BEIJING - Molly Gannon from MIT Sloan School of Management flew back to the US.
During her two weeks in Beijing, she didn't even have time to look around this city.
Actually she is taking a "class" thousands of miles away from MIT - doing a field study of a Chinese company together with fellows from the School of Economics and Management (SEM) at Tsinghua University.
She was attending the China Lab, a program jointly launched by Tsinghua and MIT, during which Chinese students are required to work with their partners from MIT to handles real problems in a Chinese company, be it a start-up, or a Fortune 500.
"When I was studying MBA in the US, I analyze cases every day in the class, but I forgot most of them now," said Vivian Xiong, CEO of AE&E, a Beijing-based company, also the partner company of the China Lab. "But now I guess the four students who worked with us won't forget this case, because they spent days and nights working on real problems."
The China Lab program, launched in 2007, is open to the second year international MBA students. Every year 16 students are selected, eight from Tsinghua and eight from MIT, to do consulting projects for companies in China and the US. They are asked to solve problems the company is facing - such as how to keep talents, how to satisfy the customers and how to make State companies more dynamic.
Mao Donghui, executive director of SEM MBA program, said Tsinghua SEM will make the China Lab part of the curriculum for all MBA studies in Tsinghua SEM.
"We will develop more hands-on programs, and let our students get away from textbooks and blend into the real business," Mao said.