Ariel Woo

Ariel Woo

Studying for an MBA and getting international work experience had always been on my bucket list. After working in the FMCG industry in Singapore for 5 years, I wanted to break away from my routine and challenge myself through a reputable MBA programme. After much research and speaking to different faculties through MBA fairs, I decided to apply for HKUMBA programme.

HKU MBA has 3 unique propositions that attracted me

1) One year Full-time MBA programme – Though intensive, the 1 year programme meant less opportunity cost for me and that I would be equally equipped with new knowledge and experience for my next career move.

2) HKU-LBS/CBS partnership – Being in partnership with one of the top MBA schools in the West, this East-meets-West programme definitely provided me with a well-rounded education, from classmates from all over the world with great variety of professions and disciplines, to world-class lectures and reputable faculty members. We not only had the opportunity to take a semester in LBS/CBS, we also had an excursion to Macau and visited the back office of “City of Dreams”, plus another elective course that took me to Shanghai for a week to learn about “Doing Business in China”.

3) Small class size – With a class size of 50-60 students, this definitely allowed me to build a stronger and more personal relationship with each of my classmates through closer and more frequent interactions.

The 1 year HKU MBA programme has been both intensive and rewarding. Most of the coursework was team based and having an international pool of classmates, they often brought to it different, yet interesting opinions and solutions, which was an eye-opener to me. As we learnt together and met project deadlines together, my classmates, the friendship we built and the memories that we  shared, have become one of the things that I treasure. They have become an important network for me, both personal and career-wise.

HKU MBA also has a professional Career Office. 1 month into the HKU MBA Programme, we had an interview and resume workshop where we were given valuable tips on polishing our resume. There were also mock interviews by HR professionals in the industries that provided feedback to us from which we could improve. The Career Office also had a 1-on-1 chat with each of us to know our career aspirations so that they could help us with our job hunt. I was interested to move into the Banking industry in HK and not having prior experience, a Management Associate Programme with a reputable bank was my first career choice. With the help of the Career Office, I went through numerous rounds of interviews and successfully secured a job as a Graduate Management Associate with Citibank Hong Kong, 6 months prior to graduation.

After graduating from HKU MBA in 2010, I joined Citibank in Hong Kong and was rotated within the Consumer Bank in various roles for 2 years. Last year, I had an opportunity to return to Singapore with Citi and I am now working as a Talent Manager, strategizing and executing a bank-wide High Potential programme and managing succession planning for the bank. I am in touch with my fellow MBA classmates and whenever I fly to Hong Kong for vacation, we meet up for “Yum-Cha”.

I have seen myself develop through the HKU MBA programme in all aspects and I am happy that I joined it.

Industry: Insurance
Company: Allianz Asia Pacific
Job Title: Regional Head of People COE, Asia Pacific