Candy Yu

Nationality: Taiwanese and Dutch 
Job title: Co-founder, owner and supervisor of Spire Corp 
Previous degree: bachelor of international business at Tunghai University 

1. Why did you decide to do an MBA?

“I worked for a well-known global corporation in Taiwan and came to the Netherlands to set up its operations in Europe. I became a CEO when I was 26, and started my own business at 31. Within 10 years, my partner and I set up a worldwide company located in the UK, France, Germany, USA and Brazil, with offices in Japan, a factory in China and a main office in the Netherlands. It’s always been my dream to do an MBA, because I wanted to expand on my global experience. I chose RSM because it’s the best school in the Netherlands. It’s unique in its international experience.”

2. What expectations did you have studying for your Global Executive MBA in a world in motion?

“There are so many global changes, also in business structures. The MBA will help me improve the way that business is done in a fair manner. In the next 10 years I want to focus on Europe and China. I want to get people thinking. Should we move business from China? There’s a big industry and we need to work in a better way to improve the business structure. We can help each other.”

3. How would you describe your RSM MBA experience so far?

“It’s an intensive programme. It requires a lot of time and energy. Good preparation is key: I started digitising things at work two years ago and shifted my business models, so I have more time to study. But it’s all worth it because it’s so inspiring. The MBA gives me different aspects from a business and academic point of view. It reflects on my business experience and gives me a new vision of the business.”

4. What has been the most challenging assignment or course during the GEMBA so far?

“I became a CEO at a young age, and was always on the hiring side so I could choose who to work with. In the MBA, I’m required to work with different people from different backgrounds. I need to adjust to this. I share my experiences, and I get great feedback too. Some subjects are new to me, and I come out with different ideas. We get good grades, so I guess that proves that we do good work.”

5. What impact does the Strategic Leadership Development component of the programme (SLD) have on you?

“It’s self-reflection, and an opportunity to develop myself in a better way to move forward in what I want to achieve. The foundation of this track forces me to think things through. I never thought about a business programme with the psychological side of leadership. When I became a boss 30 years ago, this wasn’t a factor. But now I see how important it is. Leaders need to reflect. Then you know how to inspire people, how to speak, and how you get people to understand your ideas.”

6. If you had to choose one Sustainable Development Goal, which one would you choose, and why?

“That would be SDG 4: education. I have been the boss in driving my own business across 25 years with global teams, more than 500 employees and 80 per cent of my European C+ level team members became an entrepreneur. I want to educate and inspire the future generation to become entrepreneurs. RSM is helping me to think about ideas on how to do this. And I want to build bridges between China and Europe through the European parliament. We need to collaborate more to be the best we can be.”

7. Has your MBA journey changed your outlook on what your career will be like?

“My goal is to help people to find the potential business opportunities between Europe and China. Many international corporations are leaving China. Being focused on the business operations of both markets for 15 years, I realise that creating and improving business relations is a very challenging aspect. There are a lot of culture factors, and more knowledge is needed about trade between these areas. There are a lot of global branding, systems and elements to consider.”

8. What advice could you give to people who are considering doing a Global Executive MBA?

“I invested a lot in my business. The MBA is helping me with my next move. If you’re a leader or an entrepreneur, then don’t wait much longer. Just do it. You will come out with new ideas. As a boss, I appreciate it when people have ideas for innovation. It’s all about growth. Ask yourself what your plan of action is. The MBA inspires you to actually do something to make this a reality.”