After being an engineer for almost a decade, Winson’s career was stagnating and he was looking for a breakthrough. He decided to undertake an MBA with The University of Hong Kong, which he believes will better his career path. In this interview, Winson will share with us his insights on the development of the engineering industry. Given his extensive experiences he will also share advice to those who would like to use the MBA as a door for a career change or acceleration.
- Please share your background with us?
Hello, I am Winson and I was born and raised in Hong Kong and received my higher education in Civil Engineering in Toronto, Canada. I work in the construction industry and am currently employed by the Airport Authority as a Project Engineer.
- Please share with us your reason for joining the MBA programme?
Having worked for around 10 years I saw myself at a bottleneck in my career. I believe this MBA degree will further my career. The University of Hong Kong is the most famous school in Hong Kong, and its MBA programme provides an Asia-focused curriculum which fits my career journey. I just couldn’t have found a better choice than HKU’s MBA programme.
- As an experienced engineer, how would an MBA help you?
The MBA helps me a lot as an engineer; one example is the “Managerial Analytics” course. It taught me about using big data to develop Artificial Intelligence. With this I could apply A.I. to enhance the engineering tasks that I work (such as using robotics to help with construction). My first core subject, Accounting for Managers, also led me to discover the financial side of project management. It helps me to confidently make financial decisions relating to projects.
Outside of the course itself, I found that the networking between classmates and alumni is also important. Networking with industry counterparts can keep me abreast of industry developments and up to date on the latest news which in turn is beneficial to my work.
Like most engineers, I am technical-oriented and lack business administration skills. The MBA programme allows me to develop and discover the other side of myself and prepare myself for a more senior management position.
- Could you tell us whether the MBA has equipped you to embrace challenges, and prepare you for the future?
The MBA has equipped me for future challenges. In my Strategic Marketing Management course, the professor taught that we should see threats as opportunities; this concept well suits the pandemic situation we find ourselves in today. The airport has been using this downtime to do some renovations and maintenance that they have been waiting to do for a long time but were unable to due to the high traffic of the airport.
- How do you foresee the engineering industry developing from your perspective?
I see that the engineering industry will develop significantly using technology. It is the market trend to adopt the Building Information Model (BIM) within construction and engineering. The coordination between different engineering trades could be done from a very early stage of the project using BIM. BIM helps to monitor the project progress during the projects mid-stages. After the project is completed BIM could be used to enhance the maintenance process.
- What is your advice to people who would like to join the engineering industry?
I believe the engineering industry still has a bright future. However, I suggest people pursue additional degrees such as business administration to gain insights into other industries to prepare themselves for an unexpected downtime in the engineering industry. This will make it easier for them to switch industries.
- Please share your advice to MBA aspirants who would like to use the MBA as a door to a career change or perhaps career acceleration?
I think an MBA is a great stepping stone for a career change or an accelerator for your career. In the MBA you meet classmates in senior positions from different industries who can quickly hook you up with suitable positions in their fields. An MBA also gives you insights from many other industries and you can explore which other industry suits you the best when considering a career change. You even get to learn the essentials to creating a start-up and you could even try to start your own business.
With the business administration techniques that HKU MBA taught me, I genuinely believe that it could enhance your performance in your work which would result in an acceleration in your career.