The network of Broad alumni is, in one word, expansive. On average, about a third of each full-time MBA class for the past three years has been composed of international students, together with more than 15% of the undergraduate class. Although many graduates remain in the U.S., a number of graduates pursue careers abroad and extend Broad’s global reach. This international alumni network is a key factor in the Broad College’s continued reputation as a cutting-edge school worldwide.
At the start of this month, Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta embarked on a field experience trip throughout China for the third annual MSU Executive Forum, held in Shanghai. The focus of Gupta’s trip was to connect with alumni and with the families of current students.
“I had a tremendous time visiting for the MSU Executive Forum in Shanghai,” Gupta said. “Global Spartans are important players in making business happen around the world.”
The forum, hosted by the Shanghai International Community School, featured a panel of several Michigan State graduates and was moderated by Dean Gupta. The panel spotlighted the influence that MSU has on the global stage.
Panel members included Bun Ly, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in packaging in 2001; Ning Shao, who completed a Master of Arts in diplomatic history in 1991; and Tu Le, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in supply chain management in 1991. Drawing on their own career experiences, the three panelists demonstrated the unique connection between Michigan and China.
“Michigan stands out as the model state in the U.S. in terms of building and maintaining relationships with China,” Shao said. “It ranks in the top five trade partners of China, especially because of the deep connection with the automobile manufacturing in both economies.” Additionally, Shao noted several other Michigan-based organizations that play a major role in the relationship with China, such as Dow, Steelcase and Amway.
Le offered words of advice to recent graduates going into any industry. “Don’t seek the safe havens of large, established companies,” he said. “Instead, take chances with a startup because now is the time to hustle. Train yourself to have a large risk appetite.”
Xiaoyu Yin, associate director for the Office of International Advancement at MSU, reflected on the significance of the Broad College’s involvement abroad. “As the only Broad event that Dean Gupta does in China every year publicly, modeled after the Detroit Executive Forum, it has now become the signature Broad and MSU event that all alumni and parents in China look forward to every year,” she said. “It showcases Broad’s global reach, which helps advance the current priorities of the college in recruiting more global talent and increasing education abroad participation.”
Dean Gupta’s participation in the MSU Executive Forum is just another milestone in the lasting connection between China and MSU. In recent years, the Broad College has led international company tours with groups of students, providing the opportunity for professional networking and visiting with international alumni. On these trips, many Broad students have successfully secured internships and furthered the network of global Spartans.