Communications professional Grace Zhou believes in the power to change for the better. 'Like Mahatma Gandhi famously said, 'be the change you want to see in the world', I wanted to change and improve myself and Ivey's EMBA programme was the tool that helped facilitate the changes,' says Zhou, communications director of CropLife China. 'After years of working in regulatory affairs and government affairs management, I realised in a world where everything is changing, one thing remains the same - the anatomy of leadership. I decided to improve myself to become a qualified business leader so that I can compete in this changing global market and respond to changing demands from employees, consumers, shareholders and government. My response to these changes was to change myself, for the better,' she says. 'Not many executive training programmes in China could match Ivey's EMBA programme, and Hong Kong, being a metropolitan city where East meets West, is certainly the best place to offer some of the best choices in this regard.' Zhou believes the insights, judgment and ability to execute and implement decisions needed in the cut-throat business world are not something that can be learned from textbooks. She points out that Ivey's EMBA programme, which simulates the real business environment in its case-method study approach, is almost like being 'there'. 'The case-method process is exceptionally helpful because it uses global business issues to help stimulate our thinking and problem-solving ability,' she says. 'We learn to not only perform functional tasks but also tackle issues that require the cross-enterprise approach, such as growth, innovation and development and leveraging human resources. We learn to understand real global business issues and cultural differences. 'Ivey is unique because it truly follows the tenets of the case study method of learning. In today's market, managers must understand global business issues and be sensitive to cultural differences.' Besides acquiring business knowledge and skills, Zhou says Ivey offers a unique opportunity for her to form strong ties with classmates, and the diverse backgrounds of students enriches the experience even more. 'The 'global village' setting was conducive to helping us learn to respect each other's viewpoints and strengths, and combine our skills while working together like in any organisation. 'The bonding we have developed during the study is amazingly strong and that will certainly bring life-long benefits. 'The problem-solving and communication skills I have learned would give me a competitive edge and the programme has given me the confidence and skills to help realise my dreams. It is truly a life-changing experience.'