Global EMBA Alumni Beijing Reunion
On 15 May 2021, graduates from Global EMBA classes reaching as far back as 1999 met at CEIBS Beijing campus for a Beijing Alumni Reunion. 150 alumni gathered to meet old classmates and friends, make new connections within the alumni community, relive their Global EMBA experience and see for themselves what the programme’s future looks like.
The reunion held special significance for everyone who attended. This is because the connections that Global EMBA graduates make through the alumni community are extremely varied. This event represented over 20 years’ worth of CEIBS graduates coming together to celebrate their time as friends, classmates, business associates, partners, mentors, advisors and more. Of course, after more than a year of disruption and enforced isolation caused by the global pandemic, a physical meeting of this size between alumni drawn from all over the world was all the more enjoyable, providing a welcome contrast to the mostly online meetings we’ve become accustomed to.
Cause to celebrate
2021 is already turning out to be landmark year for CEIBS and the Global EMBA community. The Global EMBA programme itself has now placed within the Financial Times’ top 20 rankings globally for the past 11 consecutive years (2010-2020), hitting its highest ranking last year at #2 worldwide, making it the highest ranked single school programme in the world.
Alongside international acclaim, there were plenty of community-based milestones to celebrate at the event. It’s a continuing source of pride for CEIBS that its students and alumni are so proactive in establishing, leading and maintaining different community groups. Depending on their function and focus, these groups create new avenues for practical entrepreneurship, knowledge-sharing, deepening social links and plenty of other benefits for the whole CEIBS community, while adding further colour to CEIBS life both on and off campus.
One example of a relatively new but extremely popular student organisation is the CEIBS Global EMBA Healthcare Club (CGEHC). Founded in 2020, the CGEHC is entirely run by alumni, serving as a platform for its members to keep up with cutting-edge theories and practices in the healthcare industry, and probe into industry-specific issues. From its small, mostly ‘online-only’ beginnings (due to the pandemic), CGEHC now boasts a membership that’s over 100 strong and growing.
The Headline Address
After the welcoming address and initial mingling, the attending alumni gathered for the event’s main sharing session. This was led by Dr Zhao Hai, Director of International Political Studies, National Institute for Global Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (NIGS-CASS). His lecture, entitled: “Domestic Choices, Global Consequences – Observing US-China Relations through a Dual-Circulation Perspective” was well received, as it offered attendees a timely exploration into the unprecedented changes (and challenges) that continue to shape relations between the world’s two largest and most dynamic economies.
In his address, Dr Zhao Hai mapped out the key factors that have led to the recent cooling of US-China relations, the overarching policy choices that the US is currently weighing, and China’s perceptions and subsequent choices about how it will defend its core interests. He concluded with a discussion regarding the merits of the ‘Tri-C Solution’ (Compete, Cooperate, Confront), while expanding on a range of potential future scenarios that may define US-China relations for years to come.
This session typifies the kind of timely academic exploration that is undertaken by participants in every Global EMBA class. Through their classes, assignments and the programme’s widening range of real-situation learning experiences, Global EMBA students examine and engage with the factors that genuinely shape current-day business realities, both in China and globally.
Future Direction of the Global EMBA
As well as catching up with other alumni, the reunion’s attendees also had the chance to discover how CEIBS and the Global EMBA programme are evolving to give students the best possible academic and personal experience during their time here. A brief ‘School and Programme Update’ was delivered by Professor Bala Ramasamy, Associate Dean and Director of the Global EMBA programme.
Professor Ramasamy outlined not only the logistical and structural changes that are in the works, but also the emphasis being placed on the wider principles of promoting responsible, sustainable business practices:
“With all our students, we’re not just trying to help you be successful in your company; we want to make sure that your company is successful in the right way, in a responsible way. Whatever actions you take, we want you to be looking at what the impact would be on other stakeholders – not just on your own shareholders, but a much wider set of stakeholders – your employees, the communities your work touches, the local and global environment. We want you to be responsible in the truest, widest sense of the word.”
A chance to catch up, a time for introductions
The final element of the reunion’s agenda was a reception with the current 2020 Global EMBA class. Alumni from classes ranging across the past 20 years traded stories with the current crop of executives being put through their paces at CEIBS. While there were plenty of points for comparison, there was a lot more common ground between the current students’ experiences and those of the alumni.
While recent global events may have forced most of us to conduct more and more of our communications online, the enduring bonds of association and friendship on display at the reunion highlight the strength of human connection in general, and that of the Global EMBA community in particular. Throughout 2020 and beyond, CEIBS alumni have continued to support one another as much as possible by sharing best practice, sourcing solutions to general business and industry-specific problems, and providing platforms for collaboration and knowledge sharing. As the world begins to right itself – 14 months after COVID-19 became a global pandemic – no doubt the alumni community will continue to grow in size, strength and spirit.
We hope that everyone who attended the Global EMBA Beijing Alumni Reunion enjoyed it thoroughly and had the chance to make new friendships, while strengthening old ones. The alumni community is designed to enable lifelong connections between its members, in reflection of CEIBS’ ethos of promoting responsible, cooperative leadership. However, as much as this the school’s hope, it is the alumni themselves who create and maintain this sense of enduring community.
As such, everyone working within the Global EMBA programme would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all members of the alumni community, as well as the current 2020 class. We wish you a happy, healthy remainder of 2021 and look forward to the next reunion.