was the basketball coach at the First Annual Chengdu MBA Student
Basketball Tournament last week. The four biggest universities in
the city (and Sichuan Province for that matter) all fielded teams:
Southwest University of Finance and Economics, Southwest Transportation
University, University of Electronics and Technology and Sichuan
University. I coached Sichuan University's team and we lost by 6
was a DJ and banners, cheerleaders and dancers, gawking locals,
four dignitaries representing the four universities and more than
250 MBA students. Most of these students are already working in
companies or own their own little enterprise my most promising
student owns a prosperous hot pot restaurant.
the Fourth Annual MBA Forum in Shanghai last October, 76 different
MBA schools from all over the world were present to discuss the
future of the degree in China.
MBA degree holds great value in this Land of Merchants. University
degrees in China do not always prepare one for life's challenges,
being based almost solely on tests, but a degree from a large university,
such as Shanghai's Tongji, Beijing's Qinghua or even Chengdu's Sichuan
University can open doors that remain tightly shut for more able
students from less prestigious universities.
with most things in China, appearances are God. If one carries an
MBA into the interview, the job is virtually locked down. Another
informal survey of my students and those of the other universities
that I had time to speak with came up with "higher salary"
as the main impetus for enrolling in an MBA program.
the banking system, realizing more efficient management techniques,
comprehending finance and the stock market were hardly mentioned.
The knowledge is less important than the degree. This is understandable.
I doubt many American MBA students deviate from this line of thinking.
schools are making deep inroads in the MBA sector. Since the first
program in 1991 in Shanghai, universities have reached into the
hinterlands and set up programs in such "internationally acclaimed"
cities as Chongqing and Chengdu. The University of Electronic Science
and Technology has at least three different programs with three
different schools: Webster, University of Illinois and the Terry
College of Business. The Odette College of business is up in there
as well, but they don't have a program as of yet.
are currently more than 80,000 Chinese students studying for their
MBA and the number will grow. The Webster program costs $8,000 and
it ranks as one of the more expensive in the country! The Chinese
universities are considerably cheaper and offer (perhaps) a less
stimulating education, but an MBA is an MBA. Chinese white collars
working in the growing Chinese private sector have little need for
a foreign professor to teach them about finance. In fact, the views
of a foreigner who may or may not have spent time in China may be
quite useless in an economy such as China's, which resembles the
United States during the fat cat years at the turn of the century.
took a bus ride with Professor Tischler of the University of Scranton,
who just finished teaching Intro to Management at Beijing University.
He was taking his son down the Yangtze to see the Three Gorges and
he expressed admiration for his students, who seemed to have mastered
his course and then implemented certain aspects of it at their own
companies with great success.
US doesn't know what's coming at them," he said.
they do, maybe they don't. Regardless, as recent developments in
Southeast Asia most notably Indonesia show, the US doesn't
regard the rise of a Merchant Empire in East Asia to be a threat
large enough to derail the single-minded policy of military alliances.
Asia has been labeled a terrorist hotbed by officials and not a
few journalists, but other than Bali and the barefoot fellows hiding
in the jungles of the Philippines, there doesn't seem to be much
violence that can be directly or indirectly linked to an Al-Qaeda-led
in steps China carrying a briefcase of string-less economic incentives
and wearing that oh-so-comforting smile.
US doesn't seem to grasp that only tyrants like Saddam would rather
buy weapons than food for his people. (Funny how those East Bloc
countries are required to spend big money on arms deals with American
companies prior to entering NATO.) Maybe the Asians are tired of
war and strife and would rather emulate China's relatively peaceful
and stable rise from dogma-ridden pariah to economic power.
from boosting development in SE Asia, China has been and is continuing
to lug the briefcase around Latin America. For 50 years the US has
been slapping around Cuba, intervening on the side of the bad guys
in most every Latin American conflict, bringing the hated IMF in
to settle disputes over deregulation and privatization and waging
a "war" in Colombia.
did a great job of forcing more and more Mexicans to make a run
for the border, to a country that may or may not accept them as
the hard-working labor force they are.
steps China with contracts and plans to develop Havana's culinary
and tourism industry, Guyana's telecom infrastructure and Brazil's
electronic sector, to name a few. Incidentally, a Chinese company
also levies a toll on the Panama Canal.
ARMY OF MANAGERS
US might not really know what is going to hit them, all the textbooks,
theories and faculty that the US has to offer in the field of business
is being eagerly swallowed up by a generation of young Chinese very
determined to be rich. While these young men and women spend their
days and nights studying and dreaming about money, the US offers
grants and scholarships for those young Americans who want to be
part of the national security bureaucracy.