Faculty in the Spotlight:Yang Fan

yang fan Dr. Yang Fan grew up in Shanghai and originally came to Europe to work on her master’s degree at the Manchester Business School. She went on to earn her PhD in the field of Strategic & International Management at the London Business School before she later embarked on a career in academia.


“In between my studies, I worked for two years as a sales analyst in the FMCG industry,” Dr. Fan said. “When I was working on my master’s degree, I took an internship at a consultancy and later worked as an associate on projects related to marketing entry strategies. One involved introducing a luxury watch brand to the Chinese market.”

She brought her business expertise to Webster Leiden when she began teaching classes in 2015 to both undergraduate and graduate students. One of her favorites is Strategy and Business Policy.

“It’s a very challenging course for our undergraduate students,” she said. “It’s because it uses a business simulation game as a base for the entire class. The students form teams and compete against one another in several rounds after creating their own virtual businesses. They have to make decisions on all aspects and this includes their business strategy, production, HR, inventory control, and product development. It’s very comprehensive.”

Dr. Fan also regularly teaches Marketing, an entry-level class for graduate students. It’s a required course for the department’s MBA program.

“Students in this class are able to use their previous working experience,” she said. “Their backgrounds don’t really matter. Every industry uses marketing in one way or another. So they can bring their real-life examples to the classroom during discussions. It’s really wonderful when, based on their own knowledge, they can say what types of marketing would or would not do well in reality.”

In addition to teaching, Dr. Fan also serves as the Program Manager for the Business and Management department. For this role, she helps shape the curriculum and takes on other important tasks.

“I mainly focus on program and faculty management,” she said. “I help develop classes and electives that take into consideration our current number of students, their interests, and the faculty members that are available. It’s not always easy to combine these things.”

Dr. Fan encourages her students to explore different corners of the business world while they consider their future career options. She also often suggests that they participate in internships, if at all possible. 

“I always advise them to learn about as many different things as they can while they’re attending the university and before they begin their career,” she said. “It helps them determine which path will be the best fit. These are the years that are great for trial and error, and seeing what possibilities are out there.”

Text: Brandon Hartley