Christian Jensen, PKU-UCL MBA 2018 Part-time Class, BiMBA MBA Ambassador
I am a serial entrepreneur and small business owner with 12 years of work experience in China and 15 years of professional experience. My main business currently is my marketing and public relations agency – CCA – which focuses on travel, auto and luxury brands.
In addition, I co-founded an award-winning restaurant brand in Beijing – Palms – and co-founded China’s first destruction therapy room – Smash. I am also involved in real estate and investments in the United States. I received a Bachelor of Chinese from UCLA with a minor in Pre-Medicine and am a dual English-Spanish native speaker.
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An MBA for Future Success
As the business environment, both globally and in China, continues to grow more volatile and change becomes harder and harder to predict, the challenges for an entrepreneur and small business owner are significant. Even less than before, having a good idea isn’t enough – you need execution capability and a very big toolkit of skills to fall back on. I have already benefited tremendously from the hard skills offered by the MBA to become more versatile, adaptable and be better able to manage my business ventures.
In addition, through my colleagues I have been able to grow my business network and new client pipeline, as well as gain valuable information about the forces shaping their industries – insights which would have been very difficult if not impossible without the PKU-UCL platform.
The Unique Appeal of BiMBA
BiMBA is the best of both worlds: it provides an outstanding international platform with the convenience of being in the heart of China. Despite current challenges, China continues to be the world’s driver for growth and a major hub for technology and innovation; and thanks to BiMBA, I don’t need to give up my companies to relocate abroad and pursue a high-level MBA.
In addition, BiMBA makes outstanding use of its position within the National School of Development, giving students access to thought leaders in fields outside of the MBA’s normal curriculum. Having such a strong think tank backing the MBA makes the program truly unique.
Study life in BiMBA
The program is a relatively balanced mix of PKU and UCL professors. The curriculum seems well developed generally, but non-English native speakers should prepare mentally for the high volume of reading.
Each classmate has different strengths, and taking turns helping one another from course to course has been a highlight of the program. I’ve been very impressed by my classmates’ willingness to share, their humility and level of success in their respective fields. We feel united as a class and willing help one another on a consistent basis.
In terms of grading, while we all hope to do our best, the MBA’s pass-no pass system takes pressure off us and makes the learning style more like what we face in the business world. The MBA instead emphasizes applied learning and relevance. Ultimately, the burden of getting maximum value from our MBA is on our shoulders individually, and the grading system helps achieve this.
Applicants considering the part- or full-time program should be aware of the trade-offs: part-time students skew older and tend to have more work and life experience as compared with full-time students, making them more interesting to network with. However, they have much more impacted schedules due to work and family commitments and can be harder to connect with outside of class.
Knowledge to Backup Career Goal
I am looking at the next company to start or investment to get involved with: and thanks to the skills I’m gaining at BiMBA, the range of fields I can now consider have grown considerably. In a general sense, having access to UCL’s network has given me a foothold in Europe that would have been very difficult to develop organically. I continue to have strong interest in innovation and startups, and was glad to be able to expand my network and resources while in London.
In addition, having more solid contacts in more industries in China has given me greater confidence to follow the ‘Chinese great leap abroad’ trend we are currently seeing, including in Belt and Road countries. As China continues to expand its footprint in Latin America and developing markets, I will be also looking for new business opportunities in my parents’ home countries and through their Latin America-based networks.
About PKU NSD BiMBA MBA
BiMBA at Peking University, established in 1998 by Prof. Justin Yifu Lin (former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank) and his colleagues, is the first Sino-foreign MBA program in Beijing approved by the Chinese government. It is a joint educational venture between the National School of Development (NSD) at Peking University and its global partners. BiMBA now operates two joint MBA programs: PKU-UCL MBA and PKU-Vlerick MBA.
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