In 2017, before I joined BI-Fudan MBA program I just completed my first year working in China. I was often tired from work and had to get used to the Shanghai weather. Therefore, I didn’t really get to meet many other people outside the job. I thought that this can’t be it. I wanted to learn more, get to know more friends and also remembered that once I had the plan to finish my academic studies with a Master’s degree. Back in Germany, I already made good experience with working and studying in parallel, as I previously completed a cooperative Bachelor program of my former company and a partner university. The years after, fully in working life, I gradually lost the ambition to continue with a Master’s program. But one day I walked around the neighborhood and passed by Fudan University. I thought that if they had a part time Master’s program, this could really add another perspective to my China experience, bring more variety to social life and finally the opportunity to accomplish my academic goals. So, I found the BI-Fudan MBA program and I applied.
After the initial excitement, worries about unforeseeable workload and pressure beside the job emerged. The first course impressively underlined my worries. The group work was intense and we were working until late at night. But somehow it was really fun and we were all in the same boat. Another time, it got late and we got kicked out of the studying rooms. Even restaurants already closed. We ended up completing our group work in a 7-Eleven store nearby. The toughest experience however turned out to be the master thesis, which in parallel with a job change and relocation to Beijing had me surpassing my limits. But also this we managed to accomplish thanks to a really strong teamwork. Thanks Suri Chen, thanks Qiu Yun! The whole adventure was finally completed with a great time in Norway, a real highlight after all the hard work. Oslo has a beautiful city center and also beautiful nature, perfect for running and swimming (for the insiders among you). At this point I would like to thank all my classmates, professors and the program office for this wonderful experience.
From a professional perspective I have to say that one of the most impressive things for me was that I was able to connect many of the learnings to my work. The program had us taking the CEO’s perspective, understanding how good strategy design and implementation is a basis for functions working well together and learning to express these things, especially our own work, in management language. It thereby closed knowledge gaps and established missing links between previously obtained knowledge and practical experiences on the job. The frequent presentations additionally pushed skills and self-confidence to a new level. This whole experience for sure significantly contributed to my change to a more challenging and exciting job. Learning became a crucial part in my life, which I want to continue both at work and in private.
The best of both, enriching knowledge by taking different perspectives. Diversity is key for success and a good learning experience. Professors bring in the relevant knowledge and the classmates’ experience attaches to that knowledge. By sharing experience theory becomes more accessible and remains in our heads as more useful knowledge. Combining resources enables outcomes that are not possible to achieve alone. That’s the strength of an MBA program from my opinion.
Writing this text brought back these memories and amusingly somehow also the memories of writing essays and the thesis. Now, when I read this text again it all sounds like colorful memories. But honestly it was really tough from time to time. Still, isn’t it great that happy memories prevail and even tough times can be laughed about? ☺