Stanford Tsinghua Exchange Program (STEP)

STEP Renren VisitRenren hosts STEP participants

Class of 2012 STEP participants visited Renren Inc. headquarters while in Beijing over winter break. While there, they got to see and hear first hand from CEO and co-founder Joe Chen, MBA '99, how he created what many call the "Facebook of China." The students also visited PC-maker Lenovo, China Development Bank, and companies in the Tianjin port area. Now in its 7th year, STEP continues to grow in both size and scope as it evolves to reflect China's growing place in the world, the increasing visibility of Chinese multinational enterprises, and the increasing trend of MBA students seeking long-term employment opportunities in China. In addition to visiting important Chinese cultural sights, past programs have involved visits to such companies as Lenovo, Aigo, and Ufida, as well as American companies like Facebook, Gap and IDEO. Lectures by notable academics at both Stanford and Tsinghua round out the exposure to innovative ideas and analysis that STEP participants will benefit from.

Key Learning Opportunities

  • Creates a unique cross-cultural opportunity for students to  learn about business, management, and society in the U.S. and China
  • Fosters strong, life-long relationships between Chinese and American business students through a hosting/exchange program and a related "buddy system"
  • Promotes Stanford GSB's brand and recognition in China by partnering with one of the most prestigious schools in China

Key Elements of the Experience

  • Joint collaboration on academic projects between groups of four students (two students from each institution). Deliverables are in the form of written reports and presentations.
  • A two-way exchange where first the GSB students visit Tsinghua University for a nine day period to engage in a variety of learning and integration activities, and then the Tsinghua students visit the GSB for a week for a reciprocal experience.
  • Readings and presentations by group participants about the companies and individuals that the group meets during the U.S. and China visits.
  • Preparatory lectures delivered by faculty, business professionals, and individuals from the social and government sector. Most of these will be offered during the first two days of the nine day visit to Tsinghua.