In a highly competitive environment, the ability to create competitive edges over one’s adversaries and to achieve ultimate victory in fierce competitions depends not so much on materials resources as on the mental factors of intelligence and concepts. Those concepts that can lead to new visions and perspectives and those approaches that can effectively solve problems will have the greatest value. The overriding factor which ensures the eventual materialization of new concepts and gives rise to effective approaches is management. As a branch of applied science, the science of management has crucial value not only for developing countries like China which are making uttermost efforts to catch up with the developed countries, but also for the leading multinational giants in the developed countries themselves. For a person like me who has decided to pursue marketing management as my career objective, to sharpen my intellectual caliber, to understand the essence of management and to grasp important skills of management have become my greatest aspiration.
As a Master’s student specializing in marketing and enterprise strategies, I am very proud to report that I have made some encouraging research achievements. Of the two research papers that I wrote concerning strategic development of enterprises—Enterprise Strategic Alliance Based on Resource Complementarity and The Strategic Orientation and Countermeasures for Chinese Enterprises in International Operations in the New Millennium, the former has been published by Economic Tribune in Sept. 2002 and the latter has been accepted for publication by China Economists in Feb. 2003. These two research papers are the fruition of my active involvement in a research project named Study on Chinese Enterprises’ Cooperation-Competition Models in Hyper-Competitive Conditions, which is sponsored by China State Natural Science Foundation (Foundation Project No. 70140132). Another paper entitled Brand Marketing: A Competitive Mode on a Higher Level in Modern Economics has been published by Contemporary Finance & Economics in November this year. Those research achievements can unmistakably indicate my tremendous potential to perform much more ambitious researches in my future degree program and I am determined to develop this potential to the fullest extent.
I completed my four-year systematic studies in Engineering and Management Science as an undergraduate at the School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. It is precisely this undergraduate education that has reinforced my determination to pursue marketing management as my lifelong career. Although as an undergraduate my understanding of some courses cannot be described as profound (some might even be said to be rather superficial), my learning of those courses nevertheless widened my ken of knowledge and broadened my vision.
In order to further enrich myself, I availed myself of every opportunity of academic exchange both on campus and off campus. I shuttled among Peking University, Central Finance and Economics University, and China Renmin University on my bicycle in order to attend lectures delivered by the country’s leading scholars and entrepreneurs. Those lectures constituted an important supplement to my in-class training because they were immediately connected with the realities of Chinese society. I also benefited importantly from my extracurricular activities. As minister of the Department of Social Practices of the School’s Students Union, I planned and organized the School’s Festival of the Art of Management. I also canvassed Pepsi Company to sponsor our university’s basketball league match. In launching those activities, I improved my organizational and managerial skills. In retrospection, my undergraduate program was most strengthened by my self-conscious attention to various applied subjects—higher mathematics, statistics and probability, linear algebra, operations research, etc. It can be said that my undergraduate education (in which my overall scholastic performance ranked top 4th in my class consisting of 30 students) enabled me to make some basic preparations in theoretical knowledge and in the application of mathematical tools.
From Sept. 1998 to April 2000, my employment with Hisense Group in QingDao City, Shandong Province (one of the largest manufacturers of electrical appliances in China) was a major opportunity to practice what I had learned. The second year I joined the Group, the most fierce price warfare happened to China’s electrical appliances industry. Manufacturers reduced the prices of their products to unprecedented low levels in order to maximize their market share. As an act of market competition, the Marketing Department where I worked launched Traveling Expositions of Hisense Products. As one of the four key personnel of the department, I planned and organized a series of exhibitions in most major cities in China. Our one-year efforts achieved remarkable market effects. In Shijiazhuan City, for instance, of a total of 30 brands, our sales of televisions and air conditioners accounted for 24% and 18% respectively in 2000. In that year’s performance evaluation, I was awarded the Group’s Model Employee.
My understanding of marketing was enriched and modified by my 2-year practical work experience. To me, marketing was not merely composed of such elements as product designing, promotion through advertising, pricing models, and distribution channels. It also encompassed the analysis of the behavior both of your competitors and of consumers, studies in organization behavior, brand management, and decision-makings. Believing that a more systematic education would contribute to a more successful career, I went back to my alma mater in September 2000 and went on with a Master’s program in Engineering and Management Science in order to gain knowledge on a higher professional level, to follow the most updated academic information, and to improve my managerial caliber.
Backed by my work experience, my academic focus became better-defined and I was more self-motivated in my studies. With a comprehensive coursework covering advanced mathematical planning, decision-making strategies, management statistics, and fuzzy mathematics, I achieved obvious improvement in theoretical knowledge and in the application of tools. I developed broader perspectives and was able to conduct my research from more advanced professional levels. My thesis, entitled A Study of Enterprises’ Strategic Alliances Based on an Analysis of Resource Complementarity, presented a wholly novel explanation of corporate alliances from the perspective of resource integration, a perspective which differed fundamentally from the conventional view held by most scholars which explained the necessity and justification of corporate alliance from the angle of transaction cost and value chain.
Instead of feeling contented with my high GPA for the Master’s program (3.6), I have come to realize how much there is still for me to learn in the field of management, especially in marketing. Most universities in China treat marketing purely as a theoretical course, with neither case analysis nor opportunities for students to practice the theories they have learned. In terms of curriculum, studies in marketing psychology and individual behavior have hardly been undertaken. Moreover, the lack of analytical tools has resulted in insufficient analysis of the market feedback. Realizing that such deficiencies can scarcely be overcome within a short period of time, I believe that a more successful career must be pursued through a Ph.D. program outside China, ideally in a first-rate university in the United States.
With my undergraduate and graduate background in engineering and management science, I would like to focus on one of the following areas in your Ph.D. program: a. marketing management; b. behavioral approaches to marketing or consumer behavior; and c. channels of distribution. I have also drawn up my tentative career objective. I will complete my doctoral program by undertaking extensive researches and carrying out some specific projects. After obtaining my degree, I will seek some teaching experiences in an American university while continuing with advanced researches on the latest research topics. In this way I can keep developing my academic aptitudes. After accumulating sufficient teaching and research experience, I will seek a teaching position in a prestigious university in China where I will share with my future students and colleagues my research findings and the knowledge I have acquired in the United States. I hope to develop myself ultimately into a leading specialist in marketing and management who can contribute to bringing Chinese scholarship in this field onto a more advanced level.
CMU’s Ph.D. program in computer science is heavily integrated with research activities and is designed to nurture people with raw talent and intellect in an environment which permits them thorough immersion in research and coursework. The program promises to produce well-educated researchers and future leaders in computer science. I am very excited over this wonderful vision because such a program offers me a basis to translate my dreams into realities. Without such a program, many of my dreams will remain mere fantasies.
美国大学有 400 多所，其中很大一部分是综合性大学，比如我们耳熟能详的哈佛、耶鲁等常青藤，加州大学伯克利分校这样的公立大学等。这些学校以科研和教学为主，在这样的学校里，国际奖项的获得者、杰出贡献者可能就是你的校友。这些学校科系设置齐全，师资力量强大，学生包括本科、硕士、博士。在这里你可以学你所学，发挥你的长处。
再有就是专门以教学为主的地区性大学，如加州州立大学系统。这些大学不参与综合性大学排名，只参与地区级排名。也有职业教育为主、门槛很低的社区大学。社区大学以门槛低、学费低、专业多样为特色，学生在这儿可以拿到大专学位，然后在转到综合性大学。尤其是在加州， 70% 的加州大学系统的学生是从社区大学转过去的。所以，只要我们想去美国上大学，总有一个学校适合你。
虽然综合性大学与文理学院的教育理念有所不同，但美国留学本科教育体制总体上差不多，只要同学们能够修完学分就可以申请毕业了。本科留学美国毕业需要几年取决于同学们修学分的速度。不过，同学们还需要明白一点，那就是一些美国本科学生在大一、大二的时候是不确定专业，只学习基础课程的。大三开始才修本专业的学分，一般也需要两年以上的时间才能修完本科毕业所需的学分。所以，一般来说，至少需要四年才能拿到美国留学本科毕业证。当然，和中国一样，美国大学的热门学校和热门专业一样需要竞争才能进，比如我们中国学生常说的金融、会计等商学院某些专业，还有计算机专业等，需要高的 GPA 才能进。同一个学院下，专业相对来说就比较好换。
本科留学美国只要你足够优秀，而且想在学业上进步，你是可以进入更好的学校的，这就是我们常说的转学。只要你大一，或者大二的成绩足够优秀，你就可以转到更好的学校。比较典型的例子就是美国总统奥巴马。他一开始读本科是在西方学院，大三转到了哥伦比亚大学，法学院则进入了哈佛大学。我们每年都会帮助很多学生从 100 名之外的学校转到顶尖，当然从国内高校也可以转学到美国大学。
美国大学招生需要看学生的硬性条件和软性材料两方面的成绩，而不像中国大学一考定终身，这样就给去美国读大学的孩子充足的准备时间，学生可以提前三到四年规划和准备。美国大学招生看重学生的高中各科成绩，而不是看总分，这就要求学生均衡发展，而不是偏科。去美国读大学虽然要求考托福和 SAT ，但允许孩子语言能力有一定的提高空间。此外，更重要的是，美国大学很看重学生学习之外的能力，如学生的领导力、毅力、社会责任感等。因为在提升这些能力的过程中，孩子们的各种能力都得到了提高。所以，能去美国读书的孩子一般都是智商和情商并重的学生。