From working as a police officer and a lawyer in Beijing to becoming a global entrepreneur, Michael Wang’s career has been wide-ranging and ambitious. Today, he runs GNet Group, an e-commerce company based in China that provides integrated online-to-offline and offline-to-online services through its proprietary technology platform. Wang spoke to NYIT Magazine about his career, the importance of getting his Executive M.B.A., and advice for others who want to make their mark on the world.
DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER PATH.
I worked as a lawyer for over 10 years, but I knew if I worked harder, I could do better. I wanted to challenge myself. I came to NYIT to study business. After graduation, I established an e-commerce company with friends. I knew almost nothing about e-commerce at the beginning, but now my company has begun to grow. It’s a great challenge for me—learning by doing. I encounter difficulties, but I know I am fulfilling my dream, so I enjoy working hard.
HOW DID NYIT PREPARE YOU FOR THE CAREER YOU HAVE NOW?
First, I have a more systematic knowledge about business administration; I can manage and market myself better at work. Secondly, I met a lot of mentors, like Dr. Scott Liu and Professor Xie. They gave me great help and encouragement when I started my company. Finally, NYIT is located in the center of New York City. It is close to Wall Street and other financial centers. An NYIT education helped me further my understanding about society, economy, commerce, and finance in the United States.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE BUSINESS CHALLENGES?
I gain a lot from them, such as learning new knowledge, discovering new skills, broadening my horizons, improving my way of thinking, and finding more like-minded friends. The most important thing to remember during this process is that you will always gain a new level of understanding about yourself. That is my greatest achievement.
YOU CALL YOURSELF A “WORKAHOLIC,” BUT DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
My hobby is Go [a game played on a 19x19 grid with black and white stones]. Because I’m an Aries, I have a hot temper. Playing this game can bring me peace of mind!
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO STUDENTS?
When you have an idea, just do it. Don’t settle and don’t think that your life will not change because you’re 30 or 40 years old. Learn and try to ascertain unlimited possibilities.
Thanks to Betty (Qiaoying) Zhang in the NYIT Shanghai Office of Student Affairs for translating this interview. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity