Comparison of schools in China?


snowbear
There is some really great information here. I was wondering about specifics of some of the good schools in China. Instead of a "Which is better?" type of question, I was wondering if you all could talk about the strong points of certain programs and maybe some weaknesses also. Briefly about me:

Finance background, about 8 years of work experience. Nothing glamorous. United States born, non-Asian. I can speak, read, write, and type Mandarin with about HSK Level 3 proficiency currently. I'm half way through a 2 year study plan I have been working on. Planning to look at applying early 2013 to give me more time to take the GMAT (haven't done that) and get more advanced in Mandarin. Hopefully I can be HSK 5 or 6 by application time (fingers crossed). 3.79 undergrad GPA from a non-target.

So that's me. Here are my questions:

English IMBA program of course is what I would be doing.

Beijing:
I'm under the impression that Tsinghua is more tech oriented and Beida Guanghua is more social? (what i read here). I originally thought I would strictly stay in Finance for sure, but when I dig deeper, there is more I want to learn about other aspects of business, especially in China. That and I really like people. Maybe Guanghua a better fit for me? What are the pros and cons of the BiMBA I read a lot about?

Shanghai:
Jiaotong and Fudan. Any pros and cons of these programs? Both well-known and hold a decent amount of pull it seems among the Chinese. I see a lot of comparisons of these with CEIBS, but I'm looking more to go sort of 'all-in' if you will and not be confined to mainly MNC work in Shanghai. How do Jiaotong and Fudan stand on their own?

The competition to get into these places among the Chinese seems brutal. What kind of difficulty comparison is there to US schools for foreign students in the English programs like I would be? Quality in the US is top notch, but is getting into Beida like trying to get into Stanford?

My last question is financing. What's the best way to get loans or funding for a foreign program as a US citizen? It seems a mystery and not a lot is said about it. That's one thing that will shy me away a little from places like CEIBS since tuition is about 3 times as much as the above listed places. I will be going to both cities in April to have some sit-downs and get a first-hand idea of the schools.

Thanks in advance to everyone who can give their thoughts. Special thanks if people like ezra, ralph, and duncan can weigh in. Love your posts, and it would be much appreciated. Thanks!
There is some really great information here. I was wondering about specifics of some of the good schools in China. Instead of a "Which is better?" type of question, I was wondering if you all could talk about the strong points of certain programs and maybe some weaknesses also. Briefly about me:

Finance background, about 8 years of work experience. Nothing glamorous. United States born, non-Asian. I can speak, read, write, and type Mandarin with about HSK Level 3 proficiency currently. I'm half way through a 2 year study plan I have been working on. Planning to look at applying early 2013 to give me more time to take the GMAT (haven't done that) and get more advanced in Mandarin. Hopefully I can be HSK 5 or 6 by application time (fingers crossed). 3.79 undergrad GPA from a non-target.

So that's me. Here are my questions:

English IMBA program of course is what I would be doing.

Beijing:
I'm under the impression that Tsinghua is more tech oriented and Beida Guanghua is more social? (what i read here). I originally thought I would strictly stay in Finance for sure, but when I dig deeper, there is more I want to learn about other aspects of business, especially in China. That and I really like people. Maybe Guanghua a better fit for me? What are the pros and cons of the BiMBA I read a lot about?

Shanghai:
Jiaotong and Fudan. Any pros and cons of these programs? Both well-known and hold a decent amount of pull it seems among the Chinese. I see a lot of comparisons of these with CEIBS, but I'm looking more to go sort of 'all-in' if you will and not be confined to mainly MNC work in Shanghai. How do Jiaotong and Fudan stand on their own?

The competition to get into these places among the Chinese seems brutal. What kind of difficulty comparison is there to US schools for foreign students in the English programs like I would be? Quality in the US is top notch, but is getting into Beida like trying to get into Stanford?

My last question is financing. What's the best way to get loans or funding for a foreign program as a US citizen? It seems a mystery and not a lot is said about it. That's one thing that will shy me away a little from places like CEIBS since tuition is about 3 times as much as the above listed places. I will be going to both cities in April to have some sit-downs and get a first-hand idea of the schools.

Thanks in advance to everyone who can give their thoughts. Special thanks if people like ezra, ralph, and duncan can weigh in. Love your posts, and it would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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AoZaoMian
I don't think there is a difference in all the schools. The key point is make sure you build a network while you are there - after you graduate, you care more about finding customers to buy the service or product you are selling or getting access to people to make an investment or project you are working on go through. As a laowai in China, you will find good chinese is a 10 to 25 year process. So even if you get to HSK 6 - your level will always be less than educated chinese who went to Tsinghua and have master degrees. Thus, you really need to think on what you can do in China using English as your key language - with Chinese as a support. But don't try to go to China thinking you are going to use your newly learned Chinese to earn big money.
I don't think there is a difference in all the schools. The key point is make sure you build a network while you are there - after you graduate, you care more about finding customers to buy the service or product you are selling or getting access to people to make an investment or project you are working on go through. As a laowai in China, you will find good chinese is a 10 to 25 year process. So even if you get to HSK 6 - your level will always be less than educated chinese who went to Tsinghua and have master degrees. Thus, you really need to think on what you can do in China using English as your key language - with Chinese as a support. But don't try to go to China thinking you are going to use your newly learned Chinese to earn big money.
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snowbear
I've always been under the impression that someone like me should be in a role where there is maybe small talk in Chinese, but actual business should be done in English or left to native speakers.

I'm also under the impression that fresh MBA grads make about $40,000 annually in China, maybe $60,000 if you're lucky and someone really likes you.

Are these fair assumptions?
I've always been under the impression that someone like me should be in a role where there is maybe small talk in Chinese, but actual business should be done in English or left to native speakers.

I'm also under the impression that fresh MBA grads make about $40,000 annually in China, maybe $60,000 if you're lucky and someone really likes you.

Are these fair assumptions?
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Duncan
I'm sorry. I don't see why a business in China would pay an MBA who cannot speak Chinese $40,000 or even $4,000. What sort of role requires only small-talk Chinese, other than English teacher or embassy worker?
I'm sorry. I don't see why a business in China would pay an MBA who cannot speak Chinese $40,000 or even $4,000. What sort of role requires only small-talk Chinese, other than English teacher or embassy worker?
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snowbear
Well I think not speaking any Chinese is one thing and not being a native speaker is something else. What is the viability of IMBA programs to foreign students who are not native speakers if the demand in China for anyone who is not a native speaker limited to teaching English and embassy work? I'm somewhat confused.
Well I think not speaking any Chinese is one thing and not being a native speaker is something else. What is the viability of IMBA programs to foreign students who are not native speakers if the demand in China for anyone who is not a native speaker limited to teaching English and embassy work? I'm somewhat confused.
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ezra
What about multinationals that deal with English-speaking clients? I'd imagine that there's a demand for native speakers who can provide client relations-type services to Western clients.

I'm sorry. I don't see why a business in China would pay an MBA who cannot speak Chinese $40,000 or even $4,000. What sort of role requires only small-talk Chinese, other than English teacher or embassy worker?
What about multinationals that deal with English-speaking clients? I'd imagine that there's a demand for native speakers who can provide client relations-type services to Western clients.

<blockquote>I'm sorry. I don't see why a business in China would pay an MBA who cannot speak Chinese $40,000 or even $4,000. What sort of role requires only small-talk Chinese, other than English teacher or embassy worker?</blockquote>
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Duncan
Snowbear. The consumer of the MBA is the student, not the employer. Students are not only drawn by reality but also by their hopes. For example there are MBAs in the US and UK which are 90+% Indian: they hope to get jobs there but end up returning home. The existence of the programme is independent of the jobs. Or, another example, the Lisbon MBA is an English language programme aimed at developing the export ability of Portuguese-speaking business people. There are others on the programme to bring diversity. But this students just don't have realistic job openings in Portugal. They are there to lift the experience for the target market.

So the thing is that international students and OBCs are so been about China that they do not all do careful diligence.

Ezra, indeed Export led Chinese firms nee English speakers. But these are not multinational firms. They are Chinese firms which trade internationally. Other than Lenovo, which was part of IBM, which Chinese firms have English as their working language in China? My Chinese clients certainly hire foreigners - but not in China. They hire them in the export markets for client facing roles.

I am really cautioning this applicant against assuming that top jobs will be easily available in mainland Chinese firms to someone with only intermediate ability, short of solid independent use, of the business language. And this would be the same in Japan, Indonesia, Italy, and many other counties of world.
Snowbear. The consumer of the MBA is the student, not the employer. Students are not only drawn by reality but also by their hopes. For example there are MBAs in the US and UK which are 90+% Indian: they hope to get jobs there but end up returning home. The existence of the programme is independent of the jobs. Or, another example, the Lisbon MBA is an English language programme aimed at developing the export ability of Portuguese-speaking business people. There are others on the programme to bring diversity. But this students just don't have realistic job openings in Portugal. They are there to lift the experience for the target market.

So the thing is that international students and OBCs are so been about China that they do not all do careful diligence.

Ezra, indeed Export led Chinese firms nee English speakers. But these are not multinational firms. They are Chinese firms which trade internationally. Other than Lenovo, which was part of IBM, which Chinese firms have English as their working language in China? My Chinese clients certainly hire foreigners - but not in China. They hire them in the export markets for client facing roles.

I am really cautioning this applicant against assuming that top jobs will be easily available in mainland Chinese firms to someone with only intermediate ability, short of solid independent use, of the business language. And this would be the same in Japan, Indonesia, Italy, and many other counties of world.
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snowbear
This makes sense. If I had to try it tomorrow, my current spoken Mandarin level for business would be on par with a garbage man or clerk at a clothing store. As someone previously pointed out, high level business use would be a while.

So how does one get past the fluff and find out an accurate gauge of the opportunity (if any) for someone who is not competent enough to read a Chinese contract and interpret it? A lot of stories circulate in the business world about people getting decent positions when their Chinese language abilities definitely leave something to be desired. I can't confirm very much of this at all though, so it's mainly just hearsay. I'm assuming a school's career office would probably be a bad place to get realistic information as well since like you pointed out, the student is the client and they would probably tell me whatever would make me open my wallet.

What's the best way to get a reality view on the situation?
This makes sense. If I had to try it tomorrow, my current spoken Mandarin level for business would be on par with a garbage man or clerk at a clothing store. As someone previously pointed out, high level business use would be a while.

So how does one get past the fluff and find out an accurate gauge of the opportunity (if any) for someone who is not competent enough to read a Chinese contract and interpret it? A lot of stories circulate in the business world about people getting decent positions when their Chinese language abilities definitely leave something to be desired. I can't confirm very much of this at all though, so it's mainly just hearsay. I'm assuming a school's career office would probably be a bad place to get realistic information as well since like you pointed out, the student is the client and they would probably tell me whatever would make me open my wallet.

What's the best way to get a reality view on the situation?

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Duncan
Well, I don't think it's too hard:
- I don't think the careers teams will lie, but they will mislead. So, ask specific questions and listen to the pauses and what is not said. The obvious question is: how many students with my level of Mandarin find work, and can I speak to one? Obviously there are a very small number of roles around in multinationals, but I think those will go to experience hires and international transfers rather than to fresh MBAs.
- You can also look on LinkedIn for graduates with a similar profile to you.

You cannot expect that foreigners will have similar outcomes to natives on Chinese MBA programmes.

Outside multinationals, the opportunities are limited by your family relationships.
Well, I don't think it's too hard:
- I don't think the careers teams will lie, but they will mislead. So, ask specific questions and listen to the pauses and what is not said. The obvious question is: how many students with my level of Mandarin find work, and can I speak to one? Obviously there are a very small number of roles around in multinationals, but I think those will go to experience hires and international transfers rather than to fresh MBAs.
- You can also look on LinkedIn for graduates with a similar profile to you.

You cannot expect that foreigners will have similar outcomes to natives on Chinese MBA programmes.

Outside multinationals, the opportunities are limited by your family relationships.
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snowbear
Good information, Duncan. Thanks!

Since I still have another 18 months before classes would even begin, and then the program is 2 years, could I beat the clock before time of graduation As for language prep? Currently I have my own tutor who is a professional teacher and I have classes 3-4 times a week 1-on-1. Been doing this for about almost 15 months thus far.

So back to my original questions, what are your thoughts on the schools I mentioned above as far as pros and cons? What are the most common ways to fund tuition besides opening my wallet for the whole sum?

I'd love to get ralph and ezra in on this too. I really like seeing all of your viewpoints. Thanks in advance!
Good information, Duncan. Thanks!

Since I still have another 18 months before classes would even begin, and then the program is 2 years, could I beat the clock before time of graduation As for language prep? Currently I have my own tutor who is a professional teacher and I have classes 3-4 times a week 1-on-1. Been doing this for about almost 15 months thus far.

So back to my original questions, what are your thoughts on the schools I mentioned above as far as pros and cons? What are the most common ways to fund tuition besides opening my wallet for the whole sum?

I'd love to get ralph and ezra in on this too. I really like seeing all of your viewpoints. Thanks in advance!
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ezra
Ezra, indeed Export led Chinese firms nee English speakers. But these are not multinational firms. They are Chinese firms which trade internationally. Other than Lenovo, which was part of IBM, which Chinese firms have English as their working language in China? My Chinese clients certainly hire foreigners - but not in China. They hire them in the export markets for client facing roles.

Indeed, I get your point here. But OP should be aware that there are other multinationals in China that aren't export-led, and need English-speakers in operations. Take Coca-Cola for example. A quick overview of their current senior level job openings in China shows that although about 50% of the positions require both English and Chinese - but there are openings in the logistics, procurement, and supply chain departments - international-facing departments - where only English is necessary. Of course, for some of these jobs, Mandarin is an asset - but it's not a requirement.

Getting back to the original questions:

You're on the right track in heading to Beijing and China to meet with schools. I hadn't heard that Tsinghua is more tech-oriented while Guanghua is more social; that may very well be, but from what I understand, Tsinghua provides a more western-style, interactive style of curriculum. One complaint I have heard from western students studying in China is that many of the schools there rely on lectures as a big part of the curriculum, and discourage discussion.

As for the Shanghai schools, Fudan's IMBA has good street cred, both in the mainland and internationally (due to its relationship with MIT-Sloan.) Even last year, I would have considered Jiao Tong to be a weaker school in general - but its status is rising due to the strength of its great MiM program, and the faculty they have been grooming.

I'd also encourage you to keep your mind open to CEIBS. Since it is at heart an international school, it has a comparatively vast infrastructure and resources for international students. It is pricier, but depending on your situation, the financial aid people may be able to put together a pretty good package.

And financing. It has been harder for international students to secure funding in China, compared to nationals - but because the government there is trying to encourage international students to study there, there are some subsidized grants. If you end up in Shanghai, for example, I know the local government offers international students between RMB 100k and 180k through a municipal government grant. And, there are always loans. When you meet with the schools, this is definitely something you should talk about.
<blockquote>Ezra, indeed Export led Chinese firms nee English speakers. But these are not multinational firms. They are Chinese firms which trade internationally. Other than Lenovo, which was part of IBM, which Chinese firms have English as their working language in China? My Chinese clients certainly hire foreigners - but not in China. They hire them in the export markets for client facing roles.</blockquote>
Indeed, I get your point here. But OP should be aware that there are other multinationals in China that aren't export-led, and need English-speakers in operations. Take Coca-Cola for example. A quick overview of their current senior level job openings in China shows that although about 50% of the positions require both English and Chinese - but there are openings in the logistics, procurement, and supply chain departments - international-facing departments - where only English is necessary. Of course, for some of these jobs, Mandarin is an asset - but it's not a requirement.

Getting back to the original questions:

You're on the right track in heading to Beijing and China to meet with schools. I hadn't heard that Tsinghua is more tech-oriented while Guanghua is more social; that may very well be, but from what I understand, Tsinghua provides a more western-style, interactive style of curriculum. One complaint I have heard from western students studying in China is that many of the schools there rely on lectures as a big part of the curriculum, and discourage discussion.

As for the Shanghai schools, Fudan's IMBA has good street cred, both in the mainland and internationally (due to its relationship with MIT-Sloan.) Even last year, I would have considered Jiao Tong to be a weaker school in general - but its status is rising due to the strength of its great MiM program, and the faculty they have been grooming.

I'd also encourage you to keep your mind open to CEIBS. Since it is at heart an international school, it has a comparatively vast infrastructure and resources for international students. It is pricier, but depending on your situation, the financial aid people may be able to put together a pretty good package.

And financing. It has been harder for international students to secure funding in China, compared to nationals - but because the government there is trying to encourage international students to study there, there are some subsidized grants. If you end up in Shanghai, for example, I know the local government offers international students between RMB 100k and 180k through a municipal government grant. And, there are always loans. When you meet with the schools, this is definitely something you should talk about.
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Duncan
I can only repeat my point: "Obviously there are a very small number of roles around in multinationals, but I think those will go to experience hires and international transfers rather than to fresh MBAs. "
I can only repeat my point: "Obviously there are a very small number of roles around in multinationals, but I think those will go to experience hires and international transfers rather than to fresh MBAs. "
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AoZaoMian
Agree - the poster needs to realistically think what you are going to do in China. Someone mentioned Supply Chain/Logistics - yes this is possible and many foreigners with limited Chinese do work in these positions - but only since they have strong experience in it. Many have 10 years+ in Packaging Engineering and Procurement. MNCs don't hire foreigners in China unless you are taking over for your friend who is leaving or meet a senior MNC manager who has a need and a budget for you - ask the Chinese programs how many western laowai candidates were hired from Fortune 500 MNCs and work in China. Likely not many. For Chinese companies, such as Lenovo, Haier, CITIC, and other international companies like solar and wind manufacturers - you could work in their international sales division in China, but this job would then be a lot of cold calling and harassing connections back home to meet your monthly quota - is that what you want after the MBA? In addition, Chinese companies all have glass ceilings for foreigners, unless they are recruiting outside for a senior management position to appease the board of directors or shareholders.

There are opportunities in China - but its all about selling a product or service for a profit to either Chinese or Foreigners, ideally not in a red sea landscape. Example - if your goal is to sell specialized Chinese tea to the American market, maybe better to spend 2 years in Yunnan drinking Baijiu with owners of tea plantations than do an MBA. In the end, its definitely not the nice cookie cutter MBA jobs we think of such as strategy, banking and consulting.
Agree - the poster needs to realistically think what you are going to do in China. Someone mentioned Supply Chain/Logistics - yes this is possible and many foreigners with limited Chinese do work in these positions - but only since they have strong experience in it. Many have 10 years+ in Packaging Engineering and Procurement. MNCs don't hire foreigners in China unless you are taking over for your friend who is leaving or meet a senior MNC manager who has a need and a budget for you - ask the Chinese programs how many western laowai candidates were hired from Fortune 500 MNCs and work in China. Likely not many. For Chinese companies, such as Lenovo, Haier, CITIC, and other international companies like solar and wind manufacturers - you could work in their international sales division in China, but this job would then be a lot of cold calling and harassing connections back home to meet your monthly quota - is that what you want after the MBA? In addition, Chinese companies all have glass ceilings for foreigners, unless they are recruiting outside for a senior management position to appease the board of directors or shareholders.

There are opportunities in China - but its all about selling a product or service for a profit to either Chinese or Foreigners, ideally not in a red sea landscape. Example - if your goal is to sell specialized Chinese tea to the American market, maybe better to spend 2 years in Yunnan drinking Baijiu with owners of tea plantations than do an MBA. In the end, its definitely not the nice cookie cutter MBA jobs we think of such as strategy, banking and consulting.
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snowbear
Makes sense. Those would be good questions to ask a school. I'm not drawn to or away from anything cookie cutter, but I just assume if it was what I was after I would just stay domestic and try to rise in the ranks. To the other question, no, I wouldn't want a job harassing people to meet a quota.

Looking at your advice here, which is good, and comparing it to the '10-25 years for efficient Chinese' you described in the first post, I think I have not been clear and that's my fault. It seems my question of "Please give me a rundown of the different schools and opportunities" has been somehow morphed into "How can I be a wealthy businessman with a high position in China?" While I am not sure exactly on what specific job I would want to try next (part of the fun of learning), I do have a grasp on compensation expectations for myself and an idea of what I look for long-term. My goal is just to make a modest living and to add this to the good experiences I've had in my life living in other places and learning new languages. I don't know what the post 5 year future holds yet. I will do everything I can to make sure it's fun though before I get old and get to worry about heart failure like we all do eventually.

If HSK was just typing instead of writing by hand, I'd be level 5-6 easy. 25 years of studying a language just to be 'competent' conflicts with everything I know about language, which I gained from being a translator before going into finance. This is only my 4th language, so I could be wrong. Always a possibility. I think this gets back to the all-or-nothing 'native fluency or no skill at all' mindset. There is a drastic middle ground in every language where high skill below native level resides. This means you can say almost anything you want to say apart from medical and complex legal terminology (which many native speakers don't know anyway), but it's known it is not your native language. Good enough for shareholder meetings? Who knows. But then again, who cares?

Your advice sounds excellent for someone who is an aspiring executive or wishes to be wealthy. It is much more realistic than what the business schools illustrate with anyone being welcomed with open arms with any job they want. However, is it really so grim for someone with lower expectations professionally? The only options available to a non-native speaker with an IMBA in China are quota sales jobs?
Makes sense. Those would be good questions to ask a school. I'm not drawn to or away from anything cookie cutter, but I just assume if it was what I was after I would just stay domestic and try to rise in the ranks. To the other question, no, I wouldn't want a job harassing people to meet a quota.

Looking at your advice here, which is good, and comparing it to the '10-25 years for efficient Chinese' you described in the first post, I think I have not been clear and that's my fault. It seems my question of "Please give me a rundown of the different schools and opportunities" has been somehow morphed into "How can I be a wealthy businessman with a high position in China?" While I am not sure exactly on what specific job I would want to try next (part of the fun of learning), I do have a grasp on compensation expectations for myself and an idea of what I look for long-term. My goal is just to make a modest living and to add this to the good experiences I've had in my life living in other places and learning new languages. I don't know what the post 5 year future holds yet. I will do everything I can to make sure it's fun though before I get old and get to worry about heart failure like we all do eventually.

If HSK was just typing instead of writing by hand, I'd be level 5-6 easy. 25 years of studying a language just to be 'competent' conflicts with everything I know about language, which I gained from being a translator before going into finance. This is only my 4th language, so I could be wrong. Always a possibility. I think this gets back to the all-or-nothing 'native fluency or no skill at all' mindset. There is a drastic middle ground in every language where high skill below native level resides. This means you can say almost anything you want to say apart from medical and complex legal terminology (which many native speakers don't know anyway), but it's known it is not your native language. Good enough for shareholder meetings? Who knows. But then again, who cares?

Your advice sounds excellent for someone who is an aspiring executive or wishes to be wealthy. It is much more realistic than what the business schools illustrate with anyone being welcomed with open arms with any job they want. However, is it really so grim for someone with lower expectations professionally? The only options available to a non-native speaker with an IMBA in China are quota sales jobs?
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donho199
Don?t listen to inferiority complex Chinese overstatements. Chinese is not harder than other languages and if it takes 25 years to be competent it is seriously flawed as a language as its people who chose to use them.

BTW, that is why I like the Chinese.
Don?t listen to inferiority complex Chinese overstatements. Chinese is not harder than other languages and if it takes 25 years to be competent it is seriously flawed as a language as its people who chose to use them.

BTW, that is why I like the Chinese.
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Duncan
Chinese is much harder for an adult with a European mother tounge. In the time it takes us to learn Chinese we can learn four or five European languages. That was the consensus of the English speaking professionals I met during my time on Taiwan in 2009 and 2010.
Chinese is much harder for an adult with a European mother tounge. In the time it takes us to learn Chinese we can learn four or five European languages. That was the consensus of the English speaking professionals I met during my time on Taiwan in 2009 and 2010.
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ezra
Your advice sounds excellent for someone who is an aspiring executive or wishes to be wealthy. It is much more realistic than what the business schools illustrate with anyone being welcomed with open arms with any job they want. However, is it really so grim for someone with lower expectations professionally? The only options available to a non-native speaker with an IMBA in China are quota sales jobs?

I don't think it's really that grim. Sometimes there's a pervasive pessimism on this board that can be deterring - try not to be dissuaded by it.

My earlier point in looking at Coca-Cola's job openings was meant to illustrate the fact that there are indeed high-level jobs for non-natives who do not have complete command of the language in China. That's not to say that there aren't other jobs outside of multinationals. We're talking about a developing country with lots of personnel needs in a variety of sectors. So do your research, and by all means contact the schools you are interested in and talk to their career services personnel to see what kinds of jobs grads in similar situations to you are landing.
<blockquote>Your advice sounds excellent for someone who is an aspiring executive or wishes to be wealthy. It is much more realistic than what the business schools illustrate with anyone being welcomed with open arms with any job they want. However, is it really so grim for someone with lower expectations professionally? The only options available to a non-native speaker with an IMBA in China are quota sales jobs?
</blockquote>
I don't think it's really that grim. Sometimes there's a pervasive pessimism on this board that can be deterring - try not to be dissuaded by it.

My earlier point in looking at Coca-Cola's job openings was meant to illustrate the fact that there are indeed high-level jobs for non-natives who do not have complete command of the language in China. That's not to say that there aren't other jobs outside of multinationals. We're talking about a developing country with lots of personnel needs in a variety of sectors. So do your research, and by all means contact the schools you are interested in and talk to their career services personnel to see what kinds of jobs grads in similar situations to you are landing.
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Alex555
Don?t listen to inferiority complex Chinese overstatements. Chinese is not harder than other languages and if it takes 25 years to be competent it is seriously flawed as a language as its people who chose to use them.

BTW, that is why I like the Chinese.


I'd like to support Donho 199 and Snowbear in that the dufficulty of Mandarin, while being really a challenge, should not be overestimated. I've heard an American in Shanghai saying "as for speaking Mandarin.. these days, who doesn't?" If You have a gift for languages (as Snowbear who speaks FOUR of them), and a real motive to dedicate time for learning, in 3-4 years' time it'll be yours. China is full of such examples. Remember, some 1-2 thousand years ago Mandarin was the lingua franca and political correspondence language for the whole of East Asia... it is just a language, a means for people to communicate
<blockquote>Don?t listen to inferiority complex Chinese overstatements. Chinese is not harder than other languages and if it takes 25 years to be competent it is seriously flawed as a language as its people who chose to use them.

BTW, that is why I like the Chinese.
</blockquote>

I'd like to support Donho 199 and Snowbear in that the dufficulty of Mandarin, while being really a challenge, should not be overestimated. I've heard an American in Shanghai saying "as for speaking Mandarin.. these days, who doesn't?" If You have a gift for languages (as Snowbear who speaks FOUR of them), and a real motive to dedicate time for learning, in 3-4 years' time it'll be yours. China is full of such examples. Remember, some 1-2 thousand years ago Mandarin was the lingua franca and political correspondence language for the whole of East Asia... it is just a language, a means for people to communicate
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AoZaoMian
When looking at most job advertisements in China, the requirement often says fluent Chinese. If you are going to write fluent mandarin on your resume, I honestly think this is a 8 to 10 year time commitment. Fluent means reading and editing the 20 page contract with your customer in Chinese under time pressure. It means being on a phone all day in Chinese talking about purchase orders, accounts receivable collections, quality and design, testing, investment, strategy. It means writing a PPT in Chinese and drafting a formal letter in Chinese. It means hitting the right tones when giving the PPT in front of a 100 person audience. How about a comprehensive understanding of Chinese culture and the thousands of 4 letter Chengyu that one will hear and read throughout one's day?

If you can't do this, you will have to write on your resume: intermediate chinese, working proficiency, or fluent listening and speaking/intermediate writing. Writing this on your resume however, (unless you have a connection within the company, kills your chances at getting the job. And even if you write fluent chinese, you will get a lot of skeptism from Chinese HR department towards the ability of a non-ethnic Chinese speaking good Chinese (even though everyone else will say your chinese is so good).

So why does it take so long? Assuming there are three levels in Chinese: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, you'll find that intermediate is the stage that requires the most time. Beginner to Intermediate is pretty easy - a 1 year time process. From Intermediate to Advanced is a long road, where many foreigners have given up. If you have 3 to 4 years of study of Chinese in University, you can quickly accelerate the process due to a solid foundation in tones and radicals, as you will only have to catch up on vocab). If you did not study in University, and you working ful-time, it can easily be 10 years to write fluent Chinese on your resume, especially if you are in Shanghai or BJ where you will spend a large amount of time with foreigners. If you are living in the country and watching Chinese television every day, interacting with locals, then your speech and listening should greatly improve, but not necessarily your writing and reading.

There are jobs where intermediate Chinese is enough. Especially in jobs you are not selling to Chinese, but to foreigners. So advanced Chinese is not the end all for getting a job in China.
When looking at most job advertisements in China, the requirement often says fluent Chinese. If you are going to write fluent mandarin on your resume, I honestly think this is a 8 to 10 year time commitment. Fluent means reading and editing the 20 page contract with your customer in Chinese under time pressure. It means being on a phone all day in Chinese talking about purchase orders, accounts receivable collections, quality and design, testing, investment, strategy. It means writing a PPT in Chinese and drafting a formal letter in Chinese. It means hitting the right tones when giving the PPT in front of a 100 person audience. How about a comprehensive understanding of Chinese culture and the thousands of 4 letter Chengyu that one will hear and read throughout one's day?

If you can't do this, you will have to write on your resume: intermediate chinese, working proficiency, or fluent listening and speaking/intermediate writing. Writing this on your resume however, (unless you have a connection within the company, kills your chances at getting the job. And even if you write fluent chinese, you will get a lot of skeptism from Chinese HR department towards the ability of a non-ethnic Chinese speaking good Chinese (even though everyone else will say your chinese is so good).

So why does it take so long? Assuming there are three levels in Chinese: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, you'll find that intermediate is the stage that requires the most time. Beginner to Intermediate is pretty easy - a 1 year time process. From Intermediate to Advanced is a long road, where many foreigners have given up. If you have 3 to 4 years of study of Chinese in University, you can quickly accelerate the process due to a solid foundation in tones and radicals, as you will only have to catch up on vocab). If you did not study in University, and you working ful-time, it can easily be 10 years to write fluent Chinese on your resume, especially if you are in Shanghai or BJ where you will spend a large amount of time with foreigners. If you are living in the country and watching Chinese television every day, interacting with locals, then your speech and listening should greatly improve, but not necessarily your writing and reading.

There are jobs where intermediate Chinese is enough. Especially in jobs you are not selling to Chinese, but to foreigners. So advanced Chinese is not the end all for getting a job in China.
quote
Duncan
AoZaoMian, thanks so much for this. I think it is important that Westerners understand that learning fluency in Chinese is much harder than it is with another Western language.
AoZaoMian, thanks so much for this. I think it is important that Westerners understand that learning fluency in Chinese is much harder than it is with another Western language.
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