When you apply for a job in China, you submit a multi-page resume,” says Jonathan Lehrich, who coached Chinese students how to land jobs in Western companies.
“When we told them you must produce a one-page resume, they freaked out. They wanted to add photos, discuss their hobbies, and include copies of their diploma,” says Lehrich, who in reverse learned that if he applied at a Chinese company, he’d need to write at least a dozen more pages. “I’d have no idea how to do this,” he says, “but now I know about 20 people I could ask.”
Lehrich was one of 20 MIT Sloan students who traveled to China last year to share his knowledge of Western management with students in China. He participated in Project Team China, part of the China Management Education Program, a 10-year project of MIT Sloan and Chinese business schools.
The program is a collaboration of Tsinghua University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai, Lingnan College at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, and Yunnan University in Kunming. Chinese management faculty travel to MIT Sloan for one semester to work with faculty here and also to take classes with MBA students. The idea is for the visiting professors to integrate new skills and techniques into their curriculum and teaching formats back in China. So far, 150 Chinese faculty have come to MIT Sloan to gain new knowledge needed to train executives for China’s growing economy.
Alan White, MIT Sloan senior associate dean who directs the project, says the program is great not only for MIT, but also for the world. “It has opened many opportunities for MIT faculty, students, and staff to pursue their interests and involvement in China,” he says. “And any constructive, positive engagement with other countries and cultures contributes to world peace and understanding.”
Over the past 10 years, the program has produced great results. For example, MBA programs are increasing in China, and international MBA programs participating in this project often rank near the top. Also, students graduating with international MBAs are now landing jobs with multinational companies at salaries higher than what they earned before they got their degrees, while other students are starting their own businesses.
“Not all students in the program speak the same language, but some things cross all boundaries,” Lehrich says, adding that students consistently discuss difficult bosses, tough interviews, and how to motivate a team. “I came out of the sessions walking on air. I felt like our input made such a difference in students’ lives.”