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Working at Huawei: ECNUer’s story of growth and discovery


Since June 2020, four outstanding students from the Asia-Europe Business School (AEBS) of ECNU have successfully completed their studies. They entered the top universities at home and abroad for further studies, or worked in international organizations, transnational corporations, enterprises or institutions afterwards.

AEBS has always been concerned about the development of each student. By conducting interviews and sharing their stories about overseas studies, and experiences of graduates from AEBS in a new environment, we aim to help students clarify their future development plan and direction. This is also to showcase their enriching life trajectories through the "Asia-Europe Excellent Alumni Tracking Report".

Ely Ajib

Huawei Operational Manager

Alumni of Master of International Business Program at AEBS

I'm Ely Ajib, a grateful and proud graduate of the Asia-Europe Business School. With a smile always on my face and a proactive attitude driving me through every project, it's hard to predict where exactly the future will lead me.

However, what I can say with certainty is that I've begun my journey on the strongest footing possible, all thanks to the solid learning foundation I've received.

Embracing Limitless Opportunity: Joining Chinese High-tech Giant

The wisdom of ancient Chinese civilization holds invaluable lessons, especially in the realm of business. One particular quote by Confucius deeply resonated with me during my studies: “Study the past if you would define the future.”

Now, as I share my journey with you, this quote rings truer than ever. Upon obtaining my diploma, I found myself in a rather fortunate position compared to many of my peers from other master's programs. AEBS served as a gateway to numerous job opportunities across Asia and Europe, making the job hunt relatively smooth sailing.

Within just two months I embarked on an exciting path, joining an early-stage startup as a sales director. However, my journey took an unexpected turn when HUAWEI came knocking at my door. Presented with the chance to be part of a global technology flagship, I simply couldn't resist the allure of such an exhilarating adventure.

Initially, the pressure was palpable—not because of HUAWEI itself, but rather due to the exceptional pool of talent it boasted. Surrounded by highly skilled professionals across various departments such as marketing, legal, finance, and sales, I couldn't help but feel a tad intimidated.

Yet, it wasn't long before I realized I wasn't navigating this journey solo. I was welcomed and supported by a team of remarkable individuals who believed in the power of collective effort for achieving progress and outstanding results.

However, do not get me wrong. I was well-prepared for the challenge ahead. The groundwork had been laid, and I was ready to hit the ground running, drawing on the knowledge, theories, and interpersonal skills I had acquired during my time in Shanghai.

Transformative Lessons from China: A Journey of Business and Technology

Following graduation, I was a young person with ambitious dreams. However, after my experience with HUAWEI, I emerged as a significantly improved version of myself. I have no doubt that the professors and professionals I encountered along the way imparted far more than just impressive lines on my resume.

When most people think of China, they often envision its rich traditional and cultural heritage. But for me, it's about so much more than that. From my time at the business school, to my involvement in the giant tech venture, it has all boiled down to a single recipe for building successful businesses.

Reflecting on the business skills, I've come to realize their concrete value. The Chinese influence has significantly elevated my proficiency in four key areas that every rapidly evolving industry seeks:

- Interpersonal skills: At the core is empathy. I've come to understand the vital role of networks, with "Guanxi" in Chinese culture reinforcing my approach to nurturing fruitful relationships across all parts of society.

- Critical thinking: It's easy to spot flaws in others, but true growth comes from self-reflection. I've honed the ability to identify and tackle challenges, while prioritizing thoughtful analysis before action.

- Data-driven mindset: While many can interpret data, unlocking its true potential is a rare skill. I've learned to sift through information objectively, avoiding bias and focusing on the raw realities observed in the field.

- Down-to-earth approach: For me, it's all about execution and accountability. I've been instilled with a mindset that tangible results are more valuable than mere words. It's about being a proactive doer, inspiring others through actions rather than words.

Embracing Collaboration and Diversity: My Advice for Career Success in the Technology Industry

After entering the technology industry, I’ve learned that success requires a mindset of collaboration and openness. Without it, you may encounter frustration and obstacles from colleagues who have their own specialized perspectives, potentially diverging from the overarching goal.

One crucial skill that every fresh graduate from AEBS should prioritize is developing a comprehensive understanding of cross-disciplinary skills. Given that many alumni often find themselves in managerial roles, the ability to effectively coordinate operations among a diverse array of talents is indispensable.

A prime example of this necessity arose during my time at HUAWEI, where I found myself tasked with orchestrating the launch of a mobile game. In this scenario, I had to strike a delicate balance between the demands of a designer, a lawyer, and a financial expert, all while overseeing the project.

It's no secret that technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, redefining what traditional jobs mean for the new generation. What's beautiful about this evolution is that it's leveling the playing field, offering equal opportunities for those who are determined to succeed. China stands at the forefront of this new era, welcoming foreigners who are eager to learn, work, and contribute to this burgeoning industry.

One of the most striking aspects of my time in Shanghai was the city’s diversity. People in Shanghai come from various backgrounds and possess a wide range of skills, whether they were studying business, engineering, or science, or hailed from countries like France, the United States, India, and beyond. It was truly inspiring to witness such a melting pot of talent and perspectives converging in one very dynamic city in China.

Open Your Future to Incredible Possibilities, My Experience at AEBS

I learned a perfect culmination of both hard and soft skills while working on the thesis with my mentor at AEBS, Henry Chen.

Looking back on that experience now, I can see how much the guidance of professors across various disciplines, from Marketing and Management to Economics and Chinese studies, contributed to shaping my understanding of how international business operates.

Even today, I find myself unconsciously applying many of the fundamentals I learned during my studies. They've become an integral part of my professional toolkit, seamlessly fitting together like pieces of a puzzle, enhancing my abilities in the workplace.

Beyond the classroom environment, AEBS offers a rich tapestry of life experiences to the student body. I had the pleasure of meeting countless amazing individuals, sharing delightful meals, making new friends and immersing myself in a city steeped in vibrant cultural heritage. I will hold the memories I made at AEBS in my heart forever. Sometimes, I find myself longing to stroll around the school grounds once more, simply to relive those beautiful moments that ECNU gifted to me.

What initially drew me to enroll at ECNU was the Belt and Road project. The intricate connection between Asia and Europe fascinated me, and I yearned to delve deeper into understanding how it could shape my career going forward.

I'm pleased to say that my expectations have been more than met thus far. AEBS didn't just teach me theoretical concepts; it provided me with the invaluable opportunity to actively participate in my desired professional sphere. It's been a fulfilling journey, one where I've not only gained knowledge but also become an active participant in the dynamic landscape of Asia-Europe business relations.

Suggestions to Current Students

If I could offer one piece of advice to future students on their next educational step, it would be this: consider China for further studies. My mother instilled an important lesson in me about my career goals: keep as many doors open as possible when it comes to shaping the future, making decisions, and navigating significant life changes.

I understand that the prospect of relocating to a different country can be daunting, and that little voice of doubt may whisper, "Don't do it." However, from my own personal experiences in China, I can attest that Shanghai is an invaluable investment for anyone pursuing a career in international business. With a rich history, a thriving present, and a promising future, Shanghai serves as the ultimate launchpad for your professional endeavors.

Author: Ely Ajib

Liaison: Qi Cai

Copy editor: Wenting Chen, Philip Nash

Editor: Mei Xia, Wicky Xu