MBA Takeover: Ji Li, GMBA 2014

Caitlin Magidson

Caitlin works with students and alumni in Washington DC as a transformational Career Coach. She provides guidance around self-exploration, job search strategy, and networking through individualized coaching and professional development courses.

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Ji (Leo) Li is a Project Manager of Enterprise Planning in a new major healthcare provider, Jiahui Health, located in Shanghai, China. He completed the Global MBA program in 2014 at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University in China. In the roles of Engineer and Project Manager, Leo has accumulated extensive experience in both the energy and healthcare industries. Beyond that, Leo is also the President of Carey Business School Alumni Club, Shanghai Chapter.

Question: What advice would you give new graduates entering the workforce?
 I would encourage new graduates to find a chance to face challenges in their work. On one hand, the opportunity cost to try and fail is the lowest at the beginning of one’s career. On the other hand, there is a 99% chance that in reality, the work environment would not be exactly the same as what you learned in school. Trying to do work you never did before is the best way to learn and build up your confidence as a professional. Lastly, remember to ask to your colleague and manager questions. That could help you learn fast and work as part of a team.

Question: What is one thing students should do while in school to prepare for a job?
Answer: Learning skills. There’s no way you could know everything about a job if you haven’t done it for years. But if you have exceptional learning skills and you presented it in your academic performance, extracurricular activities, and previous work/internship, the employers would be confident that their investment on you would soon bring value to their firm.

Question: What is your favorite thing about your current job?
Answer: My colleague and I are doing something no one has done before. We are building a private hospital and a network of clinics in Shanghai. In a developing country like China, for a private healthcare provider, doing patient-centered and evidence-based care requires tremendous courage, wisdom, and patience. Luckily, we have a group of passionate and intelligent people working toward this goal together.

Question: What was the most influential experience you had at Carey?
Answer: Respect for different ideas and thinking outside the box. At Carey, my classmates come from different industry, country, and cultural backgrounds. They could see things from different angles and that’s not something I could easily have in a company or at a school in China. This experience also encouraged me to form different opinions and be more innovative than I used to be.

Question: What three words would you use to define your time at Carey?
1.   Hard-working: Yup, we did have a lot of homework to do and cases to read.
2.   Adventure: Carey is a new b-school. When it comes to school projects and job hunting, there were not many playbooks we could refer to. As a result, we were trained to be more entrepreneurial and adventurous.
3.   Friendship: Friends I made during my journey at Carey will be my life-long friends.

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