Industry: Financial Services
Job Title: Delivery Lead
For me, choosing to study my MBA at HKU Business School was straight forward. HKU Business School has a global reputation and is one of the oldest institutions in the world, so it is unquestionably well-regarded. Furthermore, my wife is an MBA alumni and spoke very highly of the programme and its benefits.
I thoroughly enjoyed my MBA experience. I had great support from both my employer and my family, which made it a lot easier. It is definitely true that you get out what you put in when studying – it just depends on what your targets are. If you just want a degree, there is a route for you. However, this was not the journey I wanted to take. I planned on achieving the best possible outcome. Not only did I make a huge effort with my studies, I got involved in clubs and participated in different modes and classes. I also started as a weekday mode student and switched to weekend mode after a year, to try every option available to me.
My background is in engineering and most of the classes, such as business, were unfamiliar to me. However, there were two classes that I really enjoyed. The first class I took, Managerial Economics, was very interesting. Professor Wen Zhou looked beyond data. He studied information from different angles to work out what was driving the curve and was able to paint a clear picture through his interpretations. I have carried this technique with me and still use it today in my job. I see a lot of charts and will always ask extra questions. It keeps you curious. I also enjoyed the Ethics class with Professor David Lee. He was a great teacher and shared a lot about his personal experiences. Everyone has their own path up the mountain, and we will all achieve our goals at the end of it. It was a self-searching class and I discovered a lot about myself. I wish it had been a full-term class, rather than half-term.
I definitely took advantage of all the extra curricular activities on offer at HKU Business school. The one I enjoyed most was the desert trek challenge. All the MBA students around the country gathered and were put into teams. We then spent three days walking through the desert (around 70km!). It was a competition between schools and it was a personal challenge for me to walk this far. It was tough and I challenged myself and my teammates. Though we finished all three challenges over time, we were happy to have completed the challenge. It was a great team building activity as well as personal challenge – both mentally and physically. The HKU team included both current students and alumni, with around 12 people in the team. When I returned, I felt positive I could overcome any challenges life has thrown me with. It had such a huge impact on me that I promoted the event afterwards. It made you feel like you could achieve the impossible!
Another alumni-organised event was dragon boating. I had always wanted to try dragon boating in Hong Kong and now I can say I have. It was a lot of fun bonding with cohorts and alumni.
The MBA programme is by no means an easy one, especially when juggling being a father and a full-time job with studying. It’s a two year commitment and it is important to get the support of the people around you, like I did. I tried different study modes to see which one would work better for me and found various pros and cons. In my first year I stayed mainly with the same group of cohorts and built a strong bond through day trips and team building. I found that it’s not always about the school work, but also enjoying time with your cohorts. With weeknight classes I had to work till around midnight to finish all my work.
My goal going into this was to achieve an honours mention (Beta Gamma) and to finish in the top 10-15%. It was an exhausting two year commitment, but such a rewarding achievement. Everyone has their own path and some finish sooner or later than others, but in the end you will get there.
For prospective MBA students I would say it is important to get the support of your family, employer and friends. I would also recommend trying out as many events as possible; be involved and build new relationships and networks. Also, try courses you aren’t familiar with. Explore different subjects and see what you like – you don’t know until you try!