Yaqi Wang, MBA alumna of UC Riverside's A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management, decided to pursue an MBA to get a better understanding of business as a whole, and says her post-grad career success at Shanghai Disney Resort proves that she made the right decision. Yaqi explains how her MBA program helped her network and convert her summer internship at Disney into a thriving career.
Name: Yaqi Wang
Why did you choose your MBA program? Do you have advice for students on how to make a decision?
I chose my MBA program because I didn’t want to limit myself to a certain type of job too early. My undergraduate major was finance and I intended to work in the finance industry. But I did not have much work experience at that time and did not want to dive too deep before I was sure about it. Therefore, instead of getting a master degree of finance, I decided to take the MBA program to get a better understanding of the whole business picture. My internship with Disney and following career with them proves that I made the right decision.
If you want to manage a group of people with specific sets of skills, the MBA program is what you need in order to cultivate that business sense, the spirit of collaboration, as well as the capability of communication and integration. On the other hand, if you are someone who likes wants a career in a very specific professional knowledge area, then you need to think what kind of program will make you an expert.
What do you think makes your MBA program and experience unique?
The continuous communication with all the faculty and staff really helped my MBA experience stand out. Honestly, there is no way that I could have gotten the Disney internship without the support and help from the fabulous people I met in my MBA program. The MBA program is not just about getting straight A’s. I learned to think, behave and talk in a professional way. And it takes practice before I was able to manage all these pieces. Communicating with different faculty and staff is a great chance to practice. They helped broaden my horizons and gave me a better idea of what different industries really look like. They were the most important part of my MBA program to get myself prepared for my future career.
When it came time to look for jobs, did you find yourself interested in a new career that you hadn’t considered before doing your MBA?
I had never pictured myself in the entertainment industry before I got the offer from Disney. However, my MBA experience prepared me for any challenges that I might encounter in any type of position. In my internship with Disney I did workforce planning for HR in both Orlando and Anaheim. When my line manager found my qualities valuable for various jobs, he referred me to a few other departments in Shanghai Disney Resort. I ended up with Consumer Insight in Marketing, which is far away from my internship position, not to mention my undergraduate major. The biggest advantage of a MBA student is he/she can quickly adapt to new environments and tackle issues in a new role.
When applying for jobs, how do/did you highlight your personal and career achievements on your resume?
Most recruiters want to know what candidates are capable of. That’s probably a bit difficult to address for fresh graduates. But it always works to show how much you are willing to learn and grow. Another very important point is to demonstrate that you are a perfect fit for that position. And this requires you to do a lot of research and to really know the company you are applying to, as well as the position.
Advice for Future Applicants
What are some dos and don’ts in the MBA preparation process?
Do get higher GMAT score.
Do get good recommendation letters.
Do find out who you really are and what you can contribute to the MBA class.
Don’t care too much about the rankings. What you get out of the MBA program makes you who you are. It is you that makes that call, not the rankings.