Name: Arlind Kraja
Previous School and Major: University College Dublin, majored in International Commerce and a Minor in the Chinese language
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Azure Communications- Digital Marketing
1. Can you give us a brief introduction to your experience?
Having worked in politics as an associate registrar for my state counselor, sales in multiple companies, marketing for a locally developed enterprise while at University studying for my bachelor’s degree and as a quality control assistant manager for a startup, I have dipped my toe into a plethora of different business experiences and I’m still searching for the company and industry that I’m willing to commit my skills and talents to for the foreseeable future. The Guanghua Global MBA offered me the opportunity to re-examine my strengths and weaknesses to find what is best suited to my talents.
2. Why did you pursue an MBA degree at this point in your career?
Business in China is getting more and more advanced as time passes. Businesses in the west have definitely been affected by how the Chinese have been conducting business and so developing a greater understanding and know-how of how business transactions are done in China has been one of the major skills I’ve developed here.Having worked for the past few years, I noticed the lack of differentiation in my business cohort. Being 25 and beginning the MBA seemed to be the perfect time as I had the experience to back up the theory I had learned in college and also the eagerness to succeed was still there.
3. What was the key factor(s) that led you to determine on Guanghua MBA, and why was it so important to you?
In 2016, I was fortunate enough to win a place to study in the Guanghua exchange program from my home University in Ireland. After witnessing firsthand, the quality of both the students and the professors that inhabit the campus of Peking University I knew that it would forever be a place I could develop my working and professional self. As an international student at Peking University who has an intermediate level of Chinese, the opportunities are abundant. With Zhongguancun (Chinese Silicon Valley) right next door, Wangjing (Korean tech area) and Guomao (financial district) having a close relationship to the Guanghua MBA definitely played a key role in my final choice.
4. What did you enjoy most about the program?
The professors are constantly at such a high level of academic excellence that it really motivates and inspires you to give your utmost in each class. The debates, ideas and talks in the classrooms are electric. It is an absolute joy and privilege to be a part of. When I’m not in the classroom or in the library, I’m usually with my classmates discussing business ideas, going out for a dinner or simply enjoying the city of Beijing.
5. What specific skills did you develop through this program?
My leadership skills have definitely needed polishing, the stakes are often quite high and as I put my name forward to be a student ambassador I’ve had to work hard in both my academic life, work-life and also my extracurriculars. By logic, you can say my time management has also been improved and so that in itself is a plus. I’ve noticed my political skills have been sharpened, I’ve mentioned before that I did previously work in politics back in Ireland, and in the Beijing-political city of China-where, almost everything is grouped with politics you have to learn how to approach topics so as not to offend different cohorts that you will encounter now or in the future.
6. What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I make sure to go out and enjoy the amazing city of Beijing. China’s capital, Beijing, is so unique in that nothing is as it seems and unless you know where you’re going, you will ultimately find something completely different that both baffles and excites.
7. What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why?
China is quite a large country, and many international students only realize quite late into their studies the diversity in China itself. Local customs, dialects and traditions are amazingly localized to each region and getting to know the local Chinese classmates and their background has been a breath of fresh air.
8. What advice would you give to someone considering studying this program at Guanghua?
I personally don’t believe in giving advice on how people should make decisions regarding big life choices. Any big decision can only first begin with desire and is fueled with fulfilment. If you have a passion for the MBA in China and believe that studying in Guanghua can be fulfilling, please do not hesitate to contact me personally, or the University, to help answer anything at all you would like more information on.
9. Do you think Guanghua will help with your career? If so, in what way do you think the degree has contributed to your career?
I’d like to think it already has. After 3 months after I had registered, I was already offered two internships in global companies. Guanghua has such a rich history of excellence and I’m very confident to say that it has an equally bright future in molding and producing the leaders of tomorrow. After only a semester, I have really learned a lot that I will bring to my working life and professional career. I’m eager to learn and experience more with the Guanghua MBA.
10 How did your experience at Guanghua help you get where you are today?
Any great leader, before leading his/her team, must lead themselves to where they want to be. Lead by examples and examples of your leadership will inevitably follow you. I got myself here through hard work and perseverance. Our classroom is filled with like-minded people, who both appreciate and respect who we are based on our commitment and dedication to our craft.
11. What’s the plan after graduation / where do you see yourself in five years?
After graduation, I hope to stay in China for one more year and then travel to Europe or Canada. The next adventure is always waiting. I only plan a year ahead tops, so I’m no help to anyone in that department, unfortunately.
12. Would you recommend the program to others and why?
I only have the best of things to say about the program. The campus, the students, the professors, the staff and the environment all come together to bring you a once in a lifetime opportunity to truly be all that you choose to be. The choice is all yours.