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National Chiao Tung University (NCTU)-GMBA 國立交通大學 GMBA

一石三鳥: Kill three birds (MBA, Global network, and Chinese language) with one stone (NCTU Global MBA)

In today’s economy, remaining competitive is as crucial as it is difficult.  Additionally the center of the world economy is moving from the West to the East, and thus the importance of understanding Asian business and culture is greater than ever before. The National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) Global Master of Business Administration (Global MBA) program has been offering students the opportunity to be dominant players in different cultures and industries since 2008.

National Chiao Tung University

NCTU is located next to the Hsinchu Science Park, also called Taiwan’s Silicon Valley, and is one of Taiwan’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. The computer science and engineering departments are consistently ranked among the top 50 in the world, and the NCTU MBA program was ranked the fifth best in Asia. The advantages afforded to students, however, are not limited to reputation and location alone; NCTU’s alumni network includes graduates from the five Chiao Tung University locations across China and Taiwan, and is the largest Chinese alumni network in the world. Furthermore, NCTU also boasts unique synergy and cooperation with firms in the adjacent Hsinchu Science Park, giving MBA students unique opportunities to interact with future technology leaders.

Global MBA Program

The NCTU Global MBA program is a top-tier, AACSB accredited MBA program taught entirely in English. Unlike many other MBA programs, the NCTU GMBA does not focus primarily on networking, but instead on rigorous coursework that includes both fundamental and advanced courses; students from a non-business background are welcome and will learn the skills necessary to begin a rewarding and career, and students that come from a business background will be challenged and encouraged to gain knowledge outside their previous field.

In today’s business environment, being able to work with people from different cultural backgrounds is crucial. Students in the Global MBA program have come from 27 different countries across five continents thus far, and the number is increasing each year. Over the course of the program, students will work almost exclusively with students from dissimilar cultural backgrounds, gaining understanding and insight that will be directly applicable in their future careers. Students will also interact with classmates during a variety of extra-curricular activities and trips, ensuring the learning that takes place is not limited to the confines of the classroom.

For international students, one of the most important and unique benefits of taking an MBA in Taiwan is the opportunity to learn Chinese. Thus, in addition to the core curriculum, international students are also required to master basic Mandarin by the end of the program. Students with a background in the language are likewise encouraged to continue their study and improve; as a result, Chinese classes are available to international students free of charge.

Global MBA’s Global Initiatives

        The “Global” in Global MBA at NCTU is more than just a buzzword; it indicates the GMBA program’s strong commitment to globalization immersed in core courses.  For instance, in Global Business Management, one the of core courses, the professor (Prof. Yingchan Tang) chooses a single country, usually an emerging market, to study, from various angles for the entire semester. After the semester ends, the professor leads a short trip to the country where students can see in person what they have spent the past semester learning about, preparing them to make future strategies for companies there. In the past, destinations have included Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.

        Another unique core course is Overseas Internship and Exchange Study: International students are required to complete an internship in Taiwan during the summer between their first and second years, while Taiwanese students go abroad for their internship or exchange study. Though challenging, thus far every international student has completed it, and it affords students the opportunity to assess their potential, gain insight into their future career and obtain real world experience before graduation. The international students have completed internships at leading companies including TSMC, AUO, Qualcomm, UMC, and others. Past graduates have indicated that the internship was one of the most beneficial aspects of their Global MBA experience and what really set them apart in their post-graduation job search.

        Students are also required to complete the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital course, in which they will learn how to write and complete business proposals exactly as they will when they eventually set up a new company. They then are required to enter a business competition, many of which are hosted by famous companies and universities, as well as by Taiwanese government, at locations all over the world. For instance, this year, students attended the Mai Bangkok Business Competition at Sasin, Health x Home Open Technology」(H.O.T.), Acer Incredible Green Contest, and the Hult Global Case Challenge and all progressed to either the semi-final or final rounds.

        Finally, the course called Globalization Seminar offers a place for students to meet with real-world professionals in a variety fields that include engineering, finance, intellectual law and many others. The importance of this course, taken in the second year, is that it connects theory and practice; the speakers’ specialties are related to subjects the students have learned in the first year so that they are able to see how what they have learned thus far relates to their future career.

Post-Graduation Opportunities

One of the most important factors one must consider when choosing an MBA program is how useful it will be in finding a job, and the NCTU Global MBA program excels in this area. In addition to the previously mentioned expansive NCTU Alumni network, the GMBA program provides post-graduation career support and currently, all international student graduates have a job.

One common concern of international students taking an MBA is the relevance of their degree in their home countries, and many applicants worry that they will only be able to find a job in Taiwan. This, however, is not the case for Global MBA graduates. International students have found jobs both in Taiwan and in their home countries, and work in world class companies including Deloitte, TSMC, Hewlett Packard, DHL, Asus, Qualcomm, or have started their own businesses. Furthermore, the GMBA curriculum is applicable to a variety of different fields, and thus opportunities for graduates are not limited to any specific career path. Previous graduates have worked in fields as diverse as sales, high-tech, finance, e-commerce, trade, consulting, and banking.

Moreover, job opportunities are not restricted by students’ previous career paths; many students without backgrounds in business have successfully made the transition to a business-related career after graduating from the Global MBA program.

Who Can Apply?

        A common misconception is that MBA programs are only open to those with a background in business; this is, however, untrue. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline and at least two years of sound work experience is welcome to apply. Scholarships for international students are available from both the Ministry of Education and NCTU.

Online application

John Burns - Interview
Stephen - Interview
Nationality:Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Degree:Bachelor of Ohio State University
Major:Economics and Japanese
Work experience:General Data Co. and Brand Masters, Ltd.
Nationality:Pennsylvania, USA
Degree:Bachelor of Tulane University
Major:International Relations and Philosophy
Work experience:Public Financial Management Group, Coakley's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Hess International Educational Organization

Q.  Had you traveled to Taiwan before studying here?  If yes, how long did you stay?
I lived in Taiwan for 1 year before the study, doing freelance internet marketing, and studied Chinese briefly.   I lived in Taiwan for 15 months before studying at NCTU while I worked as an English teacher.
Q.  What do you think about Taiwan??
I love Taiwan.  Life is so convenient, with 7-11s everywhere, and people are inherently kind and helpful.  I love the mountains, also.  My friends and I would go up into the Hsinchu mountains on scooters or bicycles, and go hiking. There are all kinds of interesting things, aboriginal villages, Hakka cafes, etc.  Business-wise, there is an endless amount of clever engineers working in high-tech that need support.   I really like Taiwan because it is an accommodating and accessible place to live, study Chinese, and travel. The Taiwanese people seem incredibly friendly and eager to learn about other people’s cultures.
Q.  Why did you choose the NCTU GMBA Program?
I had a friend who was there before me doing an MA in Business Information from Canada.  He sold me on the program.   I chose NCTU because of its reputation as a top tier university in Taiwan with a strong alumni base. I entered the NCTU GMBA program because I wanted a way to transition away from what I studied as an undergrad, to build a solid foundation in business principals, and ideally to gain a different perspective than the U.S. and European business schools would provide, while at the same time being able to study Chinese. I felt that only NCTU’s GMBA program could offer me everything I needed.
Q.  What was your major at NCTU?
    AT NCTU I earned an MBA with a concentration in global business management.
Q.  What was your favorite class at NCTU?
Too many!  Economics (as it was my major) and Finance stand out.  But Entrepreneurship Course was great.  NCTU does a fantastic job of teaching Case Studies, so any classes centered on that were my favorite.  In finance, I learned the most new things, though.   I most enjoyed Marketing Management with Dr. Tang, but I think Statistics for Business with Dr. Kang has proven most useful to me.
Q.  What about NCTU’s scholarships for international students?
This makes attending the program possible.  It was the deciding factor that convinced me to attend.   I didn’t receive the NCTU scholarship since I was awarded the Taiwan Ministry of Education Scholarship, so I can’t speak about the NCTU scholarship with any authority. I can say, however, that I think the scholarships for international students are greatly appreciated by the recipients and necessary to keep international matriculation rates at or above current levels.
Q.  Did you have internship in Taiwan?
I did, but for an American company that did brand strategy and marketing.   I interned at PPG Industries, which has a joint venture with NanYa Plastics called PFG Fiber Glass Co., Ltd., in Taipei.
Q.  And did NCTU GMBA help you find the internship?
I didn’t approach NCTU GMBA to help find an internship, but help was available to those who asked.   The GMBA program assisted many of the students in looking for internships, but I found mine through a connection with a former PPG employee who helped start their joint venture in Taiwan back in 1989.
Q.  Describe your internship experience?
I did mostly market research surveys, and the like.   The internship was a useful experience in market research with export data of fiberglass produced in China. It provided a valuable lesson that the hardest part of analyzing a market can actually be acquiring and cleaning the data. I also got the opportunity to attend the China Composites Expo in Shanghai after helping PPG prepare their booth for the trade show.
Q.  And what is your occupation now? How about your title?
Marketing & Management Consultant in the auto market – specialized on retail marketing management and dynamic marketing events.  Project Manager.   Now I work in foreign sales for a Taiwanese company that manufactures IP surveillance cameras and network video recording software. My title is “Sales Executive.”
Q.  What made you want to choose this field?
Quality experience in the Chinese Auto Market attracted me to the company   I wanted to find a job in the IT industry in Taiwan so I could continue to study Chinese outside of work. A NCTU GMBA classmate was working for my current company and recommended it to me.
Q.  And did NCTU GMBA help you to look for job?
    I got a referral for my current job from a former NCTU GMBA classmate, so the GMBA program proved very useful in finding my current job.
Q.  Can you describe your job?
I advise my client on how to manage their dealership network in China.  We help brand HQs better support dealers while at the same time monitoring them, and preventing them from hurting the brand.   I manage a sales territory that includes Denmark and Sweden. My responsibilities involve handling current distributor accounts, pursuing new system integrators to include our products in their future projects, liaising with the marketing department for direct marketing communications and promotions to be run in my territory, and adapting the company’s global strategy for application in my region.
Q.  What did you learn from NCTU to help you work now?
So many things.  How to work in a multi-cultural environment, Chinese, Financial Analysis, Marketing Research, Presentation skills.  I use the knowledge acquired during my studies daily.  Ironically, I did not use the network available from NCTU, which is a regret.   Marketing management, financial management, technology strategy, statistics, and accounting were all useful courses in the GMBA program that I use in my work on a daily basis.
Q.  What’s your future plan?
If I could answer that question clearly, I’d be happy.   My future plans are undecided presently.
Q.  What suggestions do you have for other international students who are considering the GMBA program at NCTU?
Be more serious about learning Chinese, and be active about networking with NCTU alumni, as it’s the best way to grow your career and ability.   At NCTU’s GMBA you get an AACSB-accredited education incorporating international perspectives for an affordable tuition cost (compared to the U.S.) with the potential for scholarships to cover most or all of the tuition; it’s a smart investment.