Summer Study Abroad in China

chinaPROGRAM: Entrepreneurship in the US and China

June 9 – 23, 2015

China

 

Recent research suggests that employers value intercultural skills as highly as formal qualifications in the workplace, according to new global research published by the British Council.1

 

Interested in spending your summer break studying global business practices in China? Then join us for our Open House to learn how you can become a part of this wonderful opportunity and distinguish yourself among your peers!

 

Professor Liu will be available to tell you more about the program and answer any questions you may have.

 

OPEN HOUSE

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

5:00pm – 6:00pm

McCormack Hall, 5th Floor, Room #619

 

**Please RSVP to jennifer.goode@umb.edu if you plan to attend.

 

http://www.britishcouncil.org/organisation/publications/culture-work-intercultural-skills-workplace

Welcome new students! Survival tips from a current MBA student

Welcome to the Spring 2015 New Incoming Students Cohort

by Marco Bellin

Spring is a magical time of the year. While there are people dreaming of summer and long sunny days where the cold winter is only a memory, there are others seeing their dreams come true once they board on a plane, or any other mean of transportation, with Boston as final destination. You are about joining the UMass Boston community and starting the pursuit of your graduate degree or visiting program. Hard work and long nights on standardized tests and applications are now behind, a new chapter is about to start. Congratulations to each one of you! You made it! You have made the right decision, and by undertaking this step you just took your career, as well as personal and professional development, to the next level. Embrace this joyful and extraordinary moment, celebrate the admission with your loved ones, and then get ready to embark on one of the most enriching experiences of your life.

I was in your shoes two times, in 2009 when I joined UMass Boston as an exchange student and in 2014 when I returned to my home away from home, again UMass Boston, to pursue my MBA. I had to relocate from Italy, so I have been down the same steep road, and I have been through the emotional turmoil that comes with the big move twice. Going to Graduate School, be it across the country or on the other side of the globe, is never easy. You will find very challenging moments and will go through hard times. The sooner you take this into account, the better off you will be, and the more you will derive from this new experience you are about to start. Here is some advice that will prove useful when settling down in Boston and UMass.

1) Stay calm, no matter what. Always take a deep breath, remember that you made it till here, and tell yourself that everything is going to be fine.

2) Be humble, adapt to the new environment, and accept the fact that life will not be like it was back home. I am not saying it is going to be worse; it just will not be the same. Every place has its own pace, uses and habits, rules and culture. Embrace it with full heart! Do not try to change it, do not try to replicate the one from back home, enjoy the change. Change is positive!

3) Pack cleverly and strategically. If you are an international student, do not put any of your important documents into the luggage that you check in if you are flying. You want to exclude the possibility of losing them, were your luggage to be lost or delayed. All your identification documents, school-related paperwork, accommodation and travel documents, especially passport, letter of admission, I-20 (if you are an F-1 student) or DS-2019 (if you have a J-1 visa), should mean everything to you right now. Safeguard them day and night!

4) Ask for help, do not be afraid or shy. There will be moments where you do not know how to find a place or what you are supposed to do. It is okay. It is part of the learning process. Ask someone for help, you will be amazed at how helpful strangers can be. By the way, on-campus there are no strangers, we are part of the same family.

5) Dedicate your first week in town to sort everything out and settle down. Sightseeing can wait a few days. It is crucial to start with the right foot and fulfill the induction on-campus as well as find the right accommodation, if you have not found one yet. If you are international, report to the ISSS (International Students and Scholar Services – Campus Center, 2nd floor) office on your first visit to campus. They will tell you what you need to do. The One Stop office is another place you should become familiar with.

6) Take nothing for granted. Both if you are coming from the West Coast of the States or from the other side of the globe, remember that uses and people are different from the ones you were used to. Be respectful, always, and make sure you ask what you do not know or are not sure about.

7) Everyone likes and feel more comfortable to hang out with his or her own fellow students and friends, but life and learning happen outside your comfort zone and safety network. Integrate with different people. This will benefit you from day one, not only socially wise but also academically speaking. If your first language is not English, try as much as possible to stay with people that speak English. Your grades will improve hour after hour, and you will discover your untapped potential.

8) Do not be shy. At first glance classes will seem different, somehow surreal, and/or challenging, if you are used to a different system or school environment. People will actively participate in the class discussion, and there is no silly question. Get used to it. Speak up, so that you and the rest of the class can benefit and learn from each other.

9) Nobody will ‘project manage’ your days and your life inside and outside school. You need to do it. A graduate program can be intense, challenging, demanding, and all of the above. Keep your focus, keep your priorities clear in mind whatever they are, and plan accordingly. Be punctual at meetings, time is precious. If it is not precious to you, it will definitely be to the people waiting on you. Be responsible.

These are some of the keys to make your new experience as meaningful and positive as possible. There are surely other important aspects that you should think about in this new endeavor of yours. But that will be the ground for our next conversation, hopefully in person, on-campus. Feel free to stop me and introduce yourself in the hallways of our beautiful campus whenever you see me. I would love to make your acquaintance and clear any doubt you may have. Do not be shy, I will be happy to have a chat over coffee!

In the meantime, all the best and good luck for this new exciting phase of your life! I am excited for you and happy to have you joining our student community.

Welcome to UMass Boston! I look forward to seeing you this spring!

Marco Bellin

Student Post: The GMAT Experience

THE GMAT EXPERIENCE: WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW

by Stefano Maffina and Marco Bellin

The GMAT, and the other standardized tests such as GRE and TOEFL, is an important step for every candidate in the process of applying for graduate school. If on one hand acing the exam is not easy, on the other hand it is not impossible. There are many myths about the test, so let us see what it takes to turn the GMAT experience from nightmare to a positive and successful process.

- Practice makes perfect. Take enough time to prepare. I took a few weeks off work, and I prepared for 6-7 weeks. If it is not possible and you only have weekends, it might take at least 3-4 months to prepare thoroughly for the test.

- There are two main parts: quantitative and verbal sections. Definitely work longer on the section that you are less familiar with, or that you feel less confident with, but do not forget to prepare for the other section as well.  For instance, given my background I felt extremely confident in the verbal part already, while I was struggling with the quantitative section. As a result, I spent 70% of the time preparing for the quantitative part, but I still spent 30% of the time to get used to the way questions were asked in the verbal part, and the topics that were covered. This is important, because in the end, while I was given an average grade in the quantitative part, the fact that I was in the 99% percentile in the verbal part allowed me to achieve a pretty high grade. Indeed, since the final grade is single, it is not divided between the two sections; it does not matter where you received the majority of your points.

- It is extremely important to get used to the formal appearance of the questions. All these tests, such as GMAT, TOEFL, GRE, tend to have repetitive patterns and extremely similar types of questions. Despite the topics being different, if you are already used to answering questions asked in the same manner and fashion, it becomes way easier, almost automatic, to be able to answer to them quickly and effectively.

- Do not fear to repeat the test. It is expensive, but I have friends who have repeated it twice, and every time they have consistently improved their grades. This is because the first time, despite a long preparation and training, you are still not entirely able to pace yourself, or to envision how a 5-hour-long exam would require in terms of attention and effort.

- It might sound trivial, but definitely go to the restroom just before starting the test, and during the break. Also, carry with you some snack or energy bar, and a bottle of water, to be eaten and drunk during the break.

- You can find several books online that will help you prepare for the test. Use them. I recommend the Kaplan New GMAT Premier, since it is full of complete and to-the-point explanations, and hundreds of questions. Additionally, the official GMAT Review book is also valid, possibly with its two companions for Verbal Review and Quantitative Review.

Good luck!

Stefano and Marco are second-year MBA students in the College of Management.