From South Africa to China: A Journey of Innovation and Transformation at CEIBS

Embarking on an MBA journey is often a transformative experience, and for South African Mtha Moses, his tenure at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) was nothing short of career-defining. After a decade of diverse business experience, Mtha chose CEIBS for his MBA studies between 2019-2021, following which the programme's unique blend of cultural immersion in China and exceptional business insights propelled him into a prestigious role with one of the world’s leading consultancy firms.   

We sat down with Mtha to ask him about his reasons for choosing China for this key learning journey, its impact on his career, and the new perspectives he discovered along the way.  

Choosing China: A Leap into the Unknown 

Mtha's decision to pursue an MBA at CEIBS was fueled by a blend of curiosity and strategic insight. He particularly recognised the parallel dynamics at play in the Chinese and African economies, both of which are reshaping the global economic order and are marked by their zest for learning and innovation. Mtha remarks, “Growing up outside of China, you may have a vague idea of what it’s like. I was intensely curious to go and see for myself what makes it such a hub for innovation and change.” 

Mtha at CEIBS

Unlocking New Perspectives in Business and Culture 

Mtha's immersion in China offered him a unique vantage point. He says, “Open-mindedness was my first and overriding impression of the business culture here.” This environment nurtured a dynamic learning experience, where new ideas and novel business practices were not just welcomed but actively put to the test. Mtha's exposure to China's technological advancements and its shift from a domestically focused to a globally ambitious economy was eye-opening. “It showed me that there’s never just one way of doing something,” he reflects on his transformative experience. 

Applying Lessons Learned in a Global Context 

Post-MBA, Mtha's role as a consultant spans various industries and regions. His CEIBS experience armed him with a unique perspective, which is essential for navigating the complexities of international business. “Going to CEIBS impacted my ability to review and assess different types of businesses,” he states. This enhanced global perspective is crucial in a world where understanding China's role in global economics and geopolitics is becoming increasingly important. 

The Next Chapter: Entrepreneurial Aspirations 

Looking ahead, Mtha envisions a return to China for entrepreneurial ventures. He believes China's business ecosystem is unparalleled in fostering innovation. “There’s an ecosystem geared towards it, there’s a business culture that embraces it,” he says, underscoring China's appeal for future business endeavours. 

Advice for Aspiring Business Leaders 

When asked for a parting piece of advice for young businesspeople outside of China who may view it as a place to grow their career prospects and overall business knowledge, but are unsure about the timing of such a move, Mtha doesn’t disappoint: 

“Dive in without delay. My only regret is not coming to China sooner. There's no need to wait for every piece to fall into place. Embrace the new and different, as it broadens your perspective. In China, you'll find a community for every ambition. Arrive with an open mind, set aside preconceptions, experience China firsthand, and forge your own path.” 

On a CEIBS MBA trip

Mtha’s story is more than just a testament to the transformative power of the CEIBS MBA programme. It's a call to action for aspiring business leaders to step out of their comfort zones and embrace the diverse, dynamic business landscape that CEIBS and China offer. His journey illustrates how an open-minded approach to learning and adaptation can redefine one's career and global business perspective. 

Mtha Moses and Leonard Corcoran
Michael Russam