I am currently Vice President of Global Product Launch Strategy for Rare Genetics and Hematology at Takeda, a multinational pharmaceutical company based out of Boston, USA. I am responsible for formulating and driving commercial launch strategies of pipeline assets.
Prior to this role, I was VP of Global and Regional Market Access Functions at Novartis based out of New Jersey, USA, and Basel, Switzerland. When I was enrolled in the HKU MBA programme, I was Sr. Director and Head of Regional Market Access at Eli Lilly & Company based out of Hong Kong. While taking a regional leadership role, I was involved in various regional business discussions with Legal, Compliance, Finance, Marketing and HR functions in the company. I wanted to connect my real life experience as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry with academic theories and other industry case studies to enrich my knowledge and experience. HKU was the first and only choice when considering an MBA programme, due to the international reputation of the school and its renowned faculty.
My overall MBA experience was amazing, especially because of HKU Business School’s wonderful faculty. Not only are the professors seasoned experts in their respective fields, but they also constructively challenged students with an intent to help them become better problem solvers in the complex business environment in which they worked. I still remember every single professor who taught me, and once invited one of them to be a guest speaker in my company’s regional leadership forum with over 300 participants.
My most memorable class was one where we evaluated one another based on our ability to think critically. I learned the importance of how much value you can add by asking critical questions and providing input when you are invited to important business discussions. This is an essential attribute of today’s business leaders. Active participation was not enough in the class, it was more important to be able to coach and influence the other classmates by providing timely and constructive feedback.
I was able to finish the entire curriculum in 13 months, taking both Global MBA and part-time MBA classes. Indeed, it was challenging trying to strike a balance between the 3-5 business trips I took each month with classes. There were times when I went straight to my class from the airport, and other times when I would take an overnight flight on Friday evening just to attend my class on Saturday morning. I think we are prioritising things all the time. Weekday priorities for me were business and family, but my weekend priority was fully dedicating myself to the MBA programme.
For me, studying for an MBA was not just about getting good grades. More importantly, it was about learning how to lead, how to influence, and how to connect with people. To all prospective students, my advice would be to work with a different group of students for each group project and play a different role, while showing respect for other students. Also, please take some reflection time for self-evaluation on how you have been doing as a team member and a leader after group exercises and projects.
Job Title: VP, Global Product Strategy, Hematology Pipeline & Innovation