By That's Shanghai
Matt Wakeling, GEMBA XI
Chief Operating Officer / CoFounder
Why did you decide to join the GEMBA program?
As an entrepreneur with a non-business undergraduate degree, I had never really learned about business from an academic perspective. I joined GEMBA because I found it was the best program in China for me to study business in. A bonus of choosing GEMBA is being part of the USC alumni network, the strongest university alumni network in the world.
What do you think of the learning environment?
The mix of the USC faculty and knowledgeable classmates, based not just in Shanghai but all around Asia, has created a unique, intense and transformational learning environment. I have been pushed to step outside of my comfort zone and learn things about myself that I would never have realized without this experience. It’s also a lot of fun, and the friendships I have made with my classmates will be life-long.
You are one of the class ‘CEOs’ (Chief Entertainment Officers). Tell us about that please.
Our class loves to party, and I love leading the charge! But the most valuable aspect of being a CEO for me has been creating inclusiveness. We have citizens of about ten countries and regions, and helping bring this group of people together into one cohesive class family is very rewarding.
As an entrepreneur, what value do you think GEMBA brings to other entrepreneurs?
GEMBA has made me a much more well-rounded business leader. I am comfortable and confident speaking about operations, finance, marketing, and strategy in a way that I never dreamed possible. In and out of class, we discuss what works and what doesn't – the patterns of how businesses succeed or fail. I have learned more than I ever had hoped. So since joining GEMBA I have become very vocal about the importance of quality business education for entrepreneurs.
About the GEMBA Program
The Credibility You Seek, The Transformation You Need – the Global Executive MBA in Shanghai (GEMBA) is an innovative EMBA program offered by USC in partnership with Shanghai Jiaotong University, featuring the same faculty and curriculum as Marshall's top 10 ranked EMBA program in L. A. Courses are primarily taken in Shanghai, China with ExPort trip in South East Asia.