Seeing Home with New Eyes
Eason Zhou describes his EMBA experience in Shanghai
What would it be like to go back to your home country after eight years working abroad? And what if you were guided by IESE and CEIBS, who helped you understand all the business and socioeconomic changes taking place there? This is exactly what happened to Eason (Yi) Zhou, a participant in the Executive MBA program (Class of '13) in Madrid.
With a background in biotechnology, Eason began his professional career as a product manager in 2003 at Yaneng Bioscience, a company located in Shenzhen, China. In 2005, he was recruited by the Chinese healthcare multinational Mindray Medical and was assigned to work for four years in Germany and The Netherlands as senior regional manager for Western Europe. In 2010, he made the jump to Madrid to lead the Spanish branch of the firm.
"At the end of 2009 and having lived four years in Europe, it was clear to me that I needed something more in my career, to take a step forward. Leading the Spanish branch was a great opportunity for me, but I had a professional profile that was too technical and it was critical to broaden my knowledge in the area of general management," he said. "The choice of IESE was easy, because of the school's prestige in the city and on a European level."
In March 2013, IESE's Executive MBA on the Madrid campus led its 1-week intensive module at CEIBS in Shanghai, which aims to give participants a close-up view of the social, business, economic and political context of China. For Eason, this was not only a chance to go home, it also meant seeing his country through new eyes and from a different perspective.
"The Shanghai module was special for me. I really valued it for the academic content, for the opportunity to make new contacts and because it was held at CEIBS, which is the best business school in the country. Obviously there were things I already knew, but now I have a more European vision and a wider view of the environment in which I grew up. We learned how to enter the market and we gained competencies that were different from those we had."
"Overall, the EMBA has given me a lot in very diverse areas such as strategy, finance, HR, accounting and operations. And this general vision of the company is basic for any executive, no matter what industry they are in," said Eason, who will continue his career at Mindray Medical, where he currently leads the marketing department for Europe.