Tsinghua-HEC Paris MBA Experience
Studying at Tsinghua in Beijing, Fiona remembers an intensive, comprehensive training in corporate finance, marketing, strategy, operations, managerial economics, and soft skill development.
Tsinghua also offers a series of flagship courses in partnership with MIT, including classes on entrepreneurial strategy and marketing management.
The McKinsey Global Leadership Course, introduced after Fiona graduated and taught by former McKinsey global managing director Dominic Barton, is one of the most popular and brings CEOs and business leaders together to discuss the latest business trends with Tsinghua MBA students.
Fiona shared classes with students from around the world and from diverse professional backgrounds; entrepreneurs, family business owners, and students from industries like technology, finance, and consulting.
At HEC Paris, she spent half her year on-campus focusing on a general management specialization and the remainder interning at EDF as assistant to the organization’s China director, reporting on the Chinese energy industry and appreciating work and life in a new country.
“I focused more on strategy in the Paris internship and, with the French language, it was challenging in the beginning.
“It was different too. At EDF, you could more openly express ideas, although now more and more Chinese bosses have a background working or studying in the US and Europe and it's becoming more similar.
“My professors at HEC Paris, and Tsinghua, gave me an insight into the different work cultures and how to manage in large companies—that helped me a lot.”
MBA for the future
After her MBA, Fiona stayed in the same industry but took a step up, landing a job at senior director level of the international business division of energy firm GCL. “The MBA dual degree made me better suited for the position. I do overseas investment and they prefer people with some academic background outside China,” she explains.
Even more importantly, Fiona says, she expanded her network. Her business-savvy classmates became her friends. Now, if she needs financing for a project or information on a certain industry, she knows she has a fellow Tsinghua MBA alum she can turn to for help.
“Tsinghua MBA students are all from different backgrounds but we have one thing in common: We are all very ambitious. We expect more from ourselves and our classmates.
“Having the Tsinghua brand on your CV is definitely a plus—everybody knows Tsinghua University in China. In the coming years, when we get to the top management levels, we’ll be the people influencing major business decisions.”