If you would like to pursue a career in Mainland China, then CEIBS in Shanghai – now ranked #1 in Asia by the Financial Times – may be the perfect MBA program to ease your transition: with hands-on strategy projects with companies in China, guest lectures and workshops with Chinese professionals, and a Localization Program that offers international students additional immersion in Chinese culture, both your understanding of business in China and your Chinese network will grow at CEIBS. Making the effort to learn Mandarin before and during this program (taught in English) will shape your ability to land a role on the Mainland after graduation, as 50% of the placed international students did.
The CEIBS MBA focuses on deep understanding of doing business in and with China, with nearly 70% of the program consisting of required courses such as China Human Resource, Chinese Economic Reform, and China Within the World to make sure that graduates deeply understand China’s economic, political, historical, and cultural issues.
The CEIBS application has 3 required essays and 1 short optional space. My tips are below in blue.
1. Discuss your post-MBA career aspirations (short term and long term) and explain how you plan to achieve them. (300 words)
This is a straightforward goals essay, so all of our traditional advice about connecting the dots between your past and future and how the CEIBS MBA program will help you achieve those future ambitions remains. For CEIBS, this essay must specifically address the Chinese context: why is a deep understanding of China’s culture and business critical to your future success?
For question 2, you are given 3 choices but need to answer only one of them:
These are three great questions, each offering you the opportunity to share both your analysis of an idea and your application of that idea in your past.
2(a). CEIBS is situated in Shanghai – a truly global city, and the economic center of the world’s soon to be largest economy. Given its unique location, how do you anticipate that Shanghai will differentiate your MBA experience and contribute to your goals? (400 words)
For this essay, the idea being examined is location in the center of an economic nexus. What unique opportunities has your research unearthed in Shanghai and how have you made use of opportunities like these in the past?
2(b). Many would argue that entrepreneurship is not necessarily a state of being, but a state of mind. Describe an entrepreneurial experience where you went against the grain or conventional way of thinking, to discover and create new value. (400 words)
Entrepreneurship by definition means that you noticed something that was missing: a business model, a product, or even an activity. Your example may represent any of these areas. The essential element for this essay is showing the reader both the conventional thinking that existed and how your idea opened up new opportunities. How did you persevere in this upstream swim and what “new value” did you create?
2(c). Identify up to two trends, big or small, that you see unfolding in the next decade. Discuss how the(se) trend(s) might affect you and your career, and how you plan to address them during your MBA and/or after you graduate. (400 words)
When you look into your crystal ball, what do you see? This essay is a great opportunity to show your insight into your industry, native country, or global politics to the admissions committee. What are you doing already to prepare for the future as you see it, and what actions do you foresee taking in the future? Essays that stand out may share an example of a similar situation in your past in which you took the initiative to prepare for change and even led others’ adaptation to it.
3. As the world’s largest consumer market and fastest growing economy of the last three decades, China has offered outstanding opportunities for international professionals in search of a career boost. Searching for a job or making a career switch outside one’s own market always presents new challenges such as differences in language, culture, etc. In order to optimize your career search and possibilities after graduation, what efforts – outside of utilizing the school’s career services – do you plan to make in order to reach your professional objectives? (400 words)
Are you realistic about the efforts you will need to make in your job search? If not, then CEIBS will not want to accept you. CEIBS is searching for applicants who recognize not only their shortcomings but also the need to take initiative to build language skills, cultural understanding, and business insight. Sharing an example of this kind of initiative in your past in addition to detailing the efforts you will make in Shanghai will help prove that you have the resourcefulness to reach your professional objectives following CEIBS.
4. (Optional) Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application? Re-applicants are suggested to describe the progress you have made since your previous application. (200 words)
I typically recommend using any optional space that an application offers. If the application hasn’t offered you the space to share a specific example of your business insight, cultural curiosity, or management ability, this space offers you the perfect opportunity to do so. Alternatively, if you would like to share context surrounding any of the decisions in your past or future, you can do so here as well.
If you would like professional guidance with your CEIBS application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the CEIBS application.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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