New Students on campus…What would they like to say?
2017-09-18 14:30:55
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This fall, Peking University HSBC Business School welcomes 296 full-time master and Ph.D. students, 44 full-time international students, and nearly 50 exchange students. The international students from all over the world came to Shenzhen, China’s most vibrant southern metropolis, to start their graduate education at PHBS.


With two years ahead, how do the students anticipate that their future will unfold? What were their first impressions and future goals at PHBS? Today, five new students share their feelings, suggestions and expectations. Three are full-time master students, and two are full-time MBA students.

Swetha Aratipamula


India, Master of Finance


Swetha Aratipamula earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Manav Bharti University and took professional courses at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). After graduation, she took a “gap” year in China. With no plan to settle down at first, Swetha began to take Chinese classes at Shenzhen University and then later decided to extend her stay and pursue further education.




Why did you decide to stay in China? 

I started to fall in love with China, and I wanted to upgrade my skills by pursuing a master’s degree. PHBS has the “perfect” English curriculum, with experienced faculty and international exposure. I chose to study in finance, since I have a background in financial management, accounting and taxation. In addition, my father was so happy to know I got admitted to PHBS, because he always wanted me to come here since I was young. He has been a businessman in Shenzhen for the past ten years and keeps talking about Chinese customers and the huge market. Now, I’ve come to know what he meant. It is the business exposure and family influence that gave me the incentives to move to different cultures and take risks.




What is was your first impression here and what are your future plans?

I’ve not seen such a high-tech and innovative campus elsewhere. The best part of this campus is the library, where I can spend all day. Once I graduate from PHBS, I want to work as a chief financial officer (CFO) or maybe set up a startup company. I have attended many startup events, conferences and seminars in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. There’s a lot to learn and I’m learning every day.




What’s the most important interest you want to work on?

Language is very important. Most of my friends don’t want to learn Chinese, because it’s difficult and we have a lot of choices for help, like Wechat, apps and campus advisors, putting us into a comfort zone. However, customer behaviors depend on language and culture, as we have different ads for the same product. So, I often go to Chinese corner and try to speak Chinese whenever it’s possible.



Frank Choy

UK, Full-time MBA

Frank Choy graduated from Northwood University with a bachelor’s degree in business  administration. He has done some internship in in Geneva and Paris, as well as some in Hong Kong and Shanghai. With a clear plan for the future, Frank wanted to pursue a MBA program in China.



Why did you choose PHBS?

I’m really willing to work in China in the future, so studying for the MBA in China will be the best tool for me in my career planning. Peking University is the best university in China, and PHBS with its good location and faculty offers an English-language MBA program.




What was your first impression here?

The school is very young but has lots of energy. You can see the students here are very motivated. The difference between PHBS and other schools is that most people here are willing to learn and to communicate, so you can easily find someone who’s working hard and studies hard. It’s easy to motivate yourself to work even harder, just as an old Chinese saying goes, “There are people who are talented and working hard, so why are you wasting your time?” 




 What are your future expectations?

I hope I can find classmates who have the same goal as me, and in the future we might have the chance to work together. At other schools it is hard to find someone who has the same goals, so I hope I’m able to find the best classmates in China, even around the world, and we can learn from each other. For me, it’s the best experience that I’ll ever have.



David Hall

U.S.A, Full-time MBA

David Hall graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Prior to his admission to PHBS he worked for three years at Goldman Sachs. With the goal to take a career move, he decided to pursue a MBA degree at PHBS.



 Why did you choose PHBS after working at a top financial company?

I’d heard about PHBS before, because Peking University is the top university in China. I’ve been studying Chinese for few years in Taiwan, and after that, I continued my study in the U.S. While I was working I started to think about my future career path. I thought it would be beneficial for me to gain some experience in China and pursue an MBA degree to build up my skills and network.



Have you got used to the environment in Shenzhen?

I lived in Shenzhen before during brief stays. The past few years Shenzhen has grown quickly, and I felt its tremendous change and vibrancy. With Shenzhen and Hong Kong being centers of business and innovation, I decided to move here with my wife and two children. They are also happy to be here.




What are your expectations at PHBS?

One of the biggest expectations that I have is gaining a better network. For me, an MBA network is very important and being here at PKU is a tremendous opportunity for me to grow a network in China. After graduation, I plan to move from the financial industry to consulting, where business and personal networks are quite important. With strong alumni relations and professional skills, I hope I could have a smooth career change.

 Seimar Solano Nelson


Costa Rica, Master of Management


Seimar Solano Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and international trade from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Previously, he lived in China for nearly five years and even took a two-year Chinese study program at Xiamen University. Seimar said that after finishing his undergraduate degree back home, he always wanted to come back to China, because he really loves this country and the people. 




Why did you choose PHBS? 

People who don’t know much about China may hear “Beijing,” “Shanghai” and “Hong Kong,” but few people know about Shenzhen. When I found out PHBS was in Shenzhen, I thought it’s amazing. Shenzhen is such a crazy city, with so many new things and innovation going on. It’s just like the Silicon Valley of China. If you want to study business, you will want to be in the university where innovation and business are happening. 




What was your first impression of PHBS?

My first impression was that this is an amazing place to study. As far as I’m concerned, I can get a really good education as well as strong ties with the market. And the PHBS building is incredibly beautiful. I took pictures and sent them to my friends and family. Everybody is really jealous of me right now! Moreover, the Xili University Town campus has good universities here like Tsinghua University and Harbin Institute of Technology. Surrounded by the best students of those premiere universities, I feel very encouraged. 



What are your expectations about your life at PHBS?

I’ve heard that it’s really a tough program, so I must spend most of my time studying. But there are a lot of activities here to balance study and life. I just want to learn a lot, study really hard, and make a lot of connections and good friends. During my vacations, I’m expecting to travel around China to see many beautiful places.


Winfried Weinhold


Germany, Master of Management

Winfried Weinhold earned his bachelor degree in business and mechanical engineering at Technical University Munich and spent one year in Japan in an exchange program. Though he said he had a very good education there, Winnie was kind of demotivated by Japan’s economic situation. He said his decision to pursue a master’s degree in China was “not just a random decision.”




How did you hear about PHBS and why did you want to study here?

I think PHBS is the only business school on mainland China that offers management education in English. And Shenzhen is crowned as the home for entrepreneurship, just as Silicon Valley. With sheer luck, I saw a class video posted by PHBS alumnus John Stanley, who also made videos about Shenzhen and startups here. It was mostly due to friendly conversations with him on Linkedin that I made the final decision to apply for PHBS.




How do you feel about the program, and have you met the faculty yet?

The management program is very intense with field studies and high academic requirements. PHBS professors are open-minded and willing to help. I met Professor McDaniel on campus and had a very nice talk with him. He also gave me a nice paper to read and I then sent him my feedback. I like this style of communications between professors and students. For me, universities are a playground and professors are like my playmates, of course, with certain respect.




What are your first impressions and what are your future goals?

There are so many different cultures represented on the campus, and I have to adapt very fast and become culture-sensitive. I’m looking forward to joining the PHBS military-type fitness training on every Wednesday morning, since it is open to international students if they want to participate. It’s a good way to know about the country, make new Chinese friends, and do some sports.


After graduation, I want to be an entrepreneur and try something myself or take over my family’s company. On previous business trips with my father, everything was arranged and translators were with us, but I now need to improve my Chinese and connections here all by myself.


By Annie Jin and Sophie Wu
Edited by Priscilla Young
Photographer: Annie Jin