Harvard Business School has plenty of famous alumni, so it was particularly humbling when WildChina founder Zhang Mei made it to the cover of the HBS Alumni Bulletin this past December. In an issue that recognized the 50th anniversary of women being allowed into Harvard Business School’s MBA program, Mei was featured along with a host of female alumni. With graduation years ranging from 1962 to 2010, these women represented a wide range of professional pursuits. However one thing they all had in common–other, of course, than their time spent in Cambridge–was that they are recognized by their fellow alumni as superlative leaders, mentors, and role models. Each alumna gave their thoughts on a variety of issues, ranging from who they admired, to reflections on the early days of their careers, as well as their thoughts on a business career in general.
One section of the bulletin keyed into the executive-suite challenges that women still face today–even as society works to shed the influences of the historically male workplace. When asked what she thought men could learn from women leaders, Mei said the key is to look beyond stereotypes, and that “what is most important is for men and women to approach business relationships—and life—with an open mind and a readiness to learn from everyone.” A readiness that, for Mei, is essential to traveling across cultures, and a curiousity she hopes to instill in WildChina travelers.
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