#Why Guanghua# is a special feature on our MBA students' stories with Guanghua School of Management. With hands-on experiences in engineering, digital marketing and community relations, RONG Ningjing(Nina) has been building AI startup since 2017 in China. In her free time, Nina enjoys contributing to various tech media, such as PanDaily and TechNode and volunteers as the Community Manager at Ladies Who Tech. Let's read her story.
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Fun Fact About Yourself: After undergraduate, I told my friend "I will never go back to school again after 5 years of engineering school." Now I am the first MBA candidate among my undergraduate class.
Previous School and Major: Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Partner of Communication, Generalized Intelligence
Q: What's your biggest accomplishment in your career so far？
As the Partner of Communication at Generalized Intelligence, I have built a community of 1400+ developers from 37+ countries to together work on autonomous drones.
Q: What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?
After building an AI start-up for 3 years, I realize I urgently need systematic training on business operations and business analysis. I have made a lot of mistakes in my entrepreneurship journey. It is time to synthesize the experience and reflect on my past for a better journey coming next.
Q: Why China (at both macro and personal level)?
My family moved to Canada when I was 14. Growing up, whenever I came back to China to visit, I was always in awe because of how fast the country has changed since when I left in 2007. Being an adventurer and tech-savvy engineer as I am, China is a truly exciting place to be in to witness the frontier of the technology revolution. Culturally, though I have been to over 25 countries and worked in different cultural settings, Chinese culture still plays an important role in shaping my perception of the world. I came back with the intention to understand this unique country and culture.
Q: What was the key factors that led you to determine on Guanghua instead of other schools, and why was it so important to you?
Among all the MBA programs in China, Guanghua students have the strongest bond among the cohort. While I was considering different MBA programs, I interviewed several Guanghua Student Ambassadors from previous years. I can feel they are proud of being part of the community and are supporting their classmates by heart. The community spirit and networking opportunities are exactly what I am looking for in an MBA program.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the admissions process?
For me, the most challenging part is to think through why Guanghua is the ideal school for you. During the application process, the admission committees look for not only your background, but also a cultural fit. Only when you connect the dots from your past experience and truly understand how Guanghua can help you to achieve your career aspiration, you can have a chance to be admitted to the program.
Q: What was the most impressive course or event in learning?
I really enjoy Prof. Hui Wang's Microeconomics. Prof. Wang conveys complex microeconomics concepts with the simplest and humorous language. His lecture is so packed with insights that if your mind slips for 2 seconds, you will be lost. However, you will notice you rarely let your mind slip during his lecture, because it's just so captivating and insightful..
Q: How and why do you think GSM has helped your career development?
Absolutely yes. Coming from an engineering background, I am excited to learn more about how business operates. Moreover, it's invaluable to build such a personal relationship with 80+ experts from different industries at the same time. We are classmates, friends and also value-adding network to each other.
Q: What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why?
Over-achiever. We are a group of people who thrive for excellence. Through the projects we work on together, I build such a strong admiration for all my classmates for their self-discipline and self-motivation. Everyone is thinking of ways to contribute to group projects.
Q: How do you think about STEM industries in China? What qualities do you think tech professionals should have? For people who want to enter the industry, do you have any suggestions for them?
The STEM industry is very vivid in China. People have very high acceptance of new technology so technology, in turn, develops rather fast.
Tech professionals should be comfortable with unknowns. In order to revolutionize technology advancement, there need to be a lot of experiments and unknowns. A tech professional should be comfortable with adjusting hypotheses and approaches as things go.
For people who want to enter the industry, I would recommend them to grab coffee with at least 10 industry expert to really understand how the industry operates. There is a good and a bad side for every industry and every job, but you need to find one that works for you.
Q: Name one person that influences you the most.
Q: What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are?
My defining moment is when I moved to Canada when I was 14. That's when I developed the ability to quickly adapt to an unfamiliar culture. This experience equipped me to work with people from around the world.
Q: What’s the plan after graduation, and where do you see yourself in ten years?
I plan to work in innovation strategy/management or venture capital firms after graduation.