Navigating China and the World with Newfound Knowledge: The Closing Ceremony of the GEPC Program

There are endless reasons why a business professional continues to seek education. Some want to build and grow their professional network; others might look to learn new skills. Most see this path in executive education as one that will lead them to become better leaders. In Tsinghua SEM’s Global Executive Program in China (GEPC), participants enroll for one more reason: to learn more about how to do business in China.

On August 21, 2022, participants graduated from the pilot GEPC program, which is designed to equip global leaders with Chinese business acumen. Spreading over five months, the 16 live-virtual courses were perfectly suited to participants’ busy schedules and desire to collaborate and communicate with other professionals. Amidst the hundred-day journey, participants learned many aspects of business in a Chinese context, from economic development, digitization and marketing to innovation and investment. “If you want to become a global leader, you need to understand China. China is a profound book. Other’s notes cannot replace your own understanding. Be brave to face the competition and welcome the challenge,” said Professor Jizhen Li, Associate Dean of Tsinghua SEM, during the closing ceremony.

Professor Jizhen Li delivers a speech at the closing ceremony

Dr. Ruipeng Di, Director of Global Courses of Tsinghua SEM Executive Education, presides over the closing ceremony

“Don't underestimate your contribution to a better future,” said Professor Tomas Casas, Director of the China Competence Center of St. Gallen University, adding that the vision of the program was served to help participants grow as a person and a leader, and enable them to contribute to international relations.

Professor Tomas Casas delivers a speech at the closing ceremony

These senior executives should not only overcome the difficulties of the time difference, but also coordinate their busy work and maintain the balance of family life. In the face of pressure from all aspects, participants who still participated in all the courses and performed well won the GEPC Perfect Attendance Award. Victoria Yunduan Tang, Associate Director of the Executive Education Center of Tsinghua SEM, congratulated the winning participants and presented them with certificates.

Victoria Yunduan Tang presents the certificates

Participants also shared their learning experiences. Eve Serrano, President of Inditex in Greater China, described the importance of continuous learning for leaders to navigate this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world and talked about how executive education moves people beyond tradition.

“In order to lead our organization in this uncertain era, we need to be a strong leader and remain relevant,” said another participant Mansoor Mohamed, Hub Head Asia Pacific of South African Tourism. He also emphasized that he was particularly fond of the diversity in the classroom. “Classmates from different industries and companies bring different perspectives, allowing me to build a better network.”

Eve Serrano and Mansoor Mohamed share their testimonials at the graduation ceremony

At the end of the closing ceremony, Professor Jizhen Li presented the study certificates to the participants and took a group photo with them. Although the live-virtual sessions came to an end, the learning is never-ending. Next September, participants will gather in China to kick off their in-person modules with three different themes in different cities. Enrollment for the 2023 cohort has also begun, and Tsinghua SEM will welcome participants from the second cohort of GEPC in March 2023.

About the program

The diversity and the dynamic of the Chinese market create unlimited opportunities for its stakeholders but also pose various challenges. In today’s global context, understanding how to conduct business in or with China is vital to succeeding internationally. This program is designed to help senior executives and business leaders not only identify opportunities but also overcome challenges in the Chinese business world. Through lectures, case studies, and company visits, participants will gain a premium skill set to help them evaluate potential business opportunities and develop strategies. This program aims to give a comprehensive view of Chinese business practices in order to deepen the understanding of the market and meet customers’ expectations.

Source:Tsinghua SEM

Editors: Guo Lili, Sangeet

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