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Mohit Sheera, MBA ’13, on Academic Exchange in Shanghai

MBA student Mohit Sheera refers to his choice to spend six weeks on the campus of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) as “the best decision I could have made.”  He arrived in Shanghai, China, on New Year’s Day, 2012, to take part in the Ross International MBA Semester Exchange Program and hit the ground running. Within days, Mohit had explored the city, found a place to live with the help of his CEIBS coordinator, and oriented himself to the pace of life and academics in Shanghai. A month and a half later, he returned to Ross with a priceless life experience and a deepened understanding of Chinese culture, business practice, and intercultural communication.

The importance of China to the international business market was high on the list of Mohit’s reasons for seeking it out as a place to study. Before he left Ann Arbor, Mohit browsed the potential courses available during his time abroad and chose a wide range of classes from Chinese Health Care to Brand Management. For his Brand Management class, Mohit was charged with developing an implementable marketing strategy for an actual company seeking to introduce sparkling wine in China. In order to accomplish this task, Mohit and his group were required to dig into the culture of eating and drinking in Shanghai and other similarly sized cities in China. In the end, they furnished the company with a realistic plan to enter the market. Mohit found that the coursework at CEIBS really enhanced his learning at Ross.

Through the CEIBS’ capstone MBA course called Integrated Simulation, Mohit utilized his learning from core strategy and marketing classes at Ross to compete in a five-day simulation, working as the company’s CEO. Since Mohit is interested in general management, he found this experience to be highly relevant to his future career. Mohit also enjoyed the high intensity of academics at CEIBS, where he completed 115 classroom hours in four to five weeks compared to his average of 80 classroom hours at Ross during the six-week terms. Mohit found that the coursework at CEIBS really complemented his learning at Ross.

When he was not taking part in coursework or consulting projects, Mohit took advantage of living in the largest city in the world.  He explored just about every aspect of Shanghai, reporting that he came to “know the city like the back of my hand.”  He also traveled with other members of his program to Xitang, of "Mission Impossible 3" fame; Hangzhou, a picturesque Chinese city located in the nearby Zhejiang province; and Harbin, located in the far north of China. Harbin is the site of a world-famous annual ice festival, which boasts huge ice sculptures and buildings as well as ice-related games on the frozen Songhua River.  Never mind that the average temperature in February is -30° C (-22° F)!

Mohit believes that today’s business environment is highly dynamic and truly global, with most businesses connecting to China in some form or another. Therefore, being able to experience China early in his career will enable Mohit to contribute more to his future firm’s activities related to China. Mohit strongly recommends the Ross International MBA Semester Exchange Program to MBA students seeking out a global and highly diverse experience during their MBA.