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The Tuesday Q&A: Returning To China After Graduation

August 14, 2012 :: Admissionado Team

MBA FAQ, MBA frequently asked questions, bschool questions, mba questionsQuestion:

For post-MBA goal, should Chinese applicants avoid saying that they’re immediately going back to China, because Admission Officers prefer to have applicants contribute to U.S. economy? Is bridging the U.S. and China “overused” in application essays?


Solid question, buddy. This is a question that we get all the time, so let’s dig into it now, shall we? That is, “Is it good or bad for Chinese applicants to say they want to go right back to China, in their immediate post-MBA goals?” The answer, sadly, is that “it depends.” But as this is a yes-or-no question, you will fall into one or the other camp. So, for YOU, there will be one clear answer.

Confused yet? Hope not, but let me explain. Where you say you want to end up (US or China) will depend on the plan itself, particularly depending on the job market in your field in either country. If you have laid out a very hard-to-achieve goal in the US, like Private Equity etc., then it may be VERY tough for you to get that job in the US. In that case, especially if you don’t have a GREAT background in US private equity, say you’ll go to China. That’s your best chance to get a J-O-B, for sure.

But if you have a good background, say in marketing, and you DO have some international experience, it IS reasonable to assume that you may get a job at a BIG marketing firm in the US. Why? Well, once you get trained, they’d looooove to send you back to China, of course, to help them open up the market there. Also, they simply hire more people than PE firms do. Same with consulting, by the way–they hire a bunch of peeps out of US schools every year, they sponsor loads of international kids, etc. To say you want to get one of THOSE jobs? Very reasonable.

But to say you want to get one of the super hard-to-get ones, one that involves, for example, a ton of networking, leaps of faith, etc etc., forget it. Get THAT job back in China. That’s your only good chance, really.

— Jon Frank