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Real Humans of the CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

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ceibs mba class of 2023Jing Li, CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

Age: 34
Hometown: Shandong, China
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Tsinghua University, Computer Science and Technology
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry):
8 years in the energy sector: 

  • 6 years in oil & gas upstream exploration & production
  • 2 years at the first energy exchange in China

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Pursuing an MBA in order to fill in my systematic finance and management knowledge gap has always been part of my career plan. I strongly believe that great companies and opportunities will emerge from the Chinese market in the next few decades. To better prepare myself to catch the tide and “venture into a changing world,” now is the perfect time.

Why did you choose CEIBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
As I mentioned above, China will still be an economic engine for the next few decades, and it is where I would like to explore opportunities and advance my career. CEIBS, the most prestigious business school in China, is famed for its ‘China Depth, Global Breadth,’ which fits exactly what I need.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I have worked in eight different countries with colleagues from more than 30 countries for a multinational organization. This experience fostered my versatility to work with people from drastically different backgrounds.  I look forward to helping to glue our diverse classmates together to form an open, candid, respectful culture.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I have been to all seven continents!

Post-MBA career interests:
With a computer background and experience in project management and business development, I would like to explore opportunities in the digital transformation of traditional industries.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I had a former colleague and good friend – one who shares a similar profile and successfully switched his career to tech after doing an MBA – help me to go through my essays and sort out my thoughts. It helped greatly to make my essays clearer. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would participate more in coffee chats because you could meet your interviewer there. He or she would definitely like to see familiar faces in the interview.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The whole process helped me thoroughly review myself. It was a good experience, and I don’t have anything I would have liked to skip – even the GMAT – because it helped me with business writing. 

What is your initial impression of the CEIBS students/culture/community?
Diverse, professional, candid, and sincere.

What is one thing you have learned about CEIBS that has surprised you?
You don’t need to have an umbrella on campus because all the buildings are connected by breezeways with roofs.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Thanks to the good control of the pandemic in China, applicants in China are lucky to have offline coffee chat sessions and onsite interviews at CEIBS campus. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am quite an optimistic person, I don’t have much anxiety now.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meeting classmates with different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences is the most exciting thing for me. I very much look forward to broad and deep explorations of different sectors with classmates, friendship, tons of beer, and the desert adventure running competition with other business schools!

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.