Guiding the Growth of Global EMBA Community – CCT Union Reunion
On Saturday 29th May, 44 students and alumni from the Global EMBA community met on campus for a reunion of the Class Committee Team (CCT) Union.
Each year, the Global EMBA class elect a CCT composed of 8-10 students whose job is to lead their classmates through the programme. They serve as ambassadors, event planners, organisers and facilitators. In general, they listen to the needs, wants and challenges of their fellow classmates, in each case trying to accommodate them, while improving the overall programme wherever and however they can. The CCT is not only a bridge between the Global EMBA class and CEIBS faculty/administration staff, it’s also designed to turn the class into a closely-knit community, both during their studies and after graduation.
While each year’s CCT attempts to strengthen the bonds between the members of that particular Global EMBA class, the CCT Union is made up of CCT members across all Global EMBA classes. The Union is a platform that lets past and currently serving CCT members come together, share their experiences, knowledge and ideas, all in the hope of continuing their original mission while helping to further improve the Global EMBA programme.
Facilitating Change: The CCT’s Role in Growing the Global EMBA
At the start of the reunion, Associate Dean for Global EMBA Professor Bala Ramasamy thanked everyone for coming together. He spoke briefly about the spirit of the CCT as an organisation, while outlining how it continues to help generate and refine ideas for strengthening the Global EMBA community.
“When I took over this role, what I really wanted was to find new ways of allowing our strong and distinctive community to continue making an impact, not just on each other’s studies and businesses, but on the wider CEIBS community and beyond. The purpose of the programme is to provide a bridge between China and the rest of the world. Essentially, each student or alumni is a pillar, and the CCT’s job is to support them as much as possible, so they can better support the bridge.”
Professor Ramasamy then outlined ongoing plans for developing new events and initiatives, in which the CCT Union has a vital role to play. He described the establishment of a new series of post-graduate modules. These will range in scope from those focusing on various business functions (finance, marketing, etc) to specific skills, like crisis management, to work-life balance modules designed to explore the importance of maintaining healthy personal relationships as well as business-related ones.
In the development and execution of all these planned events and initiatives, Professor Ramasamy emphasised how the CCT Union is a vital conduit between students, staff and the wider world. By encouraging Global EMBA students and alumni to contribute their own ideas, knowledge and resources, the Union ensures that the programme itself is a true reflection of the people who undertake it, harnessing their potential while strengthening the bonds between them.
Shared Experiences: CCT Union Panel Discussion
After the professor’s address, the assembled union members launched into a lively panel discussion, where the currently serving CCT asked alumni from previous years’ teams to give them the benefit of their own hard-won lessons and experiences.
The discussion was split into two sessions, the first led by Connie Cao and the second by Marcus Doberman, both of whom are members of the GEMBA 2020 CCT. The topics under discussion ranged from more general explorations of different ways to encourage inter-class and even cross-programme links, to more specific questions – such as how to create more effective or memorable events, and how to maintain the overall cohesion of the class once students split off into smaller groups for their respective elective modules.
The following are just a handful of the nuggets of wisdom shared by the panel:
“You need to ensure that whatever you’re doing, it serves the majority of the class. You have to seek their opinion and confirm that they are happy. It’s not enough for just the CCT to think that they are doing a good job, you need to proactively test and confirm that with your classmates.”
– Jinyuan Li, Global EMBA 2015
“A little bit of compromise goes a long way, especially if you’re discussing relatively small issues. The CCT needs to take the long view – hopefully we will all be in the Global EMBA family for years if not decades, so there’s no point in falling out over small issues if a compromise can be readily achieved.”
– Olivier Brault, Global EMBA 2019
“In terms of forging connections between the GEMBA, EMBA and MBA programmes, it can be difficult because we each have distinctly different setups in terms of administration, CCT priorities and so on. Plus, there’s the language barrier, which is often significant. What is really encouraging, however, is how these barriers have been lowered during the last 10 years. Now there’s much more willingness to reach out between programmes, and that’s partially due to generally greater levels of bilingualism and partially through efforts of individual alumni. The CCT needs to encourage this wherever possible.”
– Seoul Min, Global EMBA 2010
“Embrace ad-hoc events as much as the big, planned ones, because you never know when they might be very well received and suddenly take off. A relatively minor or impromptu event might quickly turn into something that you want to do annually or even more regularly than that.”
– Theresa Cai, Global EMBA 2018
“Events where people can be themselves and are perhaps unafraid to let their hair down a little are when the closest bonding happens. Of course, this is a professional, academic setting, but one of the strengths of the ‘CEIBS atmosphere’ is how it gets people emotionally invested in the process, rather than focusing entirely on business and academic outcomes.”
– Cedric Devroye, Global EMBA 2015
“I think we can be really proud of our response to the pandemic. At the time, we had only finished two modules and then all our plans were suspended. Our ‘Connect and Grow’ online sessions quickly became a way for all classmates – alongside our friends in the EMBA and MBA programmes – to stay connected, keep learning and adapt to these extremely trying circumstances.”
– Guirong Li, Global EMBA 2019
“My advice is that CCT members shouldn’t try to do absolutely everything themselves. It’s your job to encourage participation from the rest of your class as much as possible. Then record and share this participation as much as possible so that it’s noted and celebrated. Share photos, videos, thoughts, ideas, all of it. Try to be a facilitator – just help to connect the dots, don’t draw all the dots and all the lines in between.”
– David Moreno, Global EMBA 2017
“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to give people avenues to come forward, share their plans, and make them happen.”
– Richard Hong, Global EMBA 2016
Not only was the 2021 CCT Union Reunion a chance for serving members from the past 10 years to meet and help guide the current team, it was also another opportunity to renew old friendships and strike up new ones between Global EMBA family members. We hope that everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves thoroughly, and we look forward to seeing what the currently serving CCT will produce next for the Global EMBA community.