Welcome to MBA Voices
Zhilei has one of the transformational stories to tell about his path to MBA – a story of relentless determination, hard work and sacrifice to achieve his goals. Having born in Suwan, a small town in Anhui Province of China – he got into the elite Fudan medical school, Shanghai. As he pursued his medical course, he parallelly enrolled himself to a second bachelor’s degree in economics and completed it successfully.
After completing his post-graduation in Medicine, he became a successful neurosurgeon (a speciality that is highly competitive amongst the doctors in china) in a top hospital and has performed thousands of critical surgeries. Following that, he moved to a corporate career raising through the ranks quickly and now finally pursues his MBA from CEIBS and is set to graduate in 2016.
Oh wait, on top of CEIBS MBA, he is additionally pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in USA. Read his full story below (covered in 2 parts).
Zhilei Guo – Neurosurgeon turned CEIBS MBA (Part 2/2)
How does your unique background add value to the MBA class?
Healthcare is a hot topic in China and my background in healthcare makes me a valuable contributor to the lectures, group discussions, projects, team work etc. Every year, approximately 30 students move into healthcare after graduation at CEIBS, though only 10 among them have healthcare background.
I share my knowledge and network – as a result, I am not looked up as a neurosurgeon who does not know much about business, but as a valuable resource due to the various initiatives I have taken so far in my career.
What do you want to do post-MBA and how are you preparing yourself for it?
Healthcare is my favourite industry and I want to move into healthcare investment. I am studying financial subjects at CEIBS since I do not have a financial background as well as undertaking a Master of Public Health concentrated on healthcare leadership and management in Johns Hopkins University.
These will effectively catapult my career from the healthcare administration to the investing and management side. I also focus on networking with healthcare investment companies, executives and venture capitalists who serve that industry.
Now you have a clear career path, how does your previous qualifications and work experience come together?
Everyone has a dream. But, at times the dreams do change during lifetime. When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor and once I achieved it by becoming a neurosurgeon, I felt like moving into the corporate world and now I am pursuing my MBA. These transitions have been reasonable.
Healthcare is still my favourite area and I have not shifted from it. But, have moved from being a doctor towards the investment and management side. So it is a shift within my area of interest. This is where all things come together.
What is your advice for those with a medical/surgeon background who want to pursue an MBA? How should they choose an MBA? How should they transition their career?
Anyone from a medical background should consider 3 things
- Clear Career Motivation – If you possess a medical background and want to do an MBA, you should have a clear career motivation for doing so
- Will a MBA help towards your career goal – If you want to move from the medical side to the business side, you need to ask yourself if an MBA will help you achieve this goal
- Choose the right Business School – You should carefully choose your business school based on what you want to achieve as different business schools offer different things. I chose CEIBS because I want to be based out of China while at the same time pass out from a top business school with fantastic alumni network
You have really pushed the boundaries on various fronts – what motivates you towards pushing boundaries constantly?
The motivation for pushing the boundaries is clear for me – it is “what do you want to do in future”.
If you want to be a doctor you don’t need to study a second degree in Economics like I did, but I wanted to expand my possibilities and so I pursued it. I felt it will open different doors for me in future and it has.
All these steps of progress have been natural for me. They have been driven by my own interest and I have moved step-by-step to be where I am today. If I have to focus on healthcare investment at a senior level across China or even across the globe, all my studies and work experience weave together to support me towards it. It also makes me resourceful and credible.
They include – my medical background, corporate work experience, CEIBS MBA, Master of Public Health concentrated on healthcare leadership and management, my network and understanding of the healthcare industry.
Also, if you understand yourself well – you know what you want to do in future and also will know what you need to get there.
You have come a long way from your modest beginnings. What do you want to impact through your life?
Healthcare is a big issue in china and there are some major difficulties in the healthcare system. It needs to improve including the doctor-patient relationship. Personally, I want to contribute to the Chinese healthcare improvement and reform. However, I am a small person – but want to unite with other healthcare professionals to make it an endeavour that serves the Chinese people.
Healthcare investment can also improve and promote a better healthcare system in China and I want to play a role in it. Of course, my colleagues who are doctors are working to improve it through the healthcare system
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