Nico Ranke

CFO/Director Finance and Administration at BMW Russland Trading OOO

Class of 2012

"The international environment created by students and professors gave me deeper insight into the success factors of doing business in Asia. The most memorable lectures were on Organizational Behaviour, which led to very interesting and active class discussions that covered areas such as Corporate Finance, Innovation and Leadership in Asia."

TIEMBA Alumni Association Founded at SEM

September 08 2011

What do you get when you combine two top international business schools to form a leading global EMBA program? An unprecedented alumni network is created. And that's how the TIEMBA Alumni Association was born.

The celebration of the new organization took place at a launching ceremony at Tsinghua University's Main Building on September 5, 2011. More than 200 guests attended the event, including current and former TIEMBA students as well as alumni from Tsinghua's and INSEAD's EMBA programs.

Participants at the ceremony
Participants at the ceremony

The Tsinghua-INSEAD Dual Degree Executive MBA Program was established in 2006 and has been flourishing ever since. In all, 207 current and former students have benefited from the program's eminent executive education. Students come from a total of 32 countries and from equally diverse and extremely accomplished professional backgrounds. The program expects to be listed in the Financial Time's ranking of the world's top EMBA programs starting next year. After coming so far in such a short amount of time, everyone involved in the program felt that now, three years after the first class graduated, would be a perfect time to unify an already active alumni network and establish the program's alumni association.

The association's guiding sentiment was expressed by the event's first speaker, Tsinghua SEM Dean QIAN Yingyi, who borrowed a quote from William Shakespeare, saying, "The golden age is before us, not behind us." He stressed that while all students of the TIEMBA program are already very well accomplished and quite successful, their best is ahead of them. Therefore, he continued, creating this association can play a crucial role in the future of the alumni. Dean Qian also spoke of how the agreement with INSEAD was the first such agreement he reached shortly after becoming the Dean of SEM in 2006 and remains something of which he is extremely proud.

Dean Qian was followed by Dean of INSEAD Dipak Jain, who said that the "power of an alumni community is a school's greatest resource." This is a lesson he learned first-hand when he became Dean of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management in 2001, right before the terrorist attacks on 9/11. After the attacks, many of the companies that had given employment offers to the students who would be graduating the following spring notified the students that they would have to delay the starting date of their employment ranging from three months to more than a year. Looking to assist about 50 students, Dean Jain sent a letter to many of the school's alumni asking if they had any consulting projects that could keep these soon- to-be graduates busy until their employment started. Almost immediately, he received about 2,000 responses with nearly 100 offers.

Dean Qian and Dean Jian were followed by several more speakers, including LIAO Li, Associate Dean of Tsinghua SEM and Peter Zemsky, Dean of Degree Programs, INSEAD, as well as the current and former TIEMBA students who had played an active role in the establishment of the alumni association. While all expressed how valuable the alumni network is, they emphasized that many challenges and opportunities face the world ahead, and called upon the TIEMBA alumni to work together to help make a positive impact. This was reflected in the speech of TIEMBA 2013 student Stanley Samuel, who said, "All progress is change, but not all change is progress," stressing the importance of the alumni to continue to have a vision and be proactive in making a difference.

Following the speeches, the attendees took shuttle buses to the nearby Wenjin Hotel for a dinner reception, where students had the opportunity to become better acquainted with members of the other classes and reflect on their experience.

"If I had to pick one word to describe the event," said YU Bin, a member of the 2013 class from China, "I would say 'touching.' Before I went to the event, I pictured it as just another networking event. However, the minute I entered the conference room, I was immediately engaged and captured by the warmth and excitement in the room, where the alumni were hugging each other and catching up like old friends. I was touched deeply when one of the speakers gave the new insightful definition of our alumni to be a community. No matter what country you are from or what unique personal perspective and life experience you bring with you, once you are in this community, you should be bonded to and supported by each other for a lifetime. I hope that the night's event serves not only as a start but more importantly as a witness to a lifetime connection to a great community."

Yu is not the only one who holds such lofty aspirations.

"We've had so many great opportunities for high-quality activities, and I expect that to continue as an alumnus," said Steven Shen, a member of the 2012 class from China, who is the General Manager of Eolane Technology (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. "This will provide a great platform to continue to learn both from professors and scholars and from our fellow alumni."

The birth of the alumni association gives the TIEMBA students even more reasons to believe that their best is yet to come.

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