Peizhen Li

Peizhen Li, WMBA ‘24

Pursuing her dreams while advancing her career

In her professional career and personal life, Peizhen Li , MBA ‘24, has always done whatever it takes to pursue her goals and dreams. She moved from China to the United States to get her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. She continued her education there and earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2017. Peizhen began working with Emerson Automation Solutions as a senior design engineer, and later was relocated to Michigan as a product development engineer in 2020. Her family life was also busy, being happily married with two young children. However, Peizhen could not ignore the voice in the back of her head telling her to go back to school for an MBA. She knew this was the next step in her career in order to grow in her current company and take on new roles in management and marketing.  

One of her coworkers at Emerson informed her about the Weekend MBA Program at Michigan Ross. “My coworker had attended a mock class at Ross and had a brochure laying on her desk. She, as well as other friends, recommended it to me due to the structure of the program.” 

Peizhen was looking for an MBA program that would allow for flexibility, but also take place in person, so that she could build relationships with classmates and professors. She has been so inspired by her peers’ dedication to the in-person experience. “They make the effort in their busy lives to fly in from all over the country. If people like us can do it, anyone can.”

Throughout her time in the program, Peizhen has been absorbing information both inside and outside of the classroom. Her favorite class thus far has been Marketing Management with John Branch, clinical associate professor of business administration. His teaching style really spoke to her. “Before I came to Ross, this is what I imagined business school to be like. He is able to engage individuals with no marketing background and facilitate meaningful discussions,” Peizhen said.  

Another highlight for Peizhen has been the Multidisciplinary Action Project, which she calls “the gold of the Michigan Ross MBA.” The objective for her project is to identify new service opportunities and develop a go-to-market strategy for Incisive Consultants, a healthcare consulting company. Working in teams on a real-world business challenge, she has enjoyed having the opportunity to learn from individuals from many different backgrounds and industries.

It has been the best experience and we are not even finished yet. Having this shared training as a team has made my bond with my peers so strong. You cannot get this same opportunity at other schools.

The MAP project has also opened Peizhen’s eyes to a newfound interest in consulting. Not only is she learning business management skills, but she is building a network that will continue to benefit her in the future. 

Peizhen has found a community at Michigan Ross where both students and teachers care for each other and are always available for support. “I was surprised at the amount of resources available to me, including technical clubs, career coaches, resume help, and coffee chats. There are so many to utilize if you make the time for them. That is what makes Ross so special.” 

Peizhen does not feel alone in this transformative journey to the next stage of her career. 

Balancing a full-time job, a growing family, and a rigorous curriculum is not easy, but Peizhen encourages others to give whatever task they are working on their full force and effort. She hopes to inspire working women with families to pursue an MBA if that is part of their career plans. “There is no perfect balance between everything. If you are determined to do the things that you are passionate about, you just do it. Never give up the eagerness to learn because you are a mother or wife; us women should have equal responsibility and opportunity just as others do." Peizhen said. 

Peizhen credits the support she received from her spouse and parents as well as her employer for helping her throughout the program. 

For those looking to get an MBA, Peizhen’s best advice is to not delay or procrastinate. “The time is now, take your actions,” she said. “Challenge yourself and believe that you can do it. This was the best decision to go back for this degree and I am so proud to do it here at Michigan Ross. I am excited to see where this degree and these experiences at Ross can take me.”