Lisa Sha

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Alumni Experience

I believe an MBA can substantially help career development and unleash great potential
Batch Year
Hong Kong S.A.R.

Student Story

Industry: Financial Services
Company: Fidelity International
Job Title: Head of Digital Innovation and Communications Operations, Global Communications

1)      What motivated you to choose HKU MBA instead of other business schools?

I believe an MBA can substantially help career development and unleash great potential. When comparing different options there were two things that were essential to me: face-to-face interaction and my work life balance. When adding to this the prestigious brand name, strong alumni connections, and the outstanding teaching faculty and research team, the HKU MBA became the best option for me.

2)      How was your overall experience with HKU MBA?

The MBA study helped me to connect scattered knowledge that I had accumulated throughout my working experience and helped to form a systematic mindset through business challenges within a bigger context which allowed the formulation of long-term strategy. The capability to think strategically, the data analytics skills, and the technological innovation that I learned during the MBA became a career booster for me.

3)      What did you find most helpful throughout your experience? 

The supportive network formed during my HKU MBA study was the most valuable experience for me.

During my MBA study I found that I was very passionate about FinTech and innovation. When I saw that Fidelity was creating a new role called Global Head of Digital Innovation and Communications Operations I felt my heart racing. However, I lacked the confidence to apply. I am grateful that my MBA classmates encouraged and guided me, and that Ms. Maire Apiou coached and pushed me. Subsequently, I made it and got promoted from a regional team member role to a global team leader role. It would not have been possible without the supportive network that HKU MBA provides.

Thanks to guest speaker Andrew Shih, who spoke at Diana David Wu’s Interpersonal Dynamics course, ten of our classmates formed an HKU MBA Peers Learning Circle in July 2020. We meet every two weeks to discuss how we can overcome challenges we face in work such as managing conflicts, increasing influence, and decluttering. By learning from each other’s different perspectives, experiences, diversified backgrounds, and versatile capabilities, we supported and inspired one other to move forward. We accompanied each other on the growth journey.

I also met my best friend, Amanda Zhou, on the MBA programme. We worked on projects and went through thick and thin together over the two-year study journey. We still keep in touch despite her since moving to Canada.

4)      Many MBA aspirants may be hesitant about the workload of both working full-time and studying. How did you manage your time to do both?

The HKU MBA part-time programme is very flexible. On weekdays I would go to the Admiralty campus for class after work. If we were working on cases then we continued team discussion at the nearby McDonald’s. I would catch up on the weekend at the Cyberport campus if I was engaged in overseas travel.

The workload is manageable. Completing one course in five weeks can sound intense. Most of the courses were about elevating my basic understanding to a higher level and were very structured. For more challenging topics such as corporate finance there were tutorial sessions available.

The pace of finishing all 19 courses in two years is just right. Unless you choose to double or triple up (which means you take two or three courses simultaneously) the overall workload is manageable.

5)      Are there any insights or advice you can provide to our students looking to do a part-time MBA?​​

I had been thinking of doing an MBA for a number of years, but due to various reasons I was not able to join the course. Although it’s never too late, I wish I could have done it much earlier. The earlier you complete the study, the earlier you can enjoy the benefits that an MBA study will bring to you: the confidence, knowledge, mindset, and a supportive network regardless of whether it is a full-time or part-time course. Just do it.