International Distinguished Alumnus

International Distinguished Alumnus award winner Laura X. J. Shen
Laura X. J. Shen, MBA ’04.

Laura X. J. Shen, MBA ’04 

Not many people change careers from academia to autos, but Laura Shen did just that, and has become one of the most respected industry executives in China. After more than a decade in higher education, where she rose to the rank of dean of the foreign languages department at Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, she was recruited to join Jiangling Motors, a joint venture with Ford Motor Co., in 1995.

 To bolster her business knowledge, Shen enrolled in UB School of Management's Executive MBA program in Beijing, a joint program with Renmin University of China. 

 At Jiangling, Shen worked in manufacturing, finance, project management and sales, led a cost reduction program and developed the special conversion vehicle market. In addition, as senior manager of sales for BMW China Sales Committee, she led a team laying down a solid foundation for BMW’s growth in China.

 Shen joined Volkswagen Group China in 2007 as executive vice president of FAW-VW Sales Company and has held several other positions with the company, including managing director for Volkswagen Group Import. She also serves as vice president of special projects at Volkswagen (China) Investment Co., where she led the team to develop VW's first budget car for China, and worked to set the standards for the country's electric car charging infrastructure.

 In addition to business management, she dedicates herself to develop people and serves as an executive coach. Shen’s many accomplishments have been recognized with a Special Allowance from the State Council of China, which is granted to experts, scholars and technical personnel who make prominent contributions, and with the honor of serving as a torch bearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. Shen leads the UB Alumni China Network, is a member of the School of Management Dean's Advisory Council, and is a former member of the UB Alumni Association Board of Directors. 

Distinguished Alumni Awards and International Distinguished Alumni Awards

These awards are given in recognition of exceptional career accomplishments, community or university service, and research and scholarly activity.