In Conversation with Chen Shimin – Director of MBA Admissions at CEIBS : China Europe International Business School

CEIBS : China Europe International Business School 中欧国际工商学院; or 中歐國際工商學院 is a renowned business school business school in mainland China which was the first to offer a full-time MBA, an Executive MBA and a wide range of Executive Development programs. Its ranked in the world’s Top 30 by the Financial Times. CEIBS degree programs are a unique and innovative mixture of Chinese and Western research and business education which go on to fulfill its mission of educating responsible leaders versed in “China Depth, Global Breadth”


Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director

Chen, Shimin –  Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director

We have been getting a lot of questions from prospective students for the coming batch. In an interview with, Chen Shimin – Director of MBA Admissions at CEIBS : China Europe International Business School, talks about the program, its benefits and is kind enough to solve all our queries.

Campus Life and Class Profile

1.       Ritu: CEIBS offers both the options to live on or off campus to its students, as opposed to the fully residential program structure. Is there a difference in terms of benefits, financial assistance and access to various facilities available on campus for the students who choose to live off-campus?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: CEIBS provide both the options to give the international students a chance to interact with locals which helps them to learn the culture. Learning the culture is a very important part of international studies and hence we give them this opportunity to be exposed to Chinese culture by living in town. It also gives more option to students, if they want to live with their families/ partners or if they want to work on their own budgets.

However, on-campus living has some obvious benefits like full-time access to the campus facilities etc. Obviously, this option is more economical in most cases but sometimes students can work-out better options outside too. If the students are seeking any financial aids like bank loan, then it might not cover their living and other expenses if they are not living on-campus as some financial institutes have it in their policy. Hence, from our side, we provide the freedom to students to choose what they think would be the best option to them.

2.       Ritu: The class profile of CEIBS shows only 33% females. How does CEIBS look at diversity in its class profile? Are there any plans or measures being taken to improve the diversity of its class?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: This data is for our final year class. The latest data for 1st year class is not yet released. In the new class, we’ve about 43% females. This is a huge achievement in terms of gender diversity for us. This is the most gender-diverse batch for us so far. We’re extremely happy to have achieved this ratio. It is far better than the international figures of gender-diversity too. We hope to continue this trend in the coming years too.

We’ve some on-campus students groups and committees, both formal and informal, to take care of interests of women. We also provide a safe and women-friendly infrastructure on our campus. We believe and ensure an equal-opportunity environment for everyone who is part of our program.

3.       Ritu: Median years of work experience at CEIBS are 5.7 years. How does CEIBS look at candidates with extensive work experience (8+ years)? Also, how does CEIBS look at candidates with lower or no work experience? Are they at any disadvantage for them?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: CEIBS admission process requires a minimum of 2 years of work-experience from its applicants. So the minimum work-experience of our students is 2 years and goes even up to 8-10 years.

We believe that one of the very important aspects of the learning is to learn from your peers. Hence we believe in forming a class where everyone can add significant value to the learning process. Work experience equips the candidates to get the maximum benefit from our management course and hence the requirement. The quality of experience, the industry, the profile etc. are also important rather than just the number of years. We consider all the factors along with the quality of overall application during the admission process.


Admission Process and Financial Aids

4.       Ritu: What are the main steps of the admission process at CEIBS? How much weight is provided to each of these steps? How students can prepare themselves to increase their chances for admission?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: The students need to score high in their GMAT to apply for our program. They need to have at least 2 years of extensive industry experience. The admission process takes place in multiple rounds. Students are advised to start their application process as early as possible to increase their chances as the number of seats keeps decreasing after the initial rounds. Along with the application, supporting documents and GMAT scores, students also need to submit the answers to the essay questions. After the initial evaluation, the students are called for the final evaluation round i.e. interview.

There are multiple dimensions of final evaluation:

–          Learning Attitude

–          Respect for University Values

–          Career Progression

–          Soft Skills

The candidates need to show us where they stand in their pursuit of their career; they should know what they want, where they are headed in their life. The candidates should have a hunger to learn, exhibit both the leadership skills and team spirits. We also evaluate the students for the learning capabilities as seeking a management degree demands a higher level of learning capacity. The MBA from CEIBS should be aligned with your career goals and it should propel you ahead and help you in achieving those goals.

5.       Ritu: CEIBS provides a wide range of financial aids and scholarships to its students. International students often face many hassles for their foreign education loans process, especially in countries like India. Does CEIBS provide any assistance with the loan process for international students?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: CEIBS offers a host of scholarships as correctly mentioned by you. All these scholarships or financial grants are based on merits. Some of the grants can even go up to covering the entire tuition fees. Every year we award these scholarships and financial awards to the eligible students.

Students can apply for loans either in their home countries or after coming to CEIBS from the local banks and other institutes. However, it is advisable to seek this in one’s home country as it would be much more convenient as well as economical. We help our students with all the required paper work for the process and if there is anything else that we can do to help them. Some banks in India and some other countries have special loans for CEIBS and can be easily availed.


Curriculum and Learning Structure

6.       Ritu: The full-time program consists of 67 credits which is heavily biased towards compulsory courses with 49 credits and leaves very little scope for electives, with only 18 credits. What is the thought process behind this curriculum design, in a global environment where independent learning and elective courses are gaining increasingly more importance?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: We design our curriculum according to the international learning standards. We follow the trends of the major institutes like Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford etc. We make sure that all the students are provided with the necessary foundation courses that are required to equip them with the management learning for a range of industries. Hence the higher number of compulsory courses to ensure that no students miss out on any the integral course of a sound management course.

In addition to these electives, we also offer Practicum courses and consulting credits for projects. Practicum is basically a program where students can undertake real-life projects to work with companies to consult them on their business problems. This is an excellent way of practical learning while still in college.

Also, as CEIBS is in China and a number of our students will get consumed by the Chinese economy, these courses enable them to operate quite well in those industries. Most of the large organizations have a China operation set-up and hence our course provides an excellent opportunity to those students who are looking at an international management career opportunity.

7.       Ritu: CEIBS offers 3 concentrations to its students: General Management, Finance and Marketing. Recently, the focus is shifting towards newer specializations and in some cases even super-specializations too, in changing global scenarios. Does CEIBS also plan to introduce or add any more areas of concentrations in near future?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: Actually we only have 2 concentrations: Finance and Marketing. General Management being the generic way of learning, we don’t consider as a separate concentration. We are also introducing Entrepreneurship as a concentration course, with a deep focus to harvest an entrepreneurial culture in the changing economic scenario.

We could introduce more concentrations but for that we will need to increase our class size. The current class size largely gets divided between the Finance and Marketing only and now also with Entrepreneurship with a sharp focus for the interested students. If we decide to increase our intake in future and if there is a growing demand for some other concentration which could help students in their career, we could think of introducing some more courses. But as of now, we don’t have any such plans, largely due to the limitation imposed because of the class size.

8.       Ritu: CEIBS emphasizes on cross-functional learning and includes several applied integration modules for this purpose. What are these modules and how they enhance the learning experience of students?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: To solve the most challenging business problems, the students would need the cross-functional knowledge. With the help of applied integration modules, we enable our students to tackle the real business problems with a deep cross-functional understanding. To help this, the students also get the freedom to completely customize their 2nd year tailored to their specific interests. A host of elective courses and the freedom to choose across these courses helps in the holistic learning of management students.

9.       Ritu: CEIBS has a clearly strong focus on China, with the compulsory course in Chinese language. Even the positioning statement, “China Depth, Global Breadth”, makes the focus clear. With such strong emphasis on China, what learning benefits can a global student seek for, especially the ones who would be looking for a more holistic curriculum with a focus on working in global economy?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: China has a very unique culture of its own. Also, China has become a gateway to the world economy. Hence, our program enables the global students to “Get their foot in the door” towards opportunities. By learning the business Chine-way, our students will develop a certain edge over their other global competitors. They also get acquainted with the Chinese culture and many other diverse cultures in a truly global and diverse culture. This deep exposure to various cultures helps our students develop an understanding and appreciation for different cultures. This trait comes in handy while they are seeking global careers. Also, cultural understanding and knowledge is very important for business strategy in the long run.


Career and Placement

10.   Ritu: How does CEIBS ensure to provide and maintain a good Return on Investment for its students in terms of career choices and campus placements?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: CEIBS has a very robust process to ensure great career choices for its students. We’ve the career counselling committee which enables the students to identify their choice of industry and the role that they are looking for. The counsellors help every individual student to prepare a compelling CV, to prepare them for their desired role through personalised counselling. We also organize various workshops to help enabling students to shape their career as they desire.

We frequently organize many career fairs on campus where many companies take part in including world’s biggest organization seeking talent from CEIBS. We’ve maintained a 100% placement record with students bagging roles of their choices. Our placement records also prove a great RoI for our students every year as some of the best employers are our regular recruiters.

Practicum and various consulting projects also generate some employment sometime in addition to provide on-field experience to the students.

11.   Ritu: CEIBS presents many global learning opportunities for its students during the program with a strong International Exchange program. Does it also help the students to secure global career options during these learning sessions?

Chen Shimin – Associate Dean of CEIBS, MBA Programme Director Answers: Yes, CEIBS’s MBA program is a truly global program, not just in terms of its class but also in the learning opportunities. Most of our class opts for an exchange program with major universities across the world. We also provide the career consultation and support to help them explore and secure jobs of their choice during their international learning experiences. Many large companies across the globe also participate in our career placement program during which a lot of students secure international placements.

Have a question? Ask below in our comments section.

About Ritu Jhajharia

Ritu has completed her PGDM in Communication Management with a super specialization in Brand Management from MICA. She is currently working as an independent Communications Consultant. She is an aspiring writer, is writing her first novel which she hopes to get published someday.

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