Fudan School of Management

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Fudan’s twin towers: my orientation landmark when I get lost after using the wrong subway exit.

So, to tell you a bit more about the school I’m studying at: Fudan School of Management has a bit of a broken history. Fudan University been educating in business from 1917, but between the 1950’s until the late 70’s there was no real need for management education in China due to the political system, so all management education was suspended nationwide. This makes School of Management rather young, as it was not established as a school until 1985. I’m mentioning this because the underlying reasons for this break in business education obviously has even bigger implications for the entire Chinese business environment; stock market, banking industry and so on which becomes the most interesting side-topic within our courses at Fudan.

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From orientation day at the beginning of the semester

I had two presuppositions about Chinese teachers before I got here: 1. They are really strict, and 2. They will not discuss Chinese politics or question the political system. I was wrong on both! Both my teachers have been really sweet, they don’t mind if people come late to class and although they told us that lap tops and mobile phones were not allowed in class, the students still use them and even answer their phones during lectures without any objection from the teachers. They’re also not at all afraid of bringing up their critical views on ‘sensitive topics’ – I’m much more uncomfortable on that note than our teachers seem! So far I’ve started two courses. One of them, marketing research is a part of a part-time MBA program and runs in the evening between 6 to 9.30pm. Roughly half of this class consists of exchange students and the other half are mainly Chinese MBA students with pretty impressive management titles. This course is unfortunately a bit too basic and revolves around how to design and perform marketing research. Although that is important to understand I feel like I already have most of the knowledge that is being taught and I was expecting to learn more about how to analyze marketing research for decision-making purposes.

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Caption from financial accounting and School of Managements pink buildings. There were always free snacks and coffee available, unfortunately this piece of candy in wrapper turned out to be meat..

The other class I’ve had was an intensive course in Financial Accounting (offered by the BI/Fudan MBA program) which ran for 4 days over the weekend. We had lectures every day between 9-17 and got case studies to solve in groups after the lectures. These became pretty intense 4 days as we usually ended up staying in school for 12 hours, but the course was good. It was mainly focused on learning how to read and analyze financial accounting reports from a managerial and investment perspective and our professor was really interesting to listen to, especially when he shared knowledge about, and his own views on the Chinese business environment and regulations. He was also very caring, he felt sorry for us because we had been staying in school so late to finish our case studies the first day so he reduced the workload for the consecutive days. The exam was directly after the lecture on the last day, which left no time for preparations. Although the exam was pretty simple it became challenging as there was high time pressure and since it mostly covered things that he had gone through during the last 20 minutes of class. In spite of how tiring it was, I really enjoyed this way of studying and it was quite nice to do an exam before you’ve even had time to get stressed up and worried about it.

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Celebrating the National holiday with a picnic in Gongqing forest park, in the outskirts of Shanghai

There hasn’t been any school at all for the past week as it’s the Golden Week in connection to the PRC’s national day. This means that Chinese workers and students have been free from work and school for seven days. Although this might seem like the perfect opportunity to travel, I decided not to as this is also the perfect opportunity for a billion Chinese to travel. Shanghai’s tourist spots have been packed and since we are next to one of them, so was our station. Walking through the famous shopping street Nanjing Lu at night, we found tourists sleeping along the street in lack of hotels. But everything should be back to Shanghai’s normal state of chaos again tomorrow.. 

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