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GMBA alumni story: Enriching worldviews, experiencing different cultures


My experience at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM), as part of the Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA program of Tsinghua University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was truly transformative. During my two years, I had the privilege of immersing myself into a rich fusion of Chinese and American business education, providing me with a comprehensive view of global business practices. The program was characterized by its rigorous academics and an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, which instilled in me a deep appreciation for leadership, business strategy, Sino-Swiss relations, and Chinese history and culture. This newfound cultural awareness significantly enriched my perspectives and underscores the program's emphasis on cross-cultural understanding.

Throughout my time at Tsinghua University, the diverse community of classmates and the memorable experiences we shared influenced my personal growth. Beyond being classmates, they became close friends who made my Tsinghua and MIT experience exceptional. Their warm hospitality extended beyond the classroom as they guided me through Beijing, introduced me to the rich flavors of Chinese cuisine (as well as 白酒), and supported me in mastering local apps and customs. Together, we embarked on many adventures, from skiing north of Beijing to a trip to southwestern Chengdu, revealing China's immense cultural, scenic, and culinary diversity. I wish more Westerners could visit China and experience the country and its people firsthand instead of relying on images conveyed in media channels. I was also honored to serve as the head of student life in the class committee, a role that allowed me to contribute to the vibrant student community at Tsinghua. I am deeply grateful to the Tsinghua and MIT professors who shaped my academic experience. They fostered open discussions in the classroom, took ample time after class to answer detailed questions, demanded academic rigour, and delivered nuanced business education in a Chinese context with sharp observations. Their guidance was invaluable and contributed significantly to my educational and professional growth.

The Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA program is distinguished by its blend of Eastern and Western educational philosophies. By combining MIT's analytical rigour with Tsinghua's rich traditions, the program prepares students to thrive in an ever-evolving business landscape. Hands-on experiences, including internships and consulting projects, complemented our theoretical understanding with practical insights. The program prioritized experiential learning, empowered us to apply classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios. Tsinghua embodies a rich cultural heritage, welcoming students from diverse backgrounds with open arms. The institution strikes a harmonious balance by embracing the local Chinese context and a global outlook. It cherishes Chinese traditions while promoting an atmosphere of cross-cultural dialogue. This cultural exposure broadened my worldview and underscored the importance of fostering mutual respect and global cooperation.

One professor who stood out among the excellent faculty was Professor ZHANG Juanjuan, who taught us Marketing Management. Her passion for marketing strategy and analytics was contagious, and through her deep teaching experience at Tsinghua and MIT, she energized our international class.

Looking ahead, I have high expectations for Tsinghua SEM's future development. With Tsinghua's consist rise in university rankings – now ranking #1 in Asia and #12 globally by the Times Higher Education University Rankings 2024 – Tsinghua SEM has a unique opportunity to solidify its position as a center of business management excellence. The program should continue to prioritize intercultural education, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and investing in cutting-edge technologies. In today's geopolitical environment, characterizied by isolationism and prejudice, Tsinghua's role as a global gateway is more crucial than ever. Closer collaboration with leading Swiss universities like ETH and HSG could further enhance its global reach. With China at the forefront of technological innovation, I am convinced that Tsinghua SEM's curriculum remains relevant and competitive, nurturing a global network of future leaders who will drive innovation and bridge cultural gaps.

Happy 40th Anniversary, Tsinghua SEM! May your commitment to excellence and global leadership continue to inspire and shape the leaders of tomorrow. I'm immensely grateful for the opportunities you provided me, broadening my horizons and connecting me with remarkable individuals who have become cherished friends.

About the Writer

Marco Matti (马晟彦) is the leader of Digital Marketing, Media, and e-commerce at Unilever in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He grew up in a small ski resort in Switzerland. After an internship at Wall Street in New York, he started a career in Swiss banking and investment advisory before moving to Beijing as part of the Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA program. After graduation, he was supposed to join Bytedance in Beijing to help monetize TikTok, but the pandemic forced him to return home to Europe. Subsequently, Matti was fortunate to have been admitted to Unilever's Future Leaders Program, where he quickly rose to lead a cross-country team of media planners, business developers, content and channel managers, and data specialists. Matti speaks solid Mandarin, advanced French, and fluent German & English. He also runs major social media accounts in China with more than 350,000 followers. Matti is committed to deepening Sino-Swiss relations and avidly reads Chinese history, philosophy, and economic development.

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Source: MBA Programs