Name: Samwel Odundo, CEIBS '17
Education: University of Nairobi, B.Sc. Actuarial Science
Before MBA (work): Financial Risk Management Consultant, KPMG Kenya
After MBA (work): TBD
Why did you pick CEIBS? My interest in CEIBS MBA program was due to the China-Africa connection that the school offers. I foresaw stronger business ties between China and Africa and the need for global trained talent to manage Sino-Africa business relations. I therefore saw CEIBS as a good fit to immerse myself in China culture while embracing a global program.
Best part of the program? The best part relate to the China-focused insights I have gained from the professors and my MBA colleagues as well. The competitive spirit of the student group and need for collaboration is one of a kind. Thus, three months into the program, I have been able to learn insights into how to set up an Online to Offline business platform for Emerging markets.
Most surprising part of the program? This would be the China theme of “first come, first served” kind of service. Chinese are so connected on the online platform and get things done fast. This is mirrored in their competitive nature which makes you admire the competitive culture in business.
Room for improvement? CEIBS is growing in its influence and thus the challenge is to maintain the standards set and expand its reach to admit students from Emerging Markets and Europe alike.
Do you plan to work in China? I intend to pursue two options. Either work in Asia-Pacific region or launch an African e-commerce start-up based on the lessons I have acquired at CEIBS. Of course, the ambition to pursue opportunities in Asia Pacific as opposed to China-specific is driven by language competency. Nonetheless, I am constantly improving my Mandarin to be able to take up opportunities in China as well.
How do most classmates find jobs - career services/alumni/other? The school has a career development centre which co-ordinates job and internship placements for students. Their efforts to institute a mentorship program has accelerated placement opportunities while providing guidance to graduates on job fit and life coaching.
What should more applicants know about CEIBS / Chinese business schools? CEIBS is tailored to applicants who want to invest in their future. People with an eye for future opportunities, unlike instant success. Thus, the question one should ask himself or herself is: Where do I see myself in 3-5 years given the significance of China in the global market-place?