The professors are amazingly passionate and knowledgeable, and the learning is very practical with real cases.
Can you tell us a little bit about your professional and personal background?
I am business manager in charge of a global P&L at Solvay, an international chemical company with headquarters in Belgium.
I am originally from China, and have been living in Europe for the last 20 years. I am married, have three young children (8, 6 and 2 years old) and currently live in Belgium.
What is a fun fact or something unexpected about you?
I went to University in Shanghai at the age of 15 and came to Europe at the age of 19. I love oysters, cheese and raw beef, all three I hated at the beginning when I arrived first in France.
What made you decide to pursue the Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA (TIEMBA)?
I felt the strong motivation to be a better leader, making more impact to people and society. I felt that I was missing something to progress further and to unleash my full potential.
I have a chemical engineering background, and even though I have accumulated significant experience in different areas of business management along my career, I still felt that I miss the systematic approach and in-depth strategic thinking.
Then I discovered TIEMBA, a top global Executive MBA programme with a focus on Asia, which is a very dynamic and different region. I want to reemerge myself in Asia after 20 years in Europe, so it is a perfect fit for me.
What are your impressions of the classroom atmosphere, the content, professors and your classmates?
We are a cohort of 35 people. My classmates are all experienced leaders and entrepreneurs from diverse industries. The classroom atmosphere is filled with open discussion and sharing of experiences. We also share a common interest, that is Asia. This bonded us strongly from the very start of the programme.
The professors are amazingly passionate and knowledgeable and the learning is very practical with real cases, so the content can be related and applied to work.
For example, in Module 2 we covered Organisational Behaviour, Microeconomics, and Financial Accounting. All of these topics can be related to my past/current work experience on M&A, enter/exit decisions, pricing strategy, leading teams and culture changes ... and I already have lots of ideas on how to do better next time I face a similar situation.
What were some of your favourite moments so far?
My favourite moment so far was when we can finally gathered together for Module 2 in November on the INSEAD Singapore campus. With China's current quarantine policy, classmates outside of China were together in Singapore and those in China were in Beijing for the two previous modules.
It was an intensely joyful moment when the two groups could finally gather together face-to-face. I am grateful that most of our classmates from China flew to Singapore even though they would need to be quarantined upon their return.
We supported each other in difficult moments and we had also lots of fun together over coffee breaks, dinners, drinks and sportive activities.
We have a CFO in the class who started a Wechat learning group where we can ask her all kinds of questions related to financial accounting before the actual class. The atmosphere is really very supportive and fun. We have amazing class reps who also organise lots of activities which support the learning and networking.
Lastly, what advice do you have for people out there who may be currently reading about the programme or considering whether this is the right programme for them?
The programme exceeds my expectations. It is designed to equip you not only with hard skills but also soft skills, and with all this intensive and continuous learning, it is a transformative journey you wouldn't understand if you don't begin.
So just do it, invest in yourself! The only thing I recommend is to commit to the programme. The learning is intense, and only when you commit yourself and have full support from the people around you, you will get the most out of it.