MBA World Tour in Korea, Japan and China
Published 2 December 2004
In November 2004 Cana Witt and Angela Graves from Lancaster's MBA Office went east to fairs in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. In this article, Cana describes the trip, during which she and Angela met up with MBA alumni scattered across the far east, including Elaine Yang - pictured left - who showed Cana round Beijing's Forbidden City. Cana writes:
It is one of the great perks of being on the staff of the Lancaster MBA programme that we are offered the chance to see something of the rest of the world - and we really make the best of it! In early November Angela Graves, MBA Admissions Co-ordinator, and I (I'm MBA Career Development Manager), travelled out to the far east to attend a large number of MBA recruitment fairs. [The picture shows Angela explaining the Lancaster MBA to a visitor at the Beijing fair.]
The benefits to the team are enormous. Firstly we are able to meet prospective applicants at the very beginning of their decision-making process. We can tell them what it is really like at Lancaster - and let’s face it, academic rigour, immovable deadlines, small-town location, rain and cold are an acquired taste to many. But happily many remember Lancaster with great affection, and the temperate summers, acknowledged friendliness of the programme and personal development possibilities are real pluses.
Thanks are due to all alumni who helped with producing materials for fairs and turned up to give candidates an honest view of life as a student at Lancaster. We know it makes a real difference to people making the commitment to an MBA to know exactly what they’re letting themselves in for.
Also, we can meet our alumni informally and celebrate their successes since completing the MBA. It is very illuminating to see our friends (and by the time they become alumni they are good friends), in their own home environments, but we also met other MBA travellers who weren’t from the region at all - Herbert Jell - an exchange student who came to Lancaster from ESB Reutlingen - showed us something of Shanghai nightlife. [In the photos, Cana is shown with MBA alumni in Tokyo and Beijing.]
Of course, as Career Development Manager, I have a particular interest in hearing about our alumni’s work, and the changes in their working lives pre- and post-MBA. Let me tell prospective applicants at this point - showing employers that you are a capable MBA leads to work being heaped on you in your subsequent roles because you can do it and are not afraid of it. The alumni I met are working very hard in positions of trust in their organisations.
Best of all, with the help of our alumni we can experience life in their countries. We have a chance to understand the cultural issues that are raised amongst the class, the misunderstandings and the assumptions made every day, which are as much a fault of ours as anyone else’s. We experienced a level of customer service completely absent in the UK, and cleanliness of the streets that is quite remarkable to anyone from western Europe.
Though the tour is gruelling in its scheduling, we didn’t want our part of it to end. Lucky Julie and Malcolm following on to India!
[The last photo shows Angela with school children in Guangzhou.]
Cana Witt, November 2004.
Thanks to all Lancaster MBA alumni who met up with Cana and Angela:
Seoul - Byoungjin Soh (2000), Jae Hoon Jung (2002)
Tokyo - Masanouri Otake (1995), Yoichi Shigetani (2000) Kaz Ohmae (2000), Junji Sasahara (2002)
Beijing - Freeman Li (2000), Leo Ji (2003), Yan Zhang (2003), Jinshuai Shi (2003), Margaret Cui (2003), Ren Jin (2000) Joan Ye (2000), Elaine Yang (2001), Lin Shen (2000)
Shanghai - Jason Fu (2002), Crystal Fu (2002), Yuzhong Wang (2002) Ji Yue (2001), Shannon Fang (2002), Nanli Song (2002), Camilla Zeng (2001), Herbert Jell (2004), Jun Pan (2003), Peter Chu (2000)
Hong Kong - Ricky Lai (1996), Vincent Cheng (1996)