Next to India and the US, China stands out as one of the world’s biggest markets for international business schools looking to recruit to their MBA programs.
Three in five prospective business school students globally want to study abroad, according to GMAC. 25% want to study in Western Europe in particular – many are Chinese. Some of the hottest young business talents in China are after an international MBA experience abroad.
Among them, Yingqi Zhuang who relocated from Shenzhen, China and secured a scholarship to pursue a one-year, full-time MBA program at Aston Business School in the UK. There, she joins an MBA class that’s 90% international, 30% women, and that shares an average of seven years’ work experience between them.
After several years working for media companies in China, Yingqi wanted to take the next step in her marketing career and qualify for higher-level management roles with a triple-accredited MBA.
At Aston, MBA students choose to do an internship, a research project, create a business plan for their own entrepreneurial venture, or engage in a real-life consulting project as part of their MBA final project. Yinqi is currently working on a project for Tata Consultancy Services, a global leader in IT services.
For Yinqi, the future looks bright – 90% of Aston MBAs land new jobs within six months of graduation.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at Aston Business School?
I was looking for a breakthrough in my work. I realized that five years of work experience doesn't mean that I can relax. I decided to pursue professional education which would be beneficial for my future career.
Aston University is one of the best universities in the UK with a global reputation. The Aston MBA is globally-ranked and the school is among the few in the UK to achieve triple accreditation – only 1% of the business schools in the world have it. Also, the Aston Business School is recognized as one of the world’s top schools for integrating sustainability issues into MBA program.
I also like Birmingham. It’s a perfect place for studying and living. Compared with big UK cities like London and Manchester, living expenses in Birmingham are more reasonable.
Why did you choose to leave China to study in the UK?
Education in the UK is famous for its high quality and world-leading status. Studying in the UK will not only equip me with the most advanced management knowledge but also offers me a chance to experience the English culture.
An MBA in the UK usually only takes one year to finish. In comparison to studying an MBA in China and other countries, this saves a lot of time. Also, the MBA programs in China are not that mature – we still have a lot of to learn from other countries.
How have you profited from the Aston MBA experience so far?
Studying with classmates from all over the world and working with them in groups has enabled me to experience different cultures. I’ve enhanced my interpersonal skills by dealing with different communication styles, and gained more confidence.
Through the MBA networking events, I’ve expanded my network with people from different companies and industries. The professors and lecturers have both rich teaching experience and working experience at large corporations. Furthermore, the program offered me study visits to different local companies, such as JCB and Morgan Motor. Now I know more about how different companies are run.
What are your plans for the future?
Upon graduation, I plan to work in large state-owned enterprises in China to do marketing jobs and become a leader in the field. In the long run, I want to become a professional manager of one of the larger companies in my country, and also open my own restaurant!
The MBA experience helps me to prepare for a senior manager level role in the future – it’s created new opportunities for me which were originally not available, and helped lift my career to a new level.