Incoming Student Perspective on the Shanghai Investing Summit and Advice from Alumni

Linda Long (Darden Class of 2017) was one of 12 incoming Darden students to attend and participate in the Shanghai Investing Summit and Global Leadership Forum on 8 and 9 May 2015.  Linda currently works as a manager at McGraw Hill Financial in Beijing. She is looking forward to continuing her education at Darden starting this August and enjoyed meeting Darden faculty, staff, alumni, and investing leaders in Shanghai last week. Linda shared, “As I look back on the Shanghai Investing Summit, I am amazed by what sticks with me- the Western perspective into the Chinese market.”  Here are the Linda’s main takeaways from the Summit and her opinions on what she heard:

Trends to Watch in China’s Capital Market:

  • Investors are getting younger; think about BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent).
  • Quantitative investments are gaining momentum among private equity funds and high-end individual investors.
  • The M&A market is expected to grow very fast in the next couple of years.
  • Commercial banks will diversify their business with interest rate liberalization.
  • RMB is poised to become a reserve currency.
  • China-based high-tech firms are leaving the US for China.

Each of the themes offer tons of opportunities for the investors in this market.

Investing heavily in China may seem obvious, but the huge market also poses its distinct challenges . . .

I agree with Mr. Robert Hugin’s comments that intellectual property rights is one of the most pressing issues multinational companies face in China – it has also been on the agenda for the government relations manager in the company where I work for the past couple of years. Our company has been attending seminars, contributing to white papers, and meeting with government officials on this topic.

However, Mr. Hugin’s solution to the problem- to support the local players in the industry-  was different than those I have encountered before.  He made a good point that local players will begin to fight for their rights when they are mature enough to have their own intellectual property.  The fight will be hard to win without their participation.

Advice from Darden Alumni to Incoming Students

Linda also had the chance to speak with Darden alumni in China. She commented that “for me, Darden is special because of its supportive community. I’m really grateful that the faculty, staff and the alumni take the time to get to know each of the incoming students and are so generous with their advice.”  Linda shared the following notes, summarizing alumni advice to incoming Darden MBA students:

From Robert Hugin (MBA ’85)

  • Take risks and be bold.
  • Read and be a lifelong learner.

From Shaojian Zhang (MBA ’99)

  • Sometimes you have to take the first step for others to follow. Do it, even it’s intimidating for you.
  • Take advantage of the MBA experience to change what you don’t like about your character.
  • Open up.

From Jerry Peng (MBA ’03)

  • Be a giver.
  • The MBA is about gaining common sense – understanding yourself and learning to appreciate others’ strengths.
  • Build soft skills – these are the most important to be successful in life and work.
Linda Long (far right) with her Darden Class of 2017 classmates in Shanghai

Linda Long (far right) with her Darden Class of 2017 classmates in Shanghai

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Jacob Shmukler (MBA ’15) Receives 2015 FASPE Business Fellowship

The FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) recently announced their 2015 fellowship recipients and Darden’s Jacob Shmukler (MBA ’15) was among those selected. FASPE’s purpose is to “inform the personal and professional lives of future civic leaders through a structured program of student that uses the role of their chosen professions in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust as a backdrop for consideration of contemporary ethical issues” according to their website. Shmukler was one of twelve students selected in the business field to participate in the program.

The 2015 FASPE business co-hort will participate in an all-expenses paid two week program in Germany and Poland which will examine moral responsibilities and professional actions in the business environment. Workshops will be led by business school faculty and guest lecturers who will help the fellows examine the corporations and individual business leaders and the roles they played during the Holocaust, and contemporary ethical challenges that business leaders face in light of history. At the conclusion of the program, each fellow writes a paper on a contemporary ethical issue of their choice.

Shmukler shared some of his thoughts about the upcoming opportunity:

“When I learned about the FASPE fellowship, I couldn’t believe such an incredible opportunity was even available!

I think the emphasis that Darden places on ethics in business and leadership has provided a fantastic foundation and inspiration with which to join this fellowship. I don’t think many other schools in the country offer a required Ethics course in the first year, let alone a catalogue of ethics-based courses like Fairchild‘s Professional Ethics Through Literature, Warnock‘s Markets & Society, and Dean Robert Bruner’s Leadership through US Presidents (and those are just the ones I was lucky enough to take!). I’m confident that Darden’s commitment to the consideration of professional ethics both in and out of the classroom (and the boardroom) will give me a deeper appreciation of the topics we will cover this summer with FASPE.

I also think the new Dialogues on Discrimination that are happening right now at Darden are a perfect example of the kind of challenging, student-led conversations that FASPE hopes to produce during the program. Attending these discussions at Darden will only enrich my experience at the fellowship as we tackle other difficult issues.

Bottom line, I’m so grateful to Darden, the professors, and especially my classmates for preparing me so well for what will surely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Congratulations, Jacob!

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Save the Dates and Register Now! Darden is Co-Hosting Three Conferences Around the World This Spring and Summer

Shanghai Investing Summit

Big Data: Little Ethics? Conference

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Research Conference

Save the Date Image 8 May_4 June_29-30 June

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Global Business Experience South Africa 2015 in Photos

This March, the Darden Center for Global Initiatives offered three Global Business Experiences to students interested in learning about a particular business theme in another country.  The programs included “From the Amazon to Rio: Leading Complex Projects on the Global Stage” in Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, “Exploring how China Influences the Conduct of Business Within China and Internationally” in Shanghai, China, and “Lessons from South Africa on the Need for Cooperation Between the Public and Private Sectors to Grow an Economy” in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.

South Africa’s history and outlook provided a particularly interesting backdrop for discussions regarding how business and government function in global society.  Students met several times over the course of the spring to prepare for their time on the ground in South Africa.  Darden faculty member and Academic Director for the Institute for Business in Society   Mary Margaret Frank, led Darden students to Johannesburg and Cape Town from 4-14 March 2015 to learn about Africa’s largest economy and to explore issues including diversity, entrepreneurial empowerment, telecommunication and mobile banking, foreign direct investment and sustainability.  The program’s final assignment asked students to consider how the private sector can partner more effectively with the public sector to promote growth and stability in South Africa.

One of students on the program, Andrea Barrios (MBA ’16), shared her photographs, allowing us an inside glimpse into the 2015 South Africa Global Business Experience: South-Africa-Cape-Town-(36-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(37-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(94-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(98-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(101-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(105-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(60-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(63-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(121-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Kruger-Joberg-(9-of-42)_v2   South-Africa-Kruger-Joberg-(10-of-42)_v2   South-Africa-Kruger-Joberg-(5-of-42)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(35-of-121)_v2   South-Africa-Cape-Town-(111-of-121)_v2

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Darden Leader Shares at the Global Business School Network and American University in Cairo Experiential Learning Summit

As part of the American University in Cairo annual research conference, the AUC Business School, Global Business School Network and Tuck School of Business convened a group of leaders in management education, the private sector, students and public officials to consider the opportunities for experiential learning in management education, with an emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa region.  The event convened 60+ people from 11 countries across 4 continents, 15 universities and 14 corporations and associations.

GBSN.AUC Marc Johnson in Cairo in March 2015 on Experiential Learning Panel Marc Johnson, the Darden Center for Global Initiatives’ Executive Director, joined a panel of business school leaders to share insights and thinking from experiential learning in practice.  He spoke about the importance of defining learning objectives and faculty leadership of any experiential learning program to ensure success at achieving aims – at Darden experiential learning is not only a successful way to increase global readiness in our MBA students but to better tackle unstructured problems, work through ambiguity, and engage across cultural and other differences.  The panel and audience addressed some of the challenges of implementing successful experiential learning in management education curriculum, including assessment of learning, preparing students to understand and learn from potential project failure and challenges in engaging students in real-world settings with appropriate support.

Johnson shared the Darden School’s partnership with the Mediterranean School of Business in Tunis, Tunisia as an example of a collaboration in experiential learning between institutions in the region and the U.S.  In this program, Darden MBA students worked remotely with EMBAs from MSB who were launching new business and organizations.  The Darden students had the opportunity to learn more about the context in Tunisia while providing valuable advice and insights to the MSB students that could help them succeed.  One example of a project that an MSB EMBA student and Darden students worked on is the Alzheimer’s Family Assistance organization, which launched officially in the fall.

GBSN.AUC. Marc Johnson in Cairo in March 2015 Darden is a long-standing member of the Global Business School Network, an organization committed to developing management education in emerging economies to promote economic growth and development.  This event at AUC provided opportunities to share lessons learned from experience at Darden and also to learn from the other schools and organizations present in a thoughtful exchange of ideas.  Following the summit, Johnson met with the Dean and senior leadership of the AUC Business School to explore possible areas of collaboration between the two schools.

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Dean Bruner Connects with Alumni and the Media in China and India

In addition to attending the events for the opening of the UVA China Office in early March, Dean Bruner, Dennis Yang and Marc Johnson spent time in China engaging with other leading business schools, corporate leaders, Darden alumni and the media to help advance Darden’s partnerships and presence.  These engagements included discussions of the newly launched Asia Initiative, which will include efforts to build on Darden engagement existing in the region.  Darden alumni in China gathered for a luncheon with Dean Bruner hosted by the Darden Society, where the Dean noted some of the recent success in Darden engagement in China, including the alumni-led Darden China Scholarship, which reached the one million dollar milestone last year and the inauguration of the Shanghai Investing Summit.  Media interviews for Dean Bruner and Dennis Yang resulted many publications. A few of the highlights are as follows:

Following the visits in China, Dean Bruner and Marc Johnson traveled to New Delhi, where Darden Chapter president Shravani Bagchi-Chowdhury and Aman Chowdhury hosted a gathering for alumni at their home, including the President of the UVA Club of India.  Dean Bruner emphasized the importance of India as part of the Asia Initiative and to the Darden School more broadly, noting alumni support for the India Fund scholarship and engagement by Darden students and faculty.  VN Dalmia hosted an event for Dean Bruner at his residence with local corporate and other leaders, and arranged for Dean Bruner to speak to the EO New Delhi Chapter on his research on “Deals from Hell” and to the Young Business Leaders Forum of the PHD Chamber of Commerce on management education in the future.  Dean Bruner was also interviewed by local media in India, which produced these stories:

At the alumni events in Shanghai and New Delhi, Dean Bruner noted the importance of alumni engagement to the success of Darden’s global efforts and the strong support from the Darden China and India Chapters.  Dean Bruner has spent time in Asia in every year of his tenure as dean and noted that without the support of local alumni, the success in building Darden’s presence in Asia over the past 10 years would not have been possible.  Alumni leadership in both countries has been critical to recruiting top MBA student talent, building new relationships with leading organizations, and helping to raise the profile of Darden in this part of the world.  The strength of the Darden alumni network was on display in both India and China through these visits, with alumni not only joining these events but helping to arrange interviews, meetings with corporate partners, and new opportunities while Dean Bruner was in Asia.

Darden alumni luncheon hosted by Shravani Bagchi Chowdhury (MBA '99) and Aman Chowdhury (MBA '98).

Darden alumni and UVA alumni luncheon hosted by Shravani Bagchi Chowdhury (MBA ’99) and Aman Chowdhury (MBA ’98). Dean Bruner and Marc Johnson, Executive Director of Darden’s Center for Global Initiatives, in attendance.

Dean Bruner, Dennis Yang, and Marc Johnson meet with Darden alumni in Shanghai at a Darden Society event.

Dean Bruner, Dennis Yang, and Marc Johnson meet with Darden alumni in Shanghai at a Darden Society event.

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Darden’s Involvement with the UVA China Office Opening

On 6-7 March, the University of Virginia celebrated the opening of its China Office in Shanghai. The purpose of the new office is to facilitate connections, strengthen academic programs, engage alumni and prospective students, and provide UVA outreach to China.

The top-level delegation from UVA included Dean Robert F. Bruner, Marc Johnson, Executive Director of the Center for Global Initiatives, and Dennis Yang, the Dale S. Coenen Free Enterprise Professor of Business Administration.

Dean Bruner with the UVA Delegation at the UVA China Office Opening Urbanization Conference.

Dean Bruner with the UVA Delegation and U.S. Consul General at the UVA China Office Opening Urbanization Conference.

Dean Bruner, Marc Johnson, Dennis Yang
The “China’s Urbanization: The Next Challenge” showcased Darden and UVA thought leadership in economics and development, as well as architecture. Dennis Yang led a panel  discussion with Lin Zhou, Dean of the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong Univeristy, Ming Lu, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for China Development Studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Haiming Tu, Chairman of Hodoor Real Estate Development. Some of the key takeaways of the discussion included:

  • The unprecedented rate of urbanization in China over the past 20 years has driven significant economic growth and transition, but now poses some real risks for continued sustainable growth and development.
  • One significant potential risk is the possibility of a real estate bubble driven by this urbanization and overvaluation of real assets that could cause serious problems in the financial system if not properly managed.
  • There are also serious challenges to environmental sustainability related to urbanization, including the energy demands related to urban centers, urban planning and transportation needs, etc. that need to be considered as urbanization continues.
  • There are opportunities to address some of these challenges through further liberalization of the market economy in these areas that could help to correct some potential misallocation of resources.  These challenges do not necessarily represent market failures but rather a need for further liberalization.
Dennis Yang leads the Urbanization panel discussion on business and economics development .

Dennis Yang leading the urbanization panel discussion on business and economics development.

The Darden Global Business Experience to China, a group of 19 students led by Professor Marc Lipson, attended the evening Gala reception at the UVA China Office Opening as a kick-off for their week-long intensive business exploration of Shanghai.  The China Global Business Experience explores how the unique characteristics of China influence business conduct both by Chinese and non-Chinese enterprises within and outside of China.

Dean Bruner and Marc Lipson connect at the UVA China Office Opening Events, which also served as the kick-off for the Darden China Global Business Experience.

Dean Bruner and Marc Lipson connect at the UVA China Office Opening Events, which also served as the kick-off for the Darden China Global Business Experience.

Dennis Yang and Marc Johnson with XXXXX

Dennis Yang and Marc Johnson with prominent Darden alumni at the UVA Office Opening Gala Reception.

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Darden Student Thoughts on the IPADE Case Competition Experience

Two Darden students, Bhavani Srinivasan and Annie Medaglia, both in the Class of 2015, participated in the IPADE Case Competition in February of this year.  Bhavani’s team placed 3rd in the competition. Annie shared her thoughts about the experience:

Participating in the IPADE Deloitte Mexico case competition was a unique opportunity to be paired with students from international business schools and to learn how they view the world. Three of my teammates were from Mexico and one was from Tuck, but other program participants came from Argentina, China, etc.  I learned a lot about what is similar amongst business programs, but also what assumptions we make about business and analysis based on where we’re from. For example, when calculating inflation, the Mexicans in the group said 4% as if it was a given, while those of us from the U.S. said 2-3%. It seems minor, but it is important to remember nuances and the context when operating in different business climates. Not all assumptions are the same!

From a non-business perspective, the campus was absolutely stunning and all our local hosts were so wonderful and kind. We even had an opportunity to get to an IPADE business school party as well! Not to mention, Mexico city is a cool city to explore.

Annie Medaglia and Bhavani Srinivasan in Mexico at the IPADE Case Competition.

Annie Medaglia (MBA ’15) and Bhavani Srinivasan (MBA ’15) in Mexico at the IPADE Case Competition.

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Darden Students Explore Entrepreneurship in Chengdu and Tibetan Region

During spring break, many Darden students take advantage of opportunities to travel to learn about conducting business in other regions of the world. Currently, there are Global Business Experiences running in China, Brazil, and South Africa, each with a different specific theme. Three Global Field Elective Teams are also currently conducting their onsite visits, which allows them to meet directly with their clients, do research, and present preliminary deliverables.

One Global Field Team is in Chengdu, exploring the entrepreneurial landscape in Western China and the Tibetan region. This opportunity was made possible through collaborations between the University of Virginia Tibet Center, the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Darden Center for Global Initiatives.

This spring, the team has been researching and pulling together the best teaching practices for entrepreneurship. They have also done research on the entrepreneurship culture in Western China and Tibet and conducted interviews with entrepreneurs from Tibet visiting Charlottesville for a six week program. During their onsite visit, the Darden students are gaining on-the-ground knowledge that will allow them to thoughtfully and strategically adapt and apply the best teaching practices to the local context.  So far, they have already conducted interviews with local entrepreneurship students, visited museums, and presented to undergraduate students.

Darden Class of 2015 students Yichen Feng, Seyitbek Usmanov, and Lydia Kim on Sichuan University grounds in Chengdu.

Darden Class of 2015 students Yichen Feng, Seyitbek Usmanov, and Lydia Kim on the Sichuan University campus in Chengdu.

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UVA Recognized by NAFSA for Campus Internationalization

NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, announced yesterday that the University of Virginia was selected as one of five higher education institutions to receive the 2015 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.  Darden’s Center for Global Initiatives activities were submitted with other UVA materials for the award review process.  The Senator Paul Simon Awards recognize excellent and comprehensive integration of international activities throughout a particular college or university’s academic and student life programs. Read more about the 2015 Simon Award winners and what the award represents in the NAFSA press release and read the UVA press release for internal reactions.

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