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Real Humans of the CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

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ceibs mba class of 2023Shiqing (Stella) Jin, CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

Age: 29
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Michigan, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years, manufacturing and energy

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Before CEIBS, I worked as a strategic BD focusing on energy management for a global company and as a pro-bono consultant for non-profit organizations. Always thinking about the balance between business and social responsibilities, I believe that the potential of social enterprises can be the engine of sustainable growth. Therefore, I started to look for a transformation, to fill in my lack of business knowledge, and to explore the opportunities that sustainability could bring to different industries. An MBA is the perfect platform to prepare myself better for the shift, where I can meet people with diverse backgrounds and focus on personal growth. 

Why did you choose CEIBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I wanted to join a top-ranked global MBA program. Among all the top business schools, I chose CEIBS primarily because of its motto of “China Depth, Global Breadth.” I truly believe that in the coming decades China will be a global leader with exceptional potential and outstanding business performance. Choosing a program in China, in the city where I was born, will bring me better insights and exposure to local characteristics. The entrepreneurial atmosphere attracts me as well. With over four years of corporate experience, I am curious about how to build a business from scratch.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I’m a mission-driven person full of passion for making an impact. I’m a woman leader with multiple years of sales management experience. My engineering background and corporate experience helped me become skilled in analytical thinking and multi-functional collaboration. 

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I’m obsessed with scuba diving. Mantas are my favorite animals in the ocean. Since COVID-19, most of the diving spots are not accessible, so I have to practice diving in a 6-meter-deep swimming pool. My plan to get my instructor’s license was also disrupted by the pandemic. 

Post-MBA career interests:
I’m interested in developing a career focusing on sustainability. It could either be venture capital with a mind on impact investing, or corporate sustainability strategies.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Before applying, I’d take time and think about what I really wanted in the future and how an MBA program could help me to achieve it. It helped me a lot to reflect, understand what kind of person I wanted to be, and saved lots of effort by eliminating ideas and only focusing on the most important ones. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would go to a coffee chat, talk to student ambassadors more and seek advice from resources such as alumni and the MBA office. They can answer any questions regarding campus life, resources, application process, and they are very helpful to applicants.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
It was stressful preparing my application while still having a heavy workload, but it was inevitable. When I received the offer letter and scholarship, I knew that the struggle was worth it.

What is your initial impression of the CEIBS students/culture/community?
My fellow classmates are enthusiastic and proactive. We had a few gatherings before we were officially on board. We’ve held seminars about past experiences and different specialties, sports activities, and some parties. I have been impressed by how diverse and inspiring they are. They all come from different regions and industries, passionate to share their past experiences, and helpful to each other.

What is one thing you have learned about CEIBS that has surprised you?
I was impressed by the alumni network. I found that lots of people that I admired turned out to be CEIBS alumni, including the host of my favorite podcast, the developer of a scuba diving app that I frequently use, and the director of an avant-garde theatre show, not to mention countless business leaders in various industries. Being in this community will help a lot to build up meaningful relationships with other people.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
My GMAT appointment was postponed a few times due to COVID-19, but it didn’t affect it much.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Time management is my first concern. The schedule will be tight for the first two semesters, but I don’t want to miss out on extracurricular activities like student clubs, trainings, and competitions. I guess there will be a trade-off between academics, activities and sleep.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m excited about working in teams on projects and in workshops, to see what we can create together based on our different backgrounds. Also it would be exciting to hear more fascinating stories from my fellow classmates.

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.