IESE Alumni Footprint Series, An Interview with Jiayu Hu (China)

Name: Jiayu Hu

Year of Graduation: 2018

Nationality: China

Post-MBA Country of Residence: United Kingdom

Post-MBA Employer: Citi

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? What inspired you to pursue an MBA and why did you choose IESE?

Prior to the MBA, I worked for 8 years in the realms of accounting and finance across different industries and organizations, including the Big 4, a fintech start-up and multi-national companies before my MBA. My career up to that point was deeply entrenched with numbers, financial reporting, and modelling. When I started my career, I was a strong believer that numbers never lie. However, I soon found out that unravelling the narratives beneath those figures and, even more intriguingly, translating them into actionable insights is where the true challenges are.

CPA, CFA or Excel spreadsheet skills… all these are helpful but not sufficient to advance in my career. I needed to understand business holistically and people management, or how it works from end to end. This conviction was my catalyst for the pursuit of an MBA.

Furthermore, my aspiration for greater international exposure spurred my curiosity to discern the nuances between the Chinese and international markets.

Initially I was exploring business schools in US and got several offers through the 1st round of applications. When I learned more about IESE, I was impressed with the considerably higher percentage of international students and the remarkably diverse student profile. The interactions with IESE alumni left an indelible mark, ultimately influencing my decision in favor of IESE.

What activities were you involved in at school and how did they help you in your job search? How did the Career Development Center support you?

I joined several professional clubs including Finance, Healthcare, Middle East and Greater China Business Club.

Navigating the job market presented a unique challenge compared to my prior experiences in China, and Career Development Center organized a series of activities including CV review, Cover Letter workshops, industry-specific orientation, which all gave me very hands-on guidance to get myself well prepared. I participated in the Career Forum and through this event, I secured the summer internship offer at Citi and also managed to get the return offer following the completion of the internship.

What are some of your favorite memories from IESE?  

There are indeed a lot of good memories, and my face is smiling now when I am recalling them to write this down. One of my best memories is the interaction with my teammates. We are all from different countries, backgrounds and experienced various challenges, collaborations, and conflicts during the 2 years. The bonding within the team is much stronger than I’ve ever thought. It was fun, and the stories continue even after the MBA. In the five years post-MBA, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend four weddings of my fellow teammates. Each celebration became a cherished reunion. During the pandemic, we had Zoom catch ups to update and support each other from different corners of the world. Our team is getting bigger with new members – our kids! – and we are looking forward to bigger team reunions soon.

How do you think your MBA has helped you in your career?

The pace of change in our world is astounding — technological leaps, geopolitical conflicts, pandemic, and macroeconomic turbulence are reshaping the business environment. The MBA experience for me is more than just improving business skills. It was a deliberate pause to reassess the overwhelming information from a fresh perspective and gain insights from very smart people all over the world.

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Camille Chow View more

Associate Director, Admissions (MBA '16)

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