[Meet the 2018 IMBA Class]Global Mindset:Antai-ESCP Dual Degree Student Alexandra Cieplinska on How the Program Has Benefited Her Career and Personal Development

Publisher : MBA Office       Apr.19,2019

Can you tell us about your background?

I am from Warsaw, Poland and have a major in International Business, which I did as a Double-Degree study program in Poland and Germany. This is where I first got an understanding of the increasingly interconnected world and what it means for future managers. I previously worked at Dentsply Sirona, a manufacturer of dental equipment and consumables. During this time, I had an opportunity to work on various projects in Germany, Austria and the UK. In order to further my knowledge, I enrolled for the Master in Management program at ESCP Europe in 2017.


At Dentsply Sirona, you also took part in a project that focuses on the Asia Pacific market. Can you tell us more about that experience?

Studying International Business as my bachelor’s degree shaped my interest in different parts of the world from a business perspective. After learning about the European market, I enrolled myself for a project in the Asia Pacific sales department at Dentsply Sirona. The realization of the project required strong collaboration between the Austrian and Chinese offices. Working closely with the department director, I was able to witness the importance of a leader’s role in a complex business environment. It was truly one of the most interesting professional experiences for me.


So you are the first Antai-ESCP Dual Degree Program student. How did you first learn about the IMBA program at Antai College of Economics and Management, and why did you choose this school for the second year of the program?

Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Alexandra Cieplinska is the first student of the Antai-ESCP Dual-Degree Program. Now completing the second year of the program at Antai College of Economics and Management, Cieplinska shares with us some of her favorite aspect of studying in Shanghai and her plans for after graduation. During the first year at ESCP Europe, I learned about the possibility of doing a dual-degree program, and I was immediately interested in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I did some further research on the university and I decided to apply since it met all my criteria. With its high ranking, strong cultural focus and long history in business education excellence, SJTU is for me a school I really want to be part of.


Can you tell us more about the Double-Degree program? What suggestions do you have for new applicants?

The Double-Degree program allows me to get to know both European and Chinese working cultures, and offers an opportunity to work with people from very different countries and backgrounds. The program duration is two years and each year is spent at a different university. I spent my first year of the program at ESCP Europe, and I spent the first semester in Paris and the second in Madrid.

My major is Management, and I am now on my second year doing the International MBA program at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Upon graduation, I will receive two diplomas. My suggestion for new applicants for this or any dual-degree program would be to really think about why they are choosing a particular university and country. I think defining one’s goals beforehand allows them to make the most out of the experience. Additionally, I would also advise them to reach out to students who had completed the program before (or to ask the university to put them in touch with former students). Not only can they help answer all the questions about the program, the university, and life in a new country, it is a great opportunity to make more friends.


What are your favorite classes so far at SJTU?

My two favorite classes are Managerial Economics and International Marketing. The Economics professor has many years of professional experience in consulting and therefore was able to present to us a very structured approach in analyzing and providing solutions to different case studies. Similarly, the International Marketing class also has a very practical approach, and we work on cases that are given to us by real companies. What I value in these courses is the fact that we’re not only learning theories, but also learning through practicing skills that are useful for future jobs.


What do you like to do when you’re outside of the classroom?

When I came to China, I set for myself a goal to learn Chinese. I signed up for an intensive course, which I attend three times per week after my university classes. This allowed me to begin my HSK level 3 studies after just six months of learning. In addition to this, I am devoting the rest of my spare time fully to the Hult Prize Competition. It is a yearlong entrepreneurship competition that requires students to solve pressing social issues. Every year the issue is chosen from one of the United Nations 2030 goals. My team and I are now busy preparing for the regional round of the competition.


What are your goals after graduation?

China is a growing economy with many interesting career opportunities, so I would definitely like to challenge myself more and try to apply what I’ve learned in the workplace. Additionally, my experience in Europe would allow me to further develop my aspirations to become a truly international professional in its global meaning. I strongly believe that an International MBA program will enable me to develop myself as a future leader and will open for me the possibility to work in China. The program is taught using a global business perspective with a Chinese focus, which is a perfect match for both my professional and personal goals.