Introducing MBA Participant, Xiaoqin Wang
Hi! My Chinese name is Xiaoqin Wang, but my English name is Queena & I am studying the MBA at Westminster Business School. I’m from China, Beijing and have been working there for more than 10 years. Immediately after my Bachelor’s degree I worked for six years with the Chinese Government Ministry of Construction as Assistant of the General Manager. After that I was inspired by my parents to set up my own business, a Real Estate Agency. Because of the financial crisis, business got slower and so I had to find some back-ups. That’s when I set up my second business – the entertainment business ‘Brilliant Art’. My Brother-in-Law is an acrobatic star in China so I thought, why don’t I set up my business to help their success? So far I have contracts with countries in the Middle East, and we also just signed new contracts with Portugal and Turkey. In fact, my team just finished a performance in Dubai and they arrived back in Beijing last night – I’m so happy with them! We create opportunities for a kind of cultural exchange – I am very passionate about this.
Why did you choose to study the Westminster MBA?
There are many reasons why I chose this MBA!
- My entertainment company is continuing to expand and that’s one of the main reasons why I chose to study my MBA. It’s a very good platform to strengthen my skills and to help me to think out of the box and build new relationships with people from different countries. Actually, the Westminster MBA has really surprised me because my classmates are all from different countries. That’s one of the things I really like. It’s also a small group and because everyone has strong work experience and background they are really helpful – we all share our stories and my classmates are very interested in my business as well.
- As a Business Developer, I am very much an entrepreneur. I have already specialised in management and so I was looking for something more general that would help me to develop across all areas such as marketing, finance, economics, communications etc. The MBA also helps you to develop your social network, so that’s very practical for me and helps me to keep working on all aspects of my business and my future career. The MBA is different to other programmes because it is broad and really builds you as a round person. This MBA also helps you learn about the management of risk, which is very important for an entrepreneur.
- I wanted to be in the centre of London and Westminster Business School couldn’t be more central.
- My work experience supports me to fit this course well.
- One of the other key considerations was thinking about what kind of activities would be available to me – Westminster has the MBA Tuesday Club, alumni talks and Westminster is accredited by AMBA.
- Finally, in China the employers and people do care about your study background and as an MBA is a very hard subject it’s a more persuasive qualification. The people think you are more skilled, more experienced and more trustworthy. It will be more helpful for expanding my business.
In your opinion, what are the three top personal qualities needed to study an MBA?
- Self discipline – if you study the MBA full-time, it’s an intensive one year course. You have high amounts of reading and assignments and so you need to be disciplined.
- Motivation – you need to know why you are studying the MBA. You have the big picture because the MBA is designed to develop executive management skills but you need to know your purpose in greater detail. It’s helpful to have a dream or ultimate goal in mind to support you throughout the year and to help you get through the course.
- You have to be capable of adapting to new environments, new methodologies and visions, open to stretching your original culture/behavior and happy to develop a new style. The MBA is a melting pot and if you are too rigid in your outlook you will run into difficulties!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I’m not very good at statistics/maths but they are training us to be skilled in this area. This part is a bit challenging for me, but the biggest problem is the time problem! It’s a very busy schedule!
What have you enjoyed the most?
The teaching team is really, really professional. They are very helpful and they give you not only the academic study support but help you on a more personal level by giving us mentoring. I think I’m very, very impressed with the teaching within this team. Again, I’m very pleased to choose London as the location for my further study. I particularly enjoy walking in London in the mornings and evenings – it’s like exercise and helps me to clear my mind – it helps me to reflect on what I’m doing today and to realise what needs improving.
I also like the teaching of business ethics on the MBA. I am surprised about this – I never imagined an MBA would teach you this, but Westminster does. The teaching team give us some small activities to train us to trust our team members and potential stakeholders. For entrepreneurs or small businesses who want to expand, this is very important for long term strategy.
Can you tell us about your experiences with the MBA mentoring scheme?
As part of the Westminster MBA you also have a Mentor. A Mentor gets to know your background and they find out what difficulties you are facing and what your future plans are. I have been working with my Mentor, Michelle, who has helped me to separate my long and short term plan into five stages. We also have a personal diary and we can use this to reflect on our studies or personal issues. Our Mentors take a look and reply almost immediately with helpful ideas.
I think Mentoring is important because although some people are very extrovert, my personality is a bit introvert. I can be a bit less talkative perhaps in class than my other team mates, but everyone has different pressures and challenges so it’s good to have a Mentor to go to.
What has been your most special moment in the UK?
Well, after being here only four months I received an invitation (because of my business) from the Chamber of Commerce to attend a business networking event at parliament! I met some very experienced and high level people who were very helpful.
What are your plans post-MBA?
Whilst my business is working well I’m also very enthusiastic about developments in technology. It’s maybe a little bit of a day dream but I’m very passionate about technology in the space industry. I would love to be involved in this field within innovation. We learnt about Maslow’s motivation hierarchy in class – at the moment I would say I’m at the self-esteem level, but the top level is innovation, – so that’s what I want to challenge myself to reach. I also think people have a very short life and so ultimately I want to show my value and do good in society.
How would you sum up how you feel about your Westminster experience?
Grateful – I feel grateful – for the people and their trust and help and support. I’m from another country and as a foreign person here I don’t have any family members with me. Sometimes you can feel a bit homesick, but I really treat this place as my home, and now the tutors here are like my family members.
Thank you to Queena for this interview! If you would like to find out more about the Westminster MBA please visit our website, or meet us in person, or online at our:
Postgraduate Open Evening (Westminster Business School, 16 November 5.30pm-7pm);
MBA Online Information Session (Online, 29 November 10am);
MBA Tuesday Club (Westminster Business School, 29 Nov 7.45pm – 10pm).
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