Shenzhen used to be a small fishing village on the south-eastern coast of mainland China in the province of Guangdong. Shenzhen is now one of the richest and fastest growing cities on the Chinese mainland. It’s called the Silicon Valley of China, which makes it a great place to get a business degree.
Brandon Stefano, who has a Master’s in management, went to Shenzhen twice before deciding to go to Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS). He chose to study there because Shenzhen is close to the tech industry and PHBS is a well-known school.
“My grandfather was born and raised in China. He still had clear memories of his time at PHBS, and he often told me that Peking University was the dream of the Chinese people in his time.”
Brandon grew up in Indonesia, but his family is from the city of Meizhou in the Guangdong province of China, which is close to the city of Shenzhen. Brandon thought that going to school in Shenzhen would help him get in touch with his family’s past.
It’s the Eastern Silicon Valley.
Brandon has always been interested in technology, so it was natural for him to be drawn to Shenzhen, which he calls “the Silicon Valley of the East.”
“Going to business school in Shenzhen would help me not only learn about business, but also see the tech industry in Shenzhen for myself,” he said.
Shenzhen is one of the most important places in mainland China for business, innovation, and finance. It has a strong focus on making consumer tech products. The fact that it is a Special Economic Zone shows how strong its economy is.
Brandon said, “As a student, I have more chances to meet people from a wider range of backgrounds because the city is always trying to get more money.”
You will make a difference in real companies
If you get a business degree in a busy business center like Shenzhen, you’ll be able to use what you learn in real companies and see how your changes help.
The master’s in management program at PHBS gives specialized training in management. Courses include management theories, economics, and organization behavior, as well as how to apply them to real-world business problems.
Brandon said, “There were a lot of group projects where we were given case studies based on real problems that companies in different fields were facing at the time.”
Brandon liked the management scenario projects, which included things like product development, project management, and consulting.
As part of a project on operations management, Brandon’s group had to improve how a business ran.
The team chose a bakery in Nanshan and came up with and presented ideas to help improve the store’s operations. One of the ideas was to change the way the products were displayed to increase food traffic and give each product as much attention as possible.
When they went back to the bakery after a few months, they saw that this change had been made.
“Even though it was just one of the many suggestions we made, it felt good that our work made a small difference,” said Brandon.
Shenzhen is more open to the rest of the world than other Chinese cities
Brandon says that Shenzhen is one of the most expat-friendly cities in China because it is one of the few international cities there. “It’s not hard to find restaurants opened by expats from different countries, and Shenzhen has everything you could want from a western city.”
Brandon says to come with an open mind and learn some basic Mandarin phrases. By doing this, you’ll be able to fully experience the city’s rich and interesting culture.
He said, “Now I feel right at home in Shenzhen’s culture.”
You’ll make business contacts and friends for life
One of the best parts of studying in Shenzhen for PHBS students and its large alumni network, which includes people from 64 places around the world, was making connections and friends.
Brandon said, “Studying at PHBS gave me three very important things: business contacts, new skills, and friends for life.”
When asked what he liked most about living and going to school in Shenzhen, Brandon said it was making a lot of different kinds of friends there.
He said, “Everyone I met at PHBS was from a different country, culture, or background. I like to be around a lot of different kinds of people, and that’s what I did.
“In every study group, group project, dinner party, and weekend trip, you would always learn something new and find something we all have in common, even though we are all different. It was an environment that helped me succeed in every part of my life.
The goal of the PHBS Alumni Association is to bring together all of the school’s alumni. Alumni and current students can find personal contacts, professional connections, and ways to improve their careers through the association.
A comfortable place to learn in a modern, busy city
Shenzhen is the perfect mix of a busy, fast-paced metropolis and a quiet, nature-filled city. Shenzhen is not like many other Asian cities in that it is very modern and cares about the environment. Brandon was surprised to find that most cars in the city were electric.
The PHBS campus is in the University Town of Shenzhen, which is a more relaxed area than downtown Shenzhen. This makes it a great place to study.