Yuming Meng '98MBA
Chief Economist and Company Secretary
Beijing Energy Investment Holding Co., Ltd., Beijing, China
You won't find many MBA students who have already published an MBA textbook. But that was the case with Yuming Meng when he enrolled in Notre Dame's one-year MBA program in 1998.
Meng graduated from a management school in China and began teaching management in 1988, less than a decade after the Chinese government announced its intention to move to more of a market-based economy. While writing the textbook he discovered that the existing Chinese texts included many misconceptions about Western-style economics.
Later, after joining a state-owned enterprise, he was sent to the United States to develop the market. But he hardly knew how to communicate with Americans, let alone establish business contacts, he recalls. So he decided to pursue an MBA from a U.S. business school. While studying for the GMAT, he earned money washing dishes in Chinese restaurants.
"I got a 640," he remembers of his GMAT score, "not a high score but good for a 35-year-old man."
Meng says he chose Notre Dame because the business school offered a generous fellowship and because the college's values aligned with his beliefs. One of those is that "the purpose of running a business is not only to make money but to make more people have a good life."
After graduation Meng returned to China and entered a competition for a management position with Beijing's municipal government. Thousands of people registered for the merit-based examination to select 30 people for high government positions. Meng finished first and was appointed vice president of a government-owned investment company.
He subsequently proposed and oversaw the merger of two state-owned enterprises into Beijing Energy Investment Holding. Among other projects, the company built a gas-fired power plant for the Beijing Olympic Games that was regarded as the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.
To express his pride in his degree and gratitude to Notre Dame, Meng says he always prints "MBA, Notre Dame" on his business card. He says he hopes to return to the campus someday.
"In my mind it is forever my hometown."