Year 2018 marks the 10th Anniversary for the University of Manchester China Centre and also a grand success for Ms. Sherry Fu - the UoM China Director and her team. As an Alumni of the university, I share enormous happiness for the achievements of the university in this country so far and stay very positive about the prospective future of the UoM China Centre – the best is yet to come.

Honestly, I’ve only been to the Manchester city once in my life. At that time, I was still working for the education section of Chinese embassy in London, and it was a short business day trip. The quick impression I had was that Manchester was a lovely cosy city with glorious history and international connections.

I have been travelling between the UK and east Asia ever since I took a role in BPP Professional Education Group, and was sent on secondment in Hong Kong followed with relocation to Shanghai as the headquarter for BPP China. I didn’t have the opportunity to revisit Manchester before my relocation to China however it was a delightful surprise to see that the University of Manchester has presence in both Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Relocation life is tough and tedious once the fresh excitement is over, expats like me usually suffer from loneliness and mental deconstruction, there was a time I sat in the darkness on the mid-levels of Hong Kong with a strong desire to head back to London. It might sound silly as I was born and raised in China, but I truly had a culture shock when I came back after seven years abroad as China has been developing extremely fast in the last decades, as long as I feel proud of my country I still need to make a lot of efforts to adapt and catch-up where I left behind years ago.

Now I look back from year 2018 to year 2015, I want to applaud for myself who made the application to Manchester Business School Shanghai Centre two years ago as the study journey not only gave me knowledge, but also decent friends in Shanghai and life-changing lessons from MBS star tutors. I’ve also participated two workshops in Dubai and Washington which gave me unforgettable memories and the opportunity to immerse myself into different cultures and business environments. My Shanghai schoolmates and I are working on the last project of Global MBA programme at the moment which is the final stage of the study journey and I already know that we will have a successful closure.

The UoM Shanghai Centre

Cosy, hard-working and dynamic are the three words I’d choose to describe the study atmosphere in the UoM Shanghai Centre, schoolmates come from different sectors and industries which was a beneficial mix of connections and also helped me to make very first bunch of Shanghai friends after my relocation life.

We had professors/tutor from UoM flying in from Manchester, New Zealand and other parts of the world to present us various disciplines of business philosophies and practices which was comprehensive, inspiring and informative. Stylish professors gave us very different classroom experiences, from traditional lectures and seminars to simulated business games and recorded mock negotiations, the process not only equipped us with essential business knowledge but also pushed us to react and respond to real business scenarios.

If you ask an GMBA student what is the most unforgettable experience amongst all throughout the two and half years’ journey, I’d guarantee the answer is the overnight group presentation preparations which reoccurs during each workshop for every module we take. You probably found it very stressful in the first/second sessions with iterative discussions and struggling to produce anything before midnight, however yourself and the group members will improve after several modules and will become more and more productive and good at staying focused as a group when you are half way through the programme.

Shanghai as an international business hub also attracts a lot of international students to join the UoM Shanghai centre workshops which gave us the exposure of global business insights and it was also interesting to observe and see how international schoolmates react/perform in the context of studying in Shanghai, a lot of fun.

The Dubai and Washington Workshop Experience

Each of the GMBA student has the opportunity to choose two international UoM centres to enhance the global workshop experience. As I already had significant experience in the UK and Asia, the Arabic/USA destinations looked mostly attractive to me.

The Dubai experience was mind-blowing, not only because the city itself was one of the biggest miracles in human history which was established from desert. Lots of people say Dubai is artificial, I’d argue that this artificial city is a staple of human wisdom and definitely worth seeing. The UoM Dubai Centre staffs are very enthusiastic and they made international students very comfortable arrangements during the workshop session. The Arabic schoolmates are quite energetic and warm-hearted, both men and women are very talkative and easy to get along with. I had very beautiful memory of the workshop trip in this city.

The Washington experience was rather practical compared to the abundant cultural exploration journey in Dubai. The Washington campus is more like business service centre hosting universities in Washington city, well that’s not important! What’s important was we had the privilege to spend three days with the legendary Professor Malcolm Smith who enjoys a global reputation for business negotiation. During those three days, we were taught “the art of letting them have your way” which was life-changing (in a positive way!). I strongly recommend any fellow/prospective students to take his elective course and you won’t regret it.

Two years sounds a long journey however when you look back, you’d only be surprised how come time passed all of a sudden. I feel grateful to the UoM China team under Ms. Fu’s leadership for bringing this prestigious university to Shanghai and making one of the best global business schools available to Chinese students and expats like me. I am also thankful for the efforts that the UoM China team has done to take care of us, apart from all the academic arrangements, the team also created a real Manchester community in China to bound the UoM alumnus. I firmly believe that UoM China will enjoy greater achievements and fame with many years to come! XOXO, I Heart UoM Shanghai.