My MBA year of 2014-2015 was nothing short of a world class roller-coaster ride! I had a unique opportunity to be a student speaker at an insurance themed conference in Singapore (25th Anniversary Summit on value of Insurance to Society). I was interviewed by a magazine to explain the perks of doing a partnership programme with HKU-LBS (Western Business Schools Find Promise in China’s MBA Market). I suffered a knee injury and learned to navigate the ubiquitous Hong Kong stairs and uphill terrain with a 7-11 umbrella.
Prior to the MBA, I worked with Goldman Sachs for 6 years in the corporate action team. Corporate action refers to any activity that affects the market share value of a company through market activities including, but not limited to, dividend pay-outs, tenders, mergers and spin-offs. Working in the operations space, I was exposed to a range of processes and procedures of investment banking. This perspective empowered me to pursue my future career goals by opting for a post-graduation business degree that would help me transition to a front office role where I could contrive and execute real world business models.
Multiple classes across the MBA curriculum taught me how to solve day-to-day unstructured problems, making me realize that more often than not there are multiple solutions to a given problem. It takes a manager to choose the optimum solution to a given problem with the situation at hand. Although this might sound very generic, the MBA core courses and electives helped me to gain diverse perspectives. During the LBS leg of the programme, I specialized in strategy (Pricing, Corporate and M&A Strategy). A key learning that has stayed with me is how to develop an idea, present it to the stakeholders and see the impact of the solution in real time.
On a personal front, the MBA class is diverse and working with 51 other smart people helps build a network, exchange ideas and make friends for life. HKU has a history of 100 years and most of the alumni are in commendable positions in the industry. As a class, we went on multiple business treks, and the most insightful one for me was the Dublin Trek, especially to see how Dublin is becoming more prominent in the world space. Along with the treks, we had numerous company visits, field trips and alumni networking events.
For my internship, I took a path less taken and joined a startup named “SpotHelp” for 8 weeks. The concept of Spot Help is an on-demand concierge, which has a great demand in Hong Kong where people are cash-rich and time-poor. The startup is funded by a premium venture capital. I helped design their pricing model and growth strategy in Hong Kong and a go-to market strategy to launch in Singapore, India and Australia. It was an amazing experience to see the models designed on paper being executed on the ground. It gave me the chance to understand the Hong Kong consumer market and transition to the working culture from being a student.
What next? I have got an opportunity to work with PwC Consulting Hong Kong as a Senior Financial Consultant. And luckily, for my first project, I am seconding to a project in the IFC building. For Batman fans, it’s the Hong Kong building where Batman jumps off in the movie “The Dark Knight”.
Looking forward to the journey that lies ahead.. Thanks HKU-MBA!