Linda Long (Darden Class of 2017) was one of 12 incoming Darden students to attend and participate in the Shanghai Investing Summit and Global Leadership Forum on 8 and 9 May 2015.  Linda currently works as a manager at McGraw Hill Financial in Beijing. She is looking forward to continuing her education at Darden starting this August and enjoyed meeting Darden faculty, staff, alumni, and investing leaders in Shanghai last week. Linda shared, “As I look back on the Shanghai Investing Summit, I am amazed by what sticks with me- the Western perspective into the Chinese market.”  Here are the Linda’s main takeaways from the Summit and her opinions on what she heard:

Trends to Watch in China’s Capital Market:

  • Investors are getting younger; think about BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent).
  • Quantitative investments are gaining momentum among private equity funds and high-end individual investors.
  • The M&A market is expected to grow very fast in the next couple of years.
  • Commercial banks will diversify their business with interest rate liberalization.
  • RMB is poised to become a reserve currency.
  • China-based high-tech firms are leaving the US for China.

Each of the themes offer tons of opportunities for the investors in this market.

Investing heavily in China may seem obvious, but the huge market also poses its distinct challenges . . .

I agree with Mr. Robert Hugin’s comments that intellectual property rights is one of the most pressing issues multinational companies face in China – it has also been on the agenda for the government relations manager in the company where I work for the past couple of years. Our company has been attending seminars, contributing to white papers, and meeting with government officials on this topic.

However, Mr. Hugin’s solution to the problem- to support the local players in the industry-  was different than those I have encountered before.  He made a good point that local players will begin to fight for their rights when they are mature enough to have their own intellectual property.  The fight will be hard to win without their participation.

Advice from Darden Alumni to Incoming Students

Linda also had the chance to speak with Darden alumni in China. She commented that “for me, Darden is special because of its supportive community. I’m really grateful that the faculty, staff and the alumni take the time to get to know each of the incoming students and are so generous with their advice.”  Linda shared the following notes, summarizing alumni advice to incoming Darden MBA students:

From Robert Hugin (MBA ’85)

  • Take risks and be bold.
  • Read and be a lifelong learner.

From Shaojian Zhang (MBA ’99)

  • Sometimes you have to take the first step for others to follow. Do it, even it’s intimidating for you.
  • Take advantage of the MBA experience to change what you don’t like about your character.
  • Open up.

From Jerry Peng (MBA ’03)

  • Be a giver.
  • The MBA is about gaining common sense – understanding yourself and learning to appreciate others’ strengths.
  • Build soft skills – these are the most important to be successful in life and work.
Linda Long (far right) with her Darden Class of 2017  classmates in Shanghai
Linda Long (far right) with her Darden Class of 2017 classmates in Shanghai