goal after graduation,” Zion explains, "so tech skills and competencies are important for MBA students.”
MBA students are immersed in the world of tech during their studies. A global partner from the top consulting firm, Bain & Company, was invited as a guest speaker to talk about the collision between business and technology. A data scientist from ByteDance was invited to discuss how to understand and accumulate a working business knowledge of data science.
“Chinese tech companies, especially startups, grow rapidly, and MBAs need new skillsets and mindsets to join these companies,” Zion adds. “MBAs shall be equipped with the skills identified by GMAC’s survey. Among them, the key one is to navigate tech disruption in China due to the versatile environment.”
The Fudan International MBA program also equips students with the skills that employers crave more due to the pandemic. The program offers elective courses including Advanced Managerial Communication, Entrepreneurship, the Challenges of Globalization, and Enterprise Development Management. There are also specific Chinese modules looking at the intricacies and differentiating factors of doing business in Asia.
Industry insights and experience
Fudan’s International MBA students benefit from a collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management. This collaboration not only brings professors from MIT to Fudan, but also draws upon the knowledge of global business leaders.
In 2010, Fudan University School of Management gained accreditation from the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), allowing students to join a global network with lectures, activities, and forums to improve career prospects.
“We organize more than 200 lectures, activities, and forums per year, inviting global MNC CEOs and professionals to share their stories of success and network with students,” Zion explains.
“Previous guest speakers include CEOs and presidents of Mont Blanc, BCG, Silicon Valley Bank and so on,” Zion says. “Our MBA students can not only broaden their knowledge and insights, but can also expand their career vision and look for opportunities in Asia, Europe, and the US."
Moreover, Fudan MBA students have the opportunity to take part in iLab Projects. Through consulting case challenges, students can tackle real-world problems with partner companies, such as Bosch, Michelin, IBM, Huawei and others.
Partner companies are not limited to the Asian market, but also covering Finland, Australia and other countries, providing students with global business insights. “We have 260 iLab projects with over 210 partner companies across a wide range of industries” Zion points out.
Identifying career goals
Throughout the International MBA, the CDO helps students identify their career strengths and move towards their career goals. Students’ efforts pay off, as more than 90% of MBA graduates are employed within three months of graduation from the MBA.
The CDO uses career assessment tools to help students to identify their dream career, such as Harrison Assessments, which “provides in depth analysis of personal interests, task preferences, stress potential, and culture fit,” Zion explains.
“The choice of suitable career is one of the most important decisions in life, so Harrison helps students find careers that align with their interests, passions, and personality.”
The CDO’s career support does not stop upon graduation, it provides continuous services. The alumni office of Fudan School of Management also organizes various industry clubs and events to ensure alumni can access further resources and opportunities.
The strength of the CDO was recognized in the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings in 2020, which ranked Fudan 21st worldwide for the quality of the careers service, up by 21 positions on the year before.
“We know the strengths of our students and needs of employers better than anyone,” says Zion, “so through all of the above, we ultimately accelerate their success in job hunting and long-term career development.”