Meet the ZIBS iMBA Student from the US on a Mission to Contribute to China’s Education Industry

William Triska took his Bachelor of Arts in International/Global Studies at the Evergreen State College in Washington and later spent his final undergraduate year at the University of Washington through a consortium. After graduation, he accepted an opportunity to work for an EdTech startup as a curriculum developer in Beijing and flew all the way to China in September 2016.

William working on startup ideas in Ningbo. Photo by Amy Xu.

He has been living in China for three years, two years in Beijing and one year in Hangzhou. He has worked in numerous roles in the education industry in China, and is currently a teacher at one of the middle schools in Hangzhou. In 2019, William enrolled in the international MBA (iMBA) program at Zhejiang University International Business School (ZIBS) and is part of the inaugural class of 2021.

A visionary by heart, William plans to reshape the education industry in China to empower Chinese students and lead them on the right track.

Education Market in China vs the US

As the education market in China continues to grow at a rapid rate, William thinks now is a good time to get involved.

“A common misconception in the United States is that when you invest in education, the return of investment takes too long or it’s hard to find the right people/right team. The reality is, your invest may not pay off instantly, but the risks are significantly low.”

According to the most recent statistics by the Ministry of Education, the total number of international students in Chinese higher education was 492,185 in 2018 overtaking the UK.

For William, it’s the same situation in China, except the prospects are better. In the next 15 to 20 years, he sees a projected increase in Chinese universities by 20% to 30%. With millions of people added into the education ecosystem, the growth attracts investors and educators alike.

There are three things that make the education industry attractive in China. 1) The huge scale of the population, 2) The fast pace of innovation, and 3) The importance of education in Chinese culture.

William credits the success of Chinese education to the perspective of Chinese parents. Most parents in China who had lesser educational opportunities when they were younger are seeking the best education for their children, providing them with a competitive advantage.

“This kind of thinking is a bit lacking in the United States as parents are more complacent. We don’t push the innovative side of education as much as we should. Whereas China is well-positioned in the education industry, pushing innovations that are meaningful and long-lasting.”

Education is a top priority in China. Chinese parents spend a disproportionate amount of their income on education for their child’s future.

Will has been reflecting on the differences between getting a degree in China and in US. He feels that its more valuable in China, partly because you are doing something different, and you are unique.

“Gaining experience in China gives you genuine value, whereas in the US, you are just part of the millions of ‘other’ students/professionals.”

As for the future of China’s education industry, William predicts it will continue to grow in the coming years. “In China, there’s always room for growth and innovation.”

With more schools opening in China every year, it is a strong indicator that people’s perception of education is changing. The increasing number of international students in China is also indicative of the need to gain a more Chinese and global perspective.

“The Chinese education industry is leaning towards internationalization and holistic education to be more globally competitive and reach out to the world.”

Reshaping China’s Testing Procedures

William has promising plans for China’s education industry.

After he completes his iMBA degree at ZIBS, one of William’s goal is to disrupt China’s testing industry by starting a company that will make testing more accessible.

“Only 30% of students who are qualified to go to universities actually get admitted.” For William, this challenge has to be addressed. He wants to create a simple solution to efficiently identify students who will get the opportunity to be accepted into universities and who doesn’t.

With China’s huge population, its a massive challenge to test each student and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. William wants to contribute to this, help Chinese students get in the right track and help increase students qualified to go into universities.

William’s future plans doesn’t end with China’s testing industry. This educator’s ultimate passion project is to start an educational media company and produce high end curriculum, multimedia events and more.

Add together his educational background, work experience, forward-thinking mindset, and an iMBA degree at ZIBS, it is without a doubt that William can accomplish his future plans.

iMBA Experience at ZIBS

Professor Ben Shenglin and William Triska at the end of term celebration.

William came to know ZIBS when he participated in Ever Green State College’s study-abroad program where they visited Zhejiang University. At that time, other students at Ever Green were taking the Master of China Studies (MCS) at ZIBS.

This sparked William’s interest in China, and thought of the country as a place where he can start something new. For him, it meant gaining new perspectives and learning new skills.

“China provides more opportunities, and the country supports people who want to make a difference.”

While MCS was the choice for many Evergreen students, William did see the program fitting into his long-term career goal.

“When I heard ZIBS was launching the iMBA, I thought it would be a great program for my line of work in the education industry.”

The international MBA (iMBA) program at ZIBS is dedicated to advancing leaders who can envision and implement original business concepts. Scholars and students of diverse backgrounds benefit from the collaborative learning environment, world-class research and academic theory which is integrated with business practice.

William particularly finds the unconventional course structure and well-selected lectures in the iMBA program helpful. From start to finish, classes at ZIBS go through intensives.

“ZIBS creates a fast-paced environment. You go over the course material quickly so you don’t get stuck/waste time. This is an advantage in an MBA program especially if you’re covering so much ground.”

Through cooperation with peer universities globally, ZIBS brings leading global professors, scholars and industry experts to the classroom to establish a truly international faculty which blends theory and practice.

“The professors at ZIBS are great. They come from different backgrounds and are really committed to teaching students. 

William finds ZIBS location in Haining convenient. ZIBS is located north of Juanhu Park in Haining, covering 200 acres.

The new Zhejiang University International Campus where ZIBS is located.

It is an extraordinary international community full of creativity, energy and entrepreneurial spirit. Students not only enjoy international standard liberal arts and professional education, but also have the opportunity to work with partners around the world, in a rich and colorful living environment.

“Haining is a nice little city with a lot of potential. It’s an entrepreneurial city right in the middle of the Yangtze River Delta. It’s surrounded by big urban cities such as Shanghai, Nanjing, and Ningbo but Haining stands on its own.”


For students who aspire to study in China, William gives one important advice: know exactly what you want. Choosing a program that is specific and tailored to your planned career progress increases your chance of success.

“Come to China and make the most of it – treat it as a rare opportunity.”

About ZIBS iMBA

Do you want to be part of a leading global ecosystem and experience quality management education?

The iMBA at ZIBS is the perfect program for you. The program is taught in both part-time and full-time mode. The part-time program is an attractive program for professionals located in Hangzhou, Jiangsu, Shanghai and surrounding areas who are seeking to reach the next level in China. The full-time program is an ideal program for future global business leaders.

With the mission to train business talents who are ready for the new global economic era, with a particular focus on new technologies, new economy, and new finance, you are ensured of a bright future ahead in the Chinese and international markets.

Learn more and start your iMBA applications for 2020 here.

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