Aston MBA On Why Students In China Miss Out
Humanities grads are more at ease with Chinese culture and education system, says HR professional
Jing Hou, who is currently studying for an MBA at Aston Business School, spoke to BusinessBecause this week about the low numbers of westerners doing MBAs in China, her experiences studying in England and why her compatriots should study abroad.
Why I decided to do an MBA
I have been working in Human Resources (HR) for seven years, and I’ve enjoyed myself so much. In HR you help people to develop together with the business. I really think it’s is going to be my lifetime career.
The Aston MBA is giving me exposure to strategic management issues in business, and a big picture of how different functions interact, such as HR, Finance, marketing and operations. It’s particularly helpful in my career as an HR professional to view the business as a whole, and support the organisation in a more meaningful and more strategic way.
Living in the UK
Living in the UK seems to be quite convenient, especially in Birmingham. However, there have been some cultural surprises. For example, British people are very extroverted and they make friends very easily. They go to parties very often, which is totally different from people in China.
How students at Aston compared to students at Chinese universities
People at Aston seem to be really diverse in terms of their culture, beliefs and ways of thinking. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to communicate and exchange ideas and opinions with people from all over the world, which is a very different experience to university life in China.
Chinese MBA students who study in China are missing out on international experience. China is more international than ever. Chinese companies are going global, and international companies are focusing more on the Chinese market because of its tremendous potential.
This will mean that people with strong skills and international exposure will be needed and stand out. Studying at home doesn’t necessarily mean missing opportunities, students abroad are more likely to have intercultural awareness, which is important to businesses in China that plan to go global.
Why an Aston MBA will be more valuable to Chinese employers than a Chinese MBA
One reason is Aston’s high academic standards and the other reason is the increased international exposure which will enhance me as an HR professional.
I’m going on exchange to Copenhagen Business School next term, which is also a good opportunity to learn something new.
Why comparatively few students from Europe choose to study in China
Obviously, China's education is in the process of developing. This is different from European business schools, which are very sophisticated and well developed.
Furthermore, most of the leading companies in the world are from Europe and North America, which is one of the reasons why students from China want to study in Europe and America.
Thirdly, the Confucian Chinese culture and way of learning is more suitable for liberal arts but not science or engineering, even though the latter two are the key engines of economic development.