It’s also one of the oldest cities in the world yet boasts a vastly modern design and culture. Apart from being a great launchpad for careers across private equity, tech, and banking, the Chinese capital is also home to the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM).
While Tsinghua SEM does not publish its MBA acceptance rate, the program has an annual intake of just 80.
Its grads are in high demand, going on to launch some of the best MBA jobs around in tech careers at Tencent and YouTube, or consulting careers at McKinsey. The MBA is one of the most competitive programs in China, so you’ll need to show more than just a great academic record.
By speaking with current students from Tsinghua Global MBA, we break down how to find success in your MBA application.
1. To get into a top MBA in China, use your network
Working your network will be key if you have dreams of joining one of the best business schools in the world.
Tsinghua SEM student Mary Losmithgul, originally from Thailand, wanted to study her MBA in China so that she could gain an enriched understanding of the Chinese business world and global economy.
“I was drawn to the international perspective of the program, as well as the MIT Sloan partnership,” she says.
She adds that before even applying to the Tsinghua MBA, she reached out to Tsinghua alumni, student ambassadors, and admission teams to gain in-depth advice.
“I scheduled a call with alumni, who provided some suggestions on what to focus on in the application.”
This level of guidance, she says, played a large role in securing her place on the program.
2. Research the business school if you want to join a top MBA in China
You should never use the same application to apply to different MBA programs—your MBA essay, MBA resume, and everything else included in the application must be tailored to the school.
Tsinghua MBA student Kim Kristiansen is from Denmark and wanted to pursue an MBA in China after speaking with his manager who had studied there.
He took time to research areas such as the business school culture and the type of jobs the MBA helps grads enter. This meant he could weave his original research into his application, giving him the best chance possible of gaining a place.
“I researched the startup culture, and this helped me realize this was the right program for me,” he says.
Consider what it is you’re hoping to gain from the program and identify some data or stats that align with this. For instance, if you’re looking for an international network, then knowing that the Tsinghua MBA consists of 40% international students might be something to include in your application.
3. Land an MBA scholarship to improve your chances
Business schools offer a variety of MBA scholarships—from women in business scholarships to entrepreneurship scholarships or those based on financial need, you’re likely to find a scholarship for you.
Both Mary and Kim are recipients of Tsinghua University scholarships and explain how to improve your MBA scholarship chances.
After detailing her experiences of setting up a business in her MBA essays, Mary was awarded the Female Leader Scholarship at Tsinghua.
After graduating, she hopes to move into a more strategy-based management role, potentially within the media landscape.
“Outline your clear career goals and how you’ll take the skills from these experiences into your future career,” she says.
Meanwhile, Kim received the Chinese Government Scholarship.
“Try to demonstrate your purpose and how you will achieve this in your career,” he says.
Kim wants to continue in the tech field and eventually progress into a general management role once he graduates.
4. To get into a leading MBA in China, work hard for the GMAT
Your GMAT score won’t guarantee you a one-way ticket to business school, but it will help to show admissions teams your commitment to the rigorous nature of an MBA classroom.
“The GMAT is like a muscle—you have to get used to training and revision,” Mary says.
She recommends sticking with the official GMAT guide and resources and regularly practicing questions.
Tsinghua University advises that students aim for a score of above 700.
Getting a lower-than-expected GMAT score, however, doesn’t mean you’ve lost your chance of a place as most business schools look at applications holistically.
“It’s good to show you have strengths but also good to show you have some weaknesses where the MBA can make you stronger,” Kim says.
Starting your MBA application early will be key to your success—allow yourself ample time to reach out to alumni, get to know the business school, and work hard for the GMAT if you’re dreaming of joining a top MBA in China.