Aakriti Jain did not foresee herself working in the industry but through the HKU MBA CDT office she got the chance to become an intern at BCW Group . She learnt about technology through the AI for Business Leaders class hosted by Kevin and was able to apply those skills in her new industry.
The MBA programme has rewarded Aakriti as she has just landed a full time position at BCW Group. The course has also given her skills that will benefit her for a lifetime. She may not be able to anticipate where the future will take her but she will be equipped by the programme for any challenges ahead.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a creative strategist who loves learning from diverse experiences. I’ve studied in 4 countries – India, USA, Hong Kong & the UK. I worked in the aviation industry which sparked my curiosity in working and studying in Asia and hence I chose to do my MBA at HKU.
I am now working at BCW group as the Sales and Marketing Director. It is a Fintech focused strategic consultancy specialising in 3 inter-connected disciplines: digital payments, digital assets and distributed ledger technology. My role is to liaise between business development, global partnerships and growth-related initiatives. Other duties include leading consulting initiatives for top tier accounts and industry leaders and handling all marketing communications for the company.
Can you tell us about your experiences at HKU? Where there any subjects or seminars that you found particularly impactful?
There are a number of subject areas and seminars that I found impactful while studying at HKU. The first was titled “Reflections of a CEO”. I found it impactful as the professor was the former CEO of Cathay Pacific. The course delved into what it means to handle a crisis as a leader, and what the different challenges and circumstances they had to navigate were. The crisis that the professor discussed related to the airline industry, which I found very practical as I could relate to it from my pre-MBA job at an international airline.
The professor was very interactive and invited senior bespoke guests from world-wide companies to be the judging panel during our final class, where we worked on a live project of a premier Banking institution in the country.
The second course that I found highly rewarding was “AI for business leaders”. I found this especially helpful for me as I did not come from a technological background, but the knowledge gained on the course empowered me and helped prepare me for my current role. The course centred around what it means to understand business technology from a business perspective.
Did you find the alumni events useful?
I took part in a number of alumni networking panels that I found very useful. One such panel was titled the “Alumni insights panel”. This discussion focused on MBA alumni talking about their career journeys. The alumni community offered us a lot of help. This community was another reason why I chose to study at HKU.
Choosing to study at HKU was one of the biggest decisions I have had to make in my life. There were a number of worldwide universities that offered me a place. To help me in my decision making I reached out to the alumni of each school and I found the HKU alumni to be the quickest to respond. It means much to an MBA aspirant to hear first-hand experience from alumni.
And how did you find the mentorship programme with Milind Kamble?
The mentorship programme at the school is also very rewarding and helped me to utilise my skill set when building a career. The pandemic hit us after I had only had the chance to meet my tutor, Milind Kamble, once. I was able to keep in touch with him over the phone to ensure he was kept up to date with my progress.
The main point of the mentorship programme is for your mentor to be able to help you reach your goals. I have always believed in ‘gain and effort’. My mentor Milind gave me little exercises to think about every time we met. He also gave me literature to help me to understand and explore the technology industry.
Can you tell us more about your first internship at Blueflower?
I started my MBA together with an internship at Blueflower, a niche luxury travel management company. The HKU MBA Career Development and Training team organised many workshops with different people and industries. A guest speaker connected me with a person who works at Blueflower which is how I got in.
It was a very interesting experience to balance the MBA with starting an internship as I worked on a digital marketing strategy and content for the company. and concurrently put what i learned at my classes into practice. I also had the opportunity to work with colleagues from different backgrounds and countries.
Can you tell us about your second internship at BCW Group?
The summer hunt for an internship was a challenge , given the pandemic had hit the same time. Thankfully I received an email from the HKU MBA Career Development and Training team about BCW Group. The Career Development and Training team then helped me with the application to the company’s Co-Founder, helping me to land the internship at BCW Group.
The internship at BCW Group was truly an amazing experience. It was a rewarding learning process in a short period of time. I realised the importance of leadership and agility as BCW offered me a full-time position after I finished HKU’s partnership programme at the London Business School.
How did the HKU MBA programme equip you for your current role? What were your key takeaways?
There are a number of major takeaways I gained from the HKU MBA. These include time management, leadership, and the importance of teamwork. I can apply these takeaways to my current role working with multi-client teams. My clients are global and I am required to work with both external and internal stakeholders so I am grateful to the MBA for preparing me by enhancing my communication and strategy skills.
Can you share any insights about the current market from your role as Sales and Marketing Director at BCW Group?
Digital adoption has increased rapidly in the last couple of years and augmented with the onset on the pandemic. Technology has become a means for communication and has changed the way we do business. We are also seeing a massive adoption of blockchain technology and numerous use cases being being built. The opportunities are vast, its the time to grab them.
Any advice you could give aspirants who would like to join the sales and marketing field?
I believe its important to know yourself well before deciding to jump into any field. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, what you enjoy doing and what value you can add. Sales and marketing is a broad field so I would suggest to drill down into different sub-aspects of the field you may be interested in and develop your skills there. Data and Digital competency is a growing need and coupling that with creativity and the ability to understand and articulate clearly would be a valuable skill in the industry.
Any advice you could give aspirants who would like to take up an MBA?
I think its important to understand your goals and reasons for doing an MBA and what you want to get out of it. At the same time I believe it’s important to keep an open mind to iterate your plans and goals as you change and develop as part of the MBA Journey. Once your goals are set its important to focus on prioritisation and time management. The MBA throws numerous opportunities and making the right decisions in a short time are key.
Something that I live by is “seek to know, know what you know, and become known for what you know.’ It points to the process of discovering yourself, articulating who you are and receiving recognition from the value you add and the change you create.
Company: BCW Group
Job Title: Sales and Marketing Director