Knowledge Exchange

Highlights from the MBA World Summit 2022

Serina Suzuki (Class of 2022)

The MBA World Summit is an annual initiative that brings together the most inspirational future leaders and provide a platform for them to share their values, passions, and visions. This year, the Summit was held on 16 to 18 November at the Polimi Graduate School of Management in Milano, Italy. One hundred MBA students representing 38 nationalities and 42 business schools were chosen out of 2,600 applicants to attend. Serina Suzuki, Class of 2022, was one of the outstanding students who was invited to join the event. Check out the interview below to learn more about her experience.


HKU MBA: Thank you for joining this interview. What motivated you to join the MBA World Summit and represent the HKU MBA community? 

Serina Suzuki: Thank you for having me. It’s my pleasure to share the experience. I was mainly driven by two reasons to join the Summit. Firstly, I was impressed by the idea of the “global network” this summit offers, as well as the opportunity connect and network with 99 other MBA students from around the world. Throughout my MBA journey at HKU, I learnt the power of networking, especially meeting and learning from people with an open mind can be inspiring. Therefore, having this opportunity to be a part of the delegation, and share our learnings and experiences with one and another is a dream-come-true occasion.

Secondly, I wanted to challenge myself on the global stage. Having gone through the learning journey at HKU, I am well-equipped with the knowledge and thinking process of an MBA student. However, I wanted to test myself in the global setting to push myself further. More importantly, I see the Summit as a precious opportunity to broaden my horizons as it allows me to exchange ideas and discuss current issues with other international delegates and learn from their best practices.


HKU MBA: Could you tell us more about the three-day Summit?

Serina Suzuki: The Summit was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even today, a month later after the summit, I am still amazed by how much can be achieved in three days when the best minds come together.

During the Summit, we passionately engaged in a range of initiatives, including Leadership Sharing from CEOs, Best Practice Sharing from the delegates, and Social Impact Delivery with local organisations. All the initiatives were phenomenal and they created a space for us to reflecting on our own experience and learn from others.

Personally, the programme I enjoyed the most was the Best Practice Sharing from the delegates – The Summit Laboratory Sessions (SLS). Throughout the second day of the Summit, we had the opportunity to attend 25 presentations by the delegates to learn from them. The presentations covered a wide range of topics, including design thinking, firefighting in corporations, pitching skills and many more. It was a unique experience to share and discuss the topics with a globally diverse group and understand different perspectives, which will be crucial for collaborations in the global business environment. It was the most critical moment I experienced as an MBA student.


HKU MBA: You were nominated to lead one of discussions, entitled “Empowering Women in Leadership”. As a result, you were awarded the “Tim-Eisenmann-Award” for the most inspirational presentation. How was your experience in leading the discussion?

Serina Suzuki: It was absolutely humbling and an honour to have the opportunity to share my story with other incredible delegates. I really appreciate the encouraging feedback I received, as many attendees told me they were inspired and motivated by my story. However, I believe I was the one who was most inspired by this whole experience.

Given the diversity of the audience, I decided to frame my presentation as a discussion. Not only did I share my personal story, but I also wanted to hear others’ experiences and facilitate mutual learning during the one-hour session. By the end of the session, I was very moved by the impact and power of all the individual life stories that were shared. I believe that we can support and motivate one another with our own experience. The whole experience provides the fuel to push me forward in pursuing and putting in practice my beliefs.


HKU MBA: What are your key takeaways from the Summit?

Serina Suzuki: There are three takeaways for me:

  1. Be open to opportunities

Opportunities come and go. It’s up to us to make the most of them. After being nominated as one of the speakers, there were moments I doubted myself, thinking I’m not qualified or capable enough to take on the responsibility. However, after going through a few rounds of internal conversation, I decided to take it as an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone, and it turned out to be highly rewarding. I was able to examine my strengths and weaknesses as well as create new connections by sharing my story with others. This experience taught me that embracing opportunities with an open mind can broaden our horizons and perspectives.


  1. Prepare well and enjoy the moment

In addition to being bold and open-minded, it is equally important to be well-prepared. To ensure I understood the objectives of the session and the role of the speaker in guiding the discussion, I had in-depth conversations with the Summit organisers. I also spoke with mentors and friends who have specific insights on the presentation topic. In order to keep the audience engaged and to stimulate discussions, I prepared different activities and content for the presentation, including videos, questionnaires, and quizzes.

Since I was well-prepared, I was able to adjust the presentation on the spot to make the discussion even more engaging and relevant to the audience. Going through the process made me realise that all the preparation and the extra mile I went helped provide a solid foundation for my presentation, gave me the confidence to share my ideas, and enjoy the moment.


  1. Life stories are impactful and powerful

During the three-day summit, we were in an environment that encouraged us to share our stories with one another. Being in a place where everyone is open-minded and willing to learn was very inspiring. I’m astonished by how deep the conversations went and how we were able to create such strong bonds in a short period of time. It was moving to hearing others’ life stories and I was inspired by them. The lifelong friendships we cultivated was the most important takeaway for me.


HKU MBA: What is your advice to future MBA candidates who aspire to join the World MBA Summit?

Serina Suzuki: The Summit is a key milestone and highlight of my MBA journey. It brought my learnings from the programme to life. I think it is an essential experience for every MBA student to go through.

As the Summit lasts for only three days, I would advise future MBA candidates to make the make the most of the opportunity and maximise the experience by getting ready to talk about your own values and stories, and be open to listen to others.


HKU MBA: Lastly, congratulations on graduating from the HKU MBA programme! What are your career plans after the programme?

Serina Suzuki: Thank you! Studying for an MBA at HKU has been a lifechanging journey filled with new learnings and discoveries. Starting from January, I will begin a new journey in the field of finance as a banker associate at J.P. Morgan (Hong Kong office), where I had a fruitful internship experience in the summer. The lessons I learnt at HKU and the takeaways from the Summit will help me take on new challenges in this journey.