Baoli Zhao




United Kingdom




Jan 2019 - Sept 2020

By Baoli Zhao


If you ask me what is the most interesting thing that have experienced during the 1st week of the EMBA, I will not hesitate to tell you that it is the people surround me. From the cohort, school staffs to professors, what a group of wonderful people!

Our cohort is mixed with 69 intelligent individuals from 30 different countries and many business sectors. During the study of Leadership Fundamentals – Leaders and Decision Making, we were given a group case study. I will not expose too much case details in case someone will meet this case study in the future. The basic idea is that you will need make a rapid decision whether you will go to this car race based on some given historic data and race team experience. After the case study session, I had a chat with 3 classmates with different backgrounds and asked their decisions and the reason why. This is interesting:

  1. Steven is a successful entrepreneur. Steven voted that the team must go without any doubt. He understood that there will be some potential risk that team will fail, but you must to go to get the media exposure, so the team can have the chance to win more sponsors. As an entrepreneur, Steven made the decision without any data analysis and the decision purely from a businessman’s instinct.
  2. Andrey is a Senior Delta One Trader. After Andrey analysed all the given data and produced a decision tree, he decided to lead the team to go to the race with the minimum confidence. He can see there is the big risk to fail, but Andrey will take this risk. As a trader, you always take the risk!
  3. Alexey is a Credit Banker. Alexey looked the given data and made a quick decision that the team should not go to race at all, because the historic data is not sufficient enough to let him to make the decision. As a credit banker, he always trusts the data.

You can see that these classmates can all give the different decisions based on their backgrounds and experiences. I am confident that I can learn a lot from this interesting cohort.

Regarding the teaching team, I must to give a massive thanks to Professor James Taylor who teaches Analytics. I tried to be a good student, so I really tried to do some pre-course study. After I downloaded the handouts of Analytics, I was so scared by these long mathematic functions and Greek Symbols. Just simply could not read them at all.  I had to keep telling myself that it will be fine. I learnt them before and I will be able to handle them. I opened the handout again, but I still could not understand it at all ☹ At the end, I had to walk to the class without any pre-reading. I really thought that I will fail this module for sure. It is unbelievable that James spent hours to help us to review mathematics fundamentals that we all should have prior knowledge of. He is so understandable that most of the class haven’t been using this mathematics for a very long time, me, 20 years! Thanks James, you did not start the lecture from book chapter 100! In addition, he made the boring mathematics so interesting and easy! After Analytics Module 1, I am still with the class speed. What a relief! I know how tired you are by running around during the class to keep us awake and full attention. Thanks again James! You know that we all love you!

I must to say everyone involved this EMBA program is so interesting. I am so looking forward to knowing you guys more 😊

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