Duke MMS Student Blog
Valuable Corporate Visits and Consulting Projects in China
One of the most valuable benefits for Master of Management Studies: Duke Kunshan University (MMS: DKU) students is career services. We have access to a group of advisors and staff dedicated to improving our professional experience in the work place as well as the job search process. This includes mock interviews, resume and cover letter reviews, and further job search advice.
Bonnie Liu, the MMS Career Service director at DKU, added corporate visits to this mix! Some companies our MMS: DKU class visited include Tesla Motors, Alibaba, and Giant (a bicycle manufacturer).
Earlier this year, our class went on a 2-day trip to Hangzhou to visit Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba. We learned about the newest trends in Financial Technology, known as “FinTech,” and what skillsets are important for working with big data, as well as the qualifications similar companies look for.
Regardless of whether or not we wanted to work there, I felt like the corporate visit reinforced the practical coursework we learned in business school as well as the importance of honing the professional skills that companies value. And after the corporate visit, we had a little fun exploring the local area and food!
Later in the year during our Management Communications course, our MMS:DKU class had the opportunity to build our professional networks and apply classroom lessons to a business challenge through a consulting project. It involved working closely with Professor Patrick Moreton, associate dean of graduate programs, as well as our corporate clients. The clients ranged from local manufacturers to international firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Initially, I thought this course would mainly consist of presentations and writing business reports that showcased our business communication skills. However, it proved to be much more challenging than that.
Each team was paired with a client that had a real-world business challenge, ranging from supply chain finance to wealth management. The working process felt familiar to us in that our student teams put in a lot of hours building financial models and/or doing market research. However, there was no right answer. We didn’t have case solutions to resort to, and also knew our clients expected ideas and solutions they hadn’t already considered. In the end, the consulting projects reinforced the value of being creative when using the information and resources we had.
The consulting projects were a different experience than our classroom learning up to that point, and I felt like they were the perfect way to tie all our courses together. We were able to apply the hard skills learned in class as well as soft business management skills. After the course, many of my classmates received job offers from clients, which ultimately proves the value of the experience and that opportunities are truly everywhere.
For incoming students or those interested in the program, Fuqua provides a safe environment to try new things and learn from them. Along with on-campus activities, the corporate visits and consulting projects are wonderful ways to stretch your limits during the DKU Chinese immersion experience!