Crystal Jiang, who earned her M.B.A. from the Maine Business School in 2002, is continually reminded of the time she spent at the University of Maine.
An assistant professor of management at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., Jiang is teaching the same business policy course she took from MBS Professor John Mahon.
“Whenever I teach the key principles of business policy, I hear Dr. Mahon’s voice in my mind,” she says. “I still remember his logic as he walked us through the concepts. He was fabulous. He had a huge impact on me.”
Jiang credits Mahon and other MBS faculty members with her decision to become a business professor. A native of China, she originally figured that after graduating from MBS she’d return to that country and continue as investment manager at the Foreign Economic and Trade Committee in Qingdao. But MBS “changed my plan for life,” says Jiang, who went on to earn her Ph.D. in international business and strategic management at Temple University.
“I had so many wonderful professors at the MBS,” she says. “They were truly role models for me. Not only were they experts in their fields, but they really cared about each student’s well being. Because of them, I saw how teachers can change people’s lives and help students see the world differently. I realized that, as a teacher, I could have a much larger impact on students, businesses, and the entire community than I would have in my job in Qingdao. My MBS professors showed me that teaching is a wonderful career with lasting effects that can truly be transformational.”
Jiang had her choice of MBA programs, but says she was attracted to the Maine Business School because of its curriculum and faculty as well as the experiential learning opportunities it offered.
“Also, the UMaine community at large is very supportive of foreign students,” she says. “I developed close ties with the Chinese Student Association and the International Students Association.”
Today, when she is not in the classroom, Jiang also is working on research that involves how companies from emerging countries can expand internationally and become competitive with multi-national companies.
“I’m trying to help Chinese companies understand how to compete successfully with multi-national companies from developed economies and help American companies prepare for competitors from China as well as from India, Russia, and Brazil. This is similar to the work I was doing for the Foreign Economic and Trade Committee in China before I came to the U.S.”
Image Description: Crystal Jiang