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Choosing an MBA Location: Asia

Here’s a great guest post from our friends at, enjoy!:

It’s always been common to see the brightest youth of Asia jumping onto planes and flocking to the West to pursue post-graduate business courses from internationally recognized b-schools. But today, you’re just as likely to see MBA candidates from the west embarking on the reverse journey to the East to learn more than just business courses. They’re on a voyage of discovery to learn first hand about local cultures and lifestyles.

Here are some profiles of MBA students who’ve chosen to stay or travel to different parts of Asia to study. All of the people featured are active members of BusinessBecause.



Tejesh Mistry – MBA student at INSEAD

“I knew the INSEAD MBA would give me a chance to study abroad and that’s what happened! I spent four months in Singapore which was fantastic. Singapore is a very different world as compared to being at Fontainebleau. Education-wise, it was no different but I used the opportunity of being in Asia to travel to Thailand, Vietnam, India and China.”

Tejesh Mistry graduated from New York University with a Bachelors in Economics and Political Science with minors in Finance, Accounting, and Spanish in 2002. He spent five years working with the Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young before embarking on the INSEAD MBA to take his career in a different direction. Read more about Tejesh’s story here.


Clarie Kwa – MBA student at Nanyang Business School

“Next year, MBA students are going to be more interested to have a piece of the emerging markets in their resume via student exchange, international internships, research etc. Although we’ve been seeing the start of this trend in recent times, we expect to see a significant shift of attitude towards emerging markets from being “good to know” to “must know”. MBA students will expect to spend some years of their career life in this market, especially if they are to graduate in the next few years.”

Clarie Kwa co-founded the first Woman Business Club at Nanyang Business School. At 30, Clarie is specializing in Strategy and is due to complete her part-time MBA from Nanyang Business School in 2013. She considers herself to have a varied background and is complementing it with an MBA. Read more about Clarie’s story here.



Drew Bates – MBA student of CEIBS (class of 2011)

Drew Bates came to Asia’s best business school looking for a career in emerging markets, but other than applying to China’s CEIBS he had no back-up plans. Bates, who was born in Doncaster in the United Kingdom, sent his application in January. A place in CEIBS’ MBA class of 2010 was confirmed six months later.

Bates says life on the FT’s eighth best global MBA program “pretty much” meets his expectations, though he did underestimate how hard the classes would be. “Everyone in my class has been in industry for a long time,” he says. “They (CEIBS faculty) know they are teaching highly experienced people so not everything is explained from the beginning.”

He is also taking regular Mandarin classes. The “secret ingredients” for foreigners to succeed in China are, according to Bates, an MBA and fluent Mandarin: “They will be enough for you to pass the first round of the interviews,” he jokes.  Read more about Drew’s story here.


Nancy Liu – MBA student at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF)

“I plan to root my career in China because of the incredibly fast growth and business opportunities here. A domestic MBA program benefits me more in terms of widening domestic networking and giving me a better understanding of how to do business in China.”

Nancy Liu is from Xi’an City in Shaanxi province, hometown of the Terracotta Warriors. Having worked for a major Turkish bank in Shanghai for many years, she is now studying for her MBA. Read more about Nancy’s story here.


Hong Kong

Diana Gineva – MBA student at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) (class of 2011)

“Life is much more dynamic and busy here than in Europe, both because of the size of the city and the dense population, and because of the different culture. Having said that I adapted very quickly and I’ve enjoyed the new experiences of the past year. I learned a lot about the Asian culture and customs, met many interesting people, and finally decided on my career path.”

Originally from Bulgaria and at 23 years old, Diana graduated in 2011 she now works in Frankfurt to full-time as a Junior Consultant for a UK Strategy and M&A consultancy firm. Read more about Diana’s story here.


About the author: Sian Fleming Jones is a director at – professional network for business students – helping you make connections before, during and after your MBA. You will find many more stories like the ones mentioned in this article by searching the website as well as useful information on MBA rankingsMBA jobs, and fresh daily editorial such as the Why MBA  series.


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