#Why Guanghua# is a special feature on our MBA students' stories with Guanghua School of Management.
Name: Gong Chun
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan
Previous School and Major: National University of Singapore, Management of Technology
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Fedegari Asia Pte Ltd, Sales Manager
Q: Can you give us a brief introduction of your experience?
I graduated with an engineering degree. However, I did not do a single day of engineer job. I have always been in sales and marketing. The product and project change from spare parts to integrated machinery. I used to work in different locations, for example Melbourne, Shanghai and Milan. During my undergraduate time, I was an exchange student to Stuttgart, where the headquarter of Bosch located, my first employer. It was purely coincidental.
Q: What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?
I believe in lifelong learning. The world has evolved so fast that nobody can survive without picking up new skills. MBA is what I wanted to do soon after I started working. The inspiration came from one of my colleagues in Bosch who had completed her MBA. She always approaches a business problem in a methodical way. On-the-job learning is essential. However, formal business education brings wider recognition.
Q: What was the key factor(s) that led you to determine on Guanghua -NUS MBA instead of other programand why was it so important to you?
There are a few mental comparisons, location, school reputation and cost. Location is the most important criterion. Proximity is advantageous in job hunting. Guanghua School of Management is backed by Peking University. The alumni network is broad and extremely valuable. The Double Degree Program has the best of both schools and you can cherry-pick. Compared to a single NUS degree, the program does not cost much extra. The program duration is not too long as well.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Peking Universityand Guanghua MBA?
So far, my favorite thing is the academic program, comprising bite size courses. Students prefer breadth than depth have the chance to sample. I consider MBA as a sandbox where I can explore without worrying the consequence of failure. If I have identified my interest during exploration, Guanghua MBA has a series of in-depth courses. The whole program is Lego-like. Students have lots of flexibility to manage what they want to learn.
Q: Do you think Guanghua will help with your career? If so, why?
It will be helpful. The resources from Guanghua are abundant. The only question is how to exploit the resource and capture the value. It will take time. Something that withstands the test of time always has value.
Q: What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why?
They are talented people,often underestimated. They come from all walks of life and shares diverse opinions. One classmate from consulting background has totally renewed my understanding of PowerPoint presentation. Another one from theatrical study is so creative. She has inspired me to see cross discipline similarities. A person from gaming and entertainment industry has offered me practical experience of social gaming.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Gaming has become my new hobby. I cannot meet my classmates in person. Doing coffee chat is not authentic. Best way to know someone is through activities, preferably a competitive one. I used to play mahjong regularly. The game taught me many things, such as verbal and non-verbal communications, give and take, preemptive and defensive. Do I play money? Well, you have to have a skin in the game. More importantly, you learn to rely on science-based decision-making, make educated guess in uncertainty and assess people’s strengthsand weaknesses, including your own. It is a cultural identity of being Sichuanese.
Q: What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are?
I am very grateful that I did not experience a major adversity yet. Mechanical engineers always like to build something robust. Leaving plenty of safety margin is crucial in the planning process. However, every small wake-up call requires further inquiry and improvement, before the situation reaches critical point.
Q: What is the plan after graduation / where do you see yourself in ten years?
Winston Churchill said, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” I am hoping to work in China for several years, in a large tech firm or consulting firm. In ten years or maybe longer time, I hope to do something hands-on. While I was working on my consulting project, I proposed a business opportunity jokingly to one of my classmates that I could do aquaculture and shrimp farmingon a tropical island. The charming pastoral scene is a little different from the classical Chinese scholars’ utopia. To package it in buzzword, it should be called “Agri-tech”. The classmate sponsors capital and land. I will introduce technology and management. Consumers will enjoy fresh produce and a safe source of protein. Local farmers and communities will benefit from sustainable aquaculture practices. It is satisfying to see business having direct impact on people’s wellbeing, environmental protection and social development.