21 March 2019

The one-of-a-kind Wealight Business School

The kneeling and kowtowing is gone but one elite Shanghai business school is reviving some of the spirit of the ancient apprentice system to help its students reach the next entrepreneurial level. 

In the admission ceremony for the Shanghai Entrepreneur Association’s Wealight Business School {大商学院}, each student must present a formal written apprenticeship letter plus a gift to their masters to highlight the lifelong bond between students and teachers.

And unlike most business schools, this college does not emphasize theory and the professors rarely teach big classes. Instead, it’s a one-on-one intensive coaching system in which teachers, all of whom are billionaires, use their own companies and experiences as case studies.

Shanghai Zendai Property founder Dai Zhikang revealed in an episode of the popular business talk show Boss Town that teachers also help students diagnose their business issues and check if they are heading in the right direction.

MBA or EMBA students are usually mid-level executives but to get into Wealight, applicants have to own a business with net assets in the tens of millions of yuan and sales exceeding 100 million yuan (US$16.37 million).

“Our mission is to nurture a group of business leaders,” Dai said on the program.

If the masters are convinced about the future of their apprentices’ businesses, they may even invest and become stakeholders.

By injecting capital, “we can help push them to the next level,” he said.

But it’s not all one-way. Dai said young entrepreneurs can also enlighten the veterans and give them fresh ideas.

The education-investment combination sounds alluring but with just 25 teachers right now, very few students will enjoy all it has to offer.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]


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