China Alumni Beijing Microsoft Company Visit
On 7 June, MBS China Centre organized an alumni company visit to Microsoft China Headquarters. This has been the second time we organized such visits to our alumni companies. This visit proved to be successful and fruitful, not only providing an opportunity for our Beijing alumni to gather together, but also a precious chance to go inside a world leading and most innovative multinational.
It was a working afternoon, but we still had over 10 alumni coming to join this visit. George Xue, who is one of our Global MBA alumni, and Head of Business Development at Microsoft, was the host of our visit this time. He firstly welcomed us all to Microsoft, and then guided us a comprehensive tour of the whole Microsoft buildings in Zhongguancun, one of the most famous high-tech parks in China and named as ‘China’s Silicon Valley’. Everybody in the delegation was impressed by the humanization design and care to its staff. We saw a pantry full of drinks and snacks on every floor; plenty of resting space with comfortable sofas, and full books; even a mini golf facility on the top floor; open working spaces to break the ‘invisible walls’ between people; well-equipped meeting rooms to enable global video conferences etc.; large choices of meals in the big enough canteens; and a well professionally equipped gym where George said he would regularly spent some short time exercising and get back to work refreshingly. Everywhere, our eyes were entertained by colorful decorations, logos, facilities. We took group photos at the innovatively designed long bridge between the two buildings.
After the tour, we went back to the meeting room where George delivered a speech, explaining in details about Microsoft, its strategy in China and globally, as well as his own career development.
At the beginning, George showed us all a short video, displaying all innovative and feasible future products Microsoft is working on, and how those are going to interacting with us and impacting on our life and work. AI, VR, intelligent cloud platform, big data, internet of thing – were frequently quoted throughout the sharing session. George also showed us in his mobile two AR products, which could communicate with him with human voice. He then explained to us Microsoft’s mission, strategy, and etc..
Microsoft was among the earliest multinationals to enter the China market since 1992. Microsoft has rapidly expanded its business across the country under its strategy of long-term investment and development, enabling and fueling China’s innovations. Microsoft boasts a robust partner ecosystem with 17,000 partners. In early 2015, Microsoft was awarded “The World's Top 10 Most Innovative of 2015 Companies in China " by Fast Company magazine due to its local product strategy and commitments to helping Chinese partners, and was included as one of " The Companies Remaking The Chinese Economy". Microsoft also established in Zhongguancun its Venture Accelerator to nurture highly potential start-ups. George welcomed and would like to facilitate our alumni’ entrepreneurship via this Accelerator.
George is responsible for driving strategic business deals and cultivating relationships with innovation partners in Greater China Region at Microsoft. Given the importance of localization and partnership strategies in Microsoft, George was at a strategic position to make every plan and decision with great patience and care. Quite recently he led his team successfully signing a collaborative deal with Xiaomi, one of China’s most innovative and fast developing enterprises, and was congratulated directly by Microsoft’s CEO. George sincerely shared with us his career development, encouraging all to grasp all opportunities, being confident and well prepared. He recalled how he was successfully recruited by Microsoft and each milestone on his career journey to more strategic tasks and position. His decision in studying with Manchester Business School surely facilitated him in going up the career pathway.
It was a successful visit though a small pity that we were unable to visit Microsoft’s fancy Demo Room. The visit enabled our alumni to mingle with each other more, had the first-hand experience of how a great enterprise is developing strategically and acquiring talents, and how our academic learning could be applied in real practice. We are anticipating more of such alumni company visits in the future.