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5 reasons to get your business degree in Shenzhen, China

By Chloe Lane

Updated May 18, 2022 Updated May 18, 2022

Sponsored by Peking University HSBC Business School 

Located on the south-eastern coast in mainland China’s Guangdong province, Shenzhen was once just a small fishing village. Today, Shenzhen is one of mainland China’s wealthiest and fastest growing cities. It’s even known as the Silicon Valley of China – making it an ideal place to study a business degree.  

Master’s in management graduate Brandon Stefano visited Shenzhen twice before deciding to study at Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS). His decision to study there was largely influenced by Shenzhen’s proximity to the tech industry and the prestige of PHBS. 

“My grandfather, being born and raised in China, still had vivid memories of his time at PHBS and he often told me that Peking University was considered in his time as 我们华人的梦想 – the dream of the Chinese people.”  

Although he grew up in Indonesia, Brandon’s family are originally from China’s Guangdong region in the city of Meizhou, which is very close to Shenzhen. Brandon therefore saw studying in Shenzhen as a way to reconnect with his family heritage.  

TopUniversities spoke to Brandon about his experience studying in Shenzhen and why he believes it is a perfect city to study a business degree. 

It's the Silicon Valley of the East 

Brandon has always had a strong interest in technology and so was naturally drawn to Shenzhen, which he describes as “the Silicon Valley of the East”.  

“Attending business school in Shenzhen would help me gain not just a business perspective, but also first-hand exposure to the tech industry in Shenzhen,” he said. 

Shenzhen is a leading business, innovation and financial centre in mainland China with a strong focus on producing consumer tech products. Its economic strength is reflected in its status as a Special Economic Zone.  

“As a student I am able to get more chance to network with a more varied group of individuals due to the continuous push for investment made in the city,” said Brandon. 

You will make an impact in real businesses  

Studying a business degree in a thriving business hub such as Shenzhen will allow you to apply your knowledge to real companies and see how your changes are making a difference. 

PHBS’s master’s in management programme provides specialist training in management, covering cross disciplinary coursework such as management theories, economics and organisation behaviour, and covers how to apply them to real-world corporate issues.  

“There were countless group works where we were given case studies based on real and current cases that companies from different industries were facing,” said Brandon. 

One part of the programme that stood out to Brandon is the management scenario projects, which included product development, project management and consultancy. 

As part of an operations management project, Brandon’s team were tasked with improving a business’s operations.  

The team chose a bakery in Nanshan, devising and presenting ideas to help improve the in-store operations, which included a proposed rearrangement of their product displays to maximise food traffic and to ensure that every product received maximum exposure. 

After revisiting the bakery months later, they noticed that the bakery had implemented this change. 

“Despite it being only one of the many recommendations we made, it felt good that we were able to make a small impact through our work,” said Brandon. 

Shenzhen is more international than other cities in China 

“Shenzhen is a very international city, which is a rare find in China,” said Brandon, who describes it as one of the most expat-friendly cities in China. “It’s not hard to find restaurants opened by expats of different nationalities and every single amenity you could imagine in a western city – Shenzhen has got you covered.” 

Brandon advises coming with an open mind and learning basic phrases in Mandarin. Doing this will allow you to completely immerse yourself in the city’s diverse and interesting culture. 

“Now I feel right at home with the culture in Shenzhen,” he said.  

You’ll build business connections and lifelong friends 

For PHBS’s students and its extensive alumni network, which spans 64 locations around the world, a major benefit of studying in Shenzhen is the connections and friendships they made.  

“Studying at PHBS gave me three very important things: business networks, new skills and lifelong friends,” said Brandon.  

When asked what he enjoyed most about living and studying in Shenzhen, Brandon said it was the diverse group of friends he made there.  

He said: “The people I met in PHBS all hailed from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. I always love to surround myself with a diverse group of people and that was exactly what I did.  

“During every study group, group project, dinner party and weekend excursion, you would always learn something new and learn something we all have in common despite being different. It was an environment that allowed me to thrive in every single aspect of my life.” 

PHBS’s Alumni Association aims to bring together PHBS graduates from all class years. Through the association, alumni and current students can find personal contacts, professional connections and career development opportunities. 

A relaxed learning environment in a modern, fast-paced city 

Shenzhen is the perfect mix of a buzzing, fast-paced metropolis and a relaxing, nature-filled city. Unlike some other Asian cities, Shenzhen is incredibly modern and environmentally-focused. In fact, Brandon was surprised that most of the vehicles in the city were electric. 

PHBS’s campus is located in the University Town of Shenzhen, which is more laidback than downtown Shenzhen, making it the perfect environment for studying. 

This article was originally published in May 2022 .

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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