Why MAS in European and Chinese Business Management?

A strong credential for an international career

Currently, over 600 Swiss companies are operating in China and Chinese companies have been going global with increasing frequency. Cooperation between China and Switzerland is intensifying in both the governmental and business sectors. This is exemplified by the Free Trade Agreement, signed in 2013, between the two countries, and the fact that the majority of the biggest Chinese banks have chosen Switzerland as their base for overseas expansion. There is a troubling shortage of talents supply for contemporary business operations in cross-cultural domains. With its innovative and unique focus on European and Chinese business cultures, the MAS ECBM program plays a pioneering and pivotal role in preparing future managers with cross-cultural competences and management skills.
The mission of the MAS ECBM program is to impart advanced management knowledge with emphasis on business opportunities and challenges in the context of Europe and China. The highly qualified faculty from both partner institutions and international Sino-European scholars provide a management curriculum with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and cross-cultural issues. In parallel to the management courses (all taught in English), the program offers German and Chinese language courses as well.

Practical management skills

The 12-month intensive MAS ECBM program consists of two main parts: 6 months of taught courses held in Zurich dealing with fundamentals in international management and business characteristics in Europe and China, respectively, and a practice-oriented project (internship) in either Europe or China, followed by the master thesis. The classroom teaching is comple­mented by case studies and first hand experiences from practitioners. This curriculum pro­vides students with the opportunity to apply what they learned first-hand in a real-world busi­ness environment. During their internship in a culturally unfamiliar environment, students gain invaluable insights into business cultures and the challenges of cooperation.

Membership in a cross-cultural community

Participants from various cultural backgrounds provide peer to peer perspectives for a better understanding of multicultural complexities in the real world. Since the master thesis is group-work based, participants gain experience in completing demanding tasks with time limit­ation in a team of diverse cultural backgrounds and interests. After graduation, participants are granted long-term access to the MAS ECBM Alumni organization, thus becoming part of a highly beneficial network.

For first-hand insights read the interview below with one of our students!

“An exciting journey to intercultural management” - Interview with Kata, one of our students

Question: What surprised you the most when
you started the MAS program?

Answer: On the first day of class, I was really surprised when I entered the classroom. I was expecting a multicultural group of students, but I wasn't prepared for such diversity! My classmates come from all over the world, have all sorts of back­grounds and belong to different age groups. My first thought was: This will be interesting, also a little scary, but very exciting!

Question: How does a typical week look like?

Answer:  We have classes from Monday to Wednesday, with a new module every week, which means a new professor and a new topic every week. You have to stay sharp and quickly adapt to the topic and teaching style, because every professor is different. Classes involve group work, presentations and other interactive tasks, so we get a lot of chances to work in teams. This can be challenging, considering the cultural diversity of the students and the professors, but at the same time it is incredibly rewarding. On Thursday morning, the Western students have Chinese language classes, while the Chinese students have German language classes. Personally, I do work part-time next to the program, which is tough, but manageable.

Question: What do you think about the professors?

Answer: It is interesting to observe the difference between professors from Europe, China and the US. They definitely have one thing in common though: they all want to get to know us better so they can personalize their teaching material to our needs. After the first few courses, you realize that the professors come from a wide variety of academic fields and universities and you can tell they are all among the best in their field. Sometimes they even bring along someone from higher management, like a CEO of a company, who is willing to share his knowledge and insights with us.

Question: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge of this program?

Answer: As I mentioned before, it can be challenging to quickly absorb all the information and to adapt to the different teaching styles. Also, writing my thesis while doing the internship at the same time requires a lot of time and energy. Luckily, we are allowed to pick the thesis topic quite freely, so it can be related to my internship, and the fact that we write the thesis not alone, but in small groups, definitely helps.

Question: Any culture shock so far?

Answer: I must say I was quite surprised when my Chinese classmates started to bring their own electrical cooking devices to the classroom to prepare their lunch. They themselves seemed to have some culture shock regarding the food. I did not mind at all that they did that, but the university staff wasn't exactly pleased, so we made an effort to introduce them to the local food.

Question: Have you already thought about what comes after the MAS program?

Answer: I started this program because I realized that the demand for cross-cultural management competencies are going to increase, especially in the context of China. This program has showed me how important these skills are in literally all aspects of business. After graduation, I am planning to work in China, to gain some more experience, and then return to Europe to help companies, who intend to cooperate with Chinese businesses.

This interview was conducted with a first cohort student in 2016.

Advanced study programs:
  • MAS European and Chinese Business Management (65 ECTS)
    • full-time study (1 year)
    • part-time study (2 years)
  • CAS Chinese Business Management (12 ECTS)
  • CAS European Business Management (12 ECTS)

For more information about the advanced study programs in European and Chinese Management please visit: http://www.ecbm.uzh.ch/en.html

Next information events:
28 February 2018, 18:00h
03 May 2018, 18:00h

Contact us:
Tiffany Merz-Cheok
University of ZurichEuropean and Chinese Business Management
Plattenstrasse 14
CH-8032 Zurich
Phone: +41 (0)44 634 19 85

Dezember 2017