“Act global, think local”
BiMBA builds bridges between China and other cultures
Brought up in an international environment, Andrea Chen is at home in both the US and Asia. Having worked in the States, it seemed logical for her to take her career further by working and then studying for an MBA… in China. The BiMBA programme gave her just the right opportunity.
“To paraphrase from one of my lectures in Global Leadership,” says Andrea, “it takes a truly international mindset, both culturally and intellectually, to understand how to become one of tomorrow’s global leaders today. In the US, you’re encouraged to do an MBA if you want to secure a managerial position. I was up for the challenge and, for me, China’s dynamic emerging market was the right place for furthering my cross-cultural knowledge.”
Time to reflect
“During an MBA you get the chance to work out who you are and where you want to go. Most of us employed in a corporate setting want to stick to a certain game plan to climb the corporate ladder, but if you can see things from a different perspective, you can step out of the security of your current situation and embrace more opportunities. For me, BiMBA was a period of reflection and self-assessment; it helped me develop my international mindset with a focus on the China market, and gave me a change of course.
“Doing an MBA gives you enough exposure to each field to develop a holistic understanding of how businesses work. It means you can operate at a level at which you examine an issue, consider possibilities and act on your decisions. And that’s what I now do in my work as a corporate and marketing strategy consultant.”
“One of the advantages of BiMBA is that you are given a safe environment to practice in, to make mistakes in. You get immediate feedback, but you have to be willing to actually make mistakes and learn from them. You need to be open-minded and prepared to change in order to get the most out of the MBA and attain success. At Vlerick there’s an emphasis on embracing change, and it’s true that opportunities come to those who are open to them. Before the MBA I had no idea I was going to go into the field I’m in now.
“I think I had a fairly strict career plan before BiMBA, but my mindset has altered a little. There are so many opportunities to change and grow. I know I want to make more of a contribution to society and use my strengths to make an impact, and I’m definitely committed to China: I speak the language, understand the culture and can act as a bridge between China and other communities. I have experience I can build on by understanding the local environment but acting globally.”
“An MBA with a heart”
BiMBA is set up in collaboration with Peking University. You can choose between a 16-month full-time and a two-year part-time MBA programme. BiMBA has been ranked Number 1 in China by Fortune (China) and Forbes (China) for years, and BusinessWeek has described it as “an MBA with a heart”.