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Sustainability in Business: How MBA Students Are Benefiting From China's Green Revolution

Learn how MBA students harnessed the growing green revolution in China to launch careers in renewable energy


Thu Mar 21 2024

China has seen enormous success in sustainability. The nation’s economy grew by 5.2% in 2023 while achieving impressive environmental goals in just a few years. 

China leads in the research, development and manufacture of renewable energy sources and is the world’s top electricity producer from renewable energy sources.  

The booming industry has made renewable energy an increasingly popular career path for MBA students. 

We spoke to three alumni from the CEIBS MBA who have harnessed the growth in sustainability in China to build successful careers in renewable energy.

Gaining skills to switch to the renewable energy industry

For Ritwik Ghosh (pictured), the CEIBS MBA allowed him to make a career switch from the Merchant Navy and enter the Chinese renewable energy market right at its conception. 

“I realized to make such a massive change I would need an inflection point. So, I looked for an MBA from a top business school,” he says.

After deciding against the US due to the financial crisis at the time, Ritwik settled on China and CEIBS for its stellar reputation.


In the Financial Times MBA Ranking 2024, the Shanghai-based business school ranks 21st overall and first in Asia.

To help differentiate himself from those with years of experience, Ritwik focused on the niche of new energy, which was only just emerging in 2009. 

“An energy club had just started at CEIBS, and I became the president. I used that opportunity to get involved with projects at companies such as Siemens and Bosch,” he says. 

These MBA projects helped him land his first role in energy. 

After the chairman of the investment arm of GSF Capital, a large solar company, came to CEIBS to give a presentation, Ritwik leveraged this opportunity to speak with him. 

“He wanted someone with some understanding of new energy, and by virtue of the projects that I had already done, I received a job offer.”

While Ritwik held roles at a solar fund and as vice president for Asia Pacific at SunEdison, he also experienced ups and downs, including working at two companies that went bankrupt.

“When any industry starts, it always goes through this cycle of booms and busts before it stabilizes,” he says.

Despite these challenges, green energy is now one of the only industries that has a clear roadmap of growth: the United Nations called for emissions to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and net zero globally by 2050. 

Ritwik is now the head of development and capital formation at Jinko Power, a China based renewable energy development company.

He works for the headquarters of the company in Singapore.   

Looking back, he credits CEIBS for providing him with the knowledge and opportunity to drastically change careers and enter the renewable energy industry. 

“It gave me an extra edge and a different angle; it opened the first door.”

Using an MBA to launch an international energy career 

Gulnara Abdullina (pictured) moved to China from the US in 2007 to pursue an MBA at CEIBS.

She wanted to change careers from fast-moving consumer goods and felt an MBA from a top business school was the way forward.  

“I wanted to change both my function and industry,” she says, “but I was lacking a fundamental grounding in business in order to take that next step.” 

She says that the diversity and mix of cultures in the CEIBS MBA was an asset. 


Immersing herself in Chinese culture, this gave Gulnara the opportunity to find her niche in the renewable energy market. 

Although she initially became interested in the sector after undertaking an internship at a hydrogen fuel cell company in Shanghai, when she graduated in 2009, work was hard to find due to the financial crisis. This meant Gulnara had to think outside the box when it came to launching her career.

“I realized while I could not help multinationals who wanted to grow in China, I could contribute to aspiring Chinese enterprises to go global,” she says.  

During this time, she joined JinkoSolar, a small manufacturing solar company, which went public in the US one year later.  

She grew her career in the solar energy industry, holding several roles at JinkoSolar, from Senior Sales Manager to Global Business Development Director to General Manager Middle East and Africa.

Later, she joined LONGi Solar as vice president for Europe to help the company expand internationally and establish local operations.

While leading teams and navigating challenges, such as supply chain issues, she says that she continually draws on hard and soft skills she gained in her MBA.

“I often use soft skills from CEIBS. I’ve restructured the team several times and grown it fivefold. I've strengthened those muscles quite a bit at LONGi.”

Using an MBA to level up 

Vera Ye (pictured) used the CEIBS MBA to move her career to the next level.

Working in several functions for Three Gorges Group for over 10 years, she realized her passion of driving changes within the broader renewable energy industry. However, to achieve these aspirations she identified a need to strengthen her business expertise and elevate her managerial skills.

“I thought an MBA would be a new start for my career,” she says. 


Vera initially struggled with the intensity and complexity of the MBA, but she was soon rewarded with both technical and soft skills. 

“I learned how to solve problems in a very efficient and professional way, to hone my skills in analyzing business dynamics, evaluating opportunities, and capture values in the business world—skills I was eager to improve before my MBA.”

For Vera, the part of the MBA that most helped her career jump was expanding her network. She was able to do this through team projects and interactions with classmates from diverse industries, as well as the CEIBS alumni network. 

“You learn how to get along with people and how to communicate. If there’s conflict, you learn effective ways to communicate your ideas,” she says.  

Vera accessed CEIBS's ample network which provided mentoring and opportunities for practical experiences and lead her to secure her desired role in the renewable energy industry. 

When the economy suffered during Covid, job-landing was more challenging for MBAs in China. However, Vera received substantial support from the CEIBS community and managed to connect with an alum in the industry who referred her to LONGi Solar. 

“I showcased my professionalism, extensive experience, and motivation in the renewable energy sector, which impressed him enough to refer me for an interview.”

Vera is now senior manager of strategic development, leveraging the skills she gained at CEIBS.

“It's an ideal industry for me. I deal with proactive, strategic development, business model design, and innovation—all of which align with the skills I formed during my MBA,” she concludes.