“The degree helped me develop the courage to start the company and gave me valuable insight into funding and Hong Kong’s startup culture… A useful part of the MBA was the inside information on funding and schemes for entrepreneurship in Hong Kong. You cannot find this online; it’s not well documented…” says Florian Gamper, CUHK MBA graduate in 2016.
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Florian Gamper is an MBA graduate from CUHK Business School who’s recent startup, Datacrag, is developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to streamline business decision-making.
With a background working in business intelligence and data management in Germany, when Florian was presented with the opportunity to work in Hong Kong in 2013 he thought, “why not!” Two suitcases packed, he was on his way for what he thought would be a one-year trip, but he’s since ended up making a life there.
Working in supply chain, Florian noticed that the methods used by companies were outdated. He wanted to make a change, but first he decided to pursue an MBA to get the skills necessary to launch his own startup.
After graduating with an MBA from CUHK in August 2016, he took the career leap and started up Datacrag.
How did the idea for Datacrag come about?
In my previous work experience in the supply chain, I had various clients with big company names. Across all of them I saw that they were not set up for fast or efficient decision making.
If a company wanted to make company-wide decisions, they would start large -scale business intelligence initiatives to extract the data from all the separate company departments. They’d then bring it together in a data warehouse and attempt to visualise it in reports to influence the decision makers.
This is very resource and time-intensive. On average, it takes about two years to complete and is always subject to miscommunication between the business and IT departments. I asked myself why companies still worked the same way as 25 years ago when there is new technology available that could be used for shortening this process.
How does Datacrag work?
We aim to abstract all the processes of a company and put them into a network that consists of notes and actions. Datacrag’s application reads all of this, maps it and automatically understands and updates the network so we can model the business and can create a systematic process that can make decisions. At the moment, we’re starting with the core supply chain, but hope to develop it over time so that it can address any part of a company.
With this network in place, all elements of the company will be connected and the time is lost is minimal. A real-life example could be stores communicating with factories. The store says we need a product and the factory tells them if they can or can’t produce it and the network can adjust instantaneously.
Why did you choose CUHK for your MBA?
For me, it only made sense to go to one of the big-name schools. You have to take a year out of work, so the reputation, internationally-recognised degree and increase in salary after graduation made CUHK worth the time out.
CUHK had the reputation, exceptional tutors and the classes that were most appealing to me. It also had the biggest alumni network, which I felt was important.
How did the CUHK MBA help you on your entrepreneurial journey?
Overall, the degree helped me develop the courage to start the company and gave me valuable insight into funding and Hong Kong’s startup culture.
A useful part of the MBA was the inside information on funding and schemes for entrepreneurship in Hong Kong. You cannot find this online; it’s not well documented. Professors who have been involved in entrepreneurship were a great help. One famous professor, Wilton Chau, started two of the main government funding schemes. Knowing about these was vital.
We’ve actually just gone through a seven-month application process for funding and are most likely going to be granted 2 million HKD in equity-free support.
I also got to learn about the startup locations in Hong Kong such as the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Cyber Port. These are like a miniature Silicon Valley. We are now integrated into the Science Park. We have three years here rent free and with subsidised utilities. With rent normally high in Hong Kong, this is a great opportunity.
What’s your advice for anyone considering an MBA?
It’s not about the grade; it’s about really learning something. Don’t do it just for the degree. Make sure you pick up and learn information that is relevant to you. You need to consider the MBA and what you want to get out of it.
Another big part of the MBA is about networking, so that you can contact other MBAs in the future and do business together. Do things with the other students that will be good contacts in future. I’m close to and in touch with some of the grads from my year and we push each other to develop and innovate.
Section: News/ MBA Entrepreneurs
Date published: June 26, 2017
Written by: Robert Klecha
Original Post >>
A class of 41 full-time and part-time MBA students visited Shanghai and Nanjing under the course “Business Field Study – Mainland China” on June 5 – 9, 2017. Besides learning about different aspects of business operations through company visits and lectures, MBA students also had networking opportunities with CUHK Shanghai alumni and MBA students from […]
A class of 41 full-time and part-time MBA students visited Shanghai and Nanjing under the course “Business Field Study – Mainland China” on June 5 – 9, 2017. Besides learning about different aspects of business operations through company visits and lectures, MBA students also had networking opportunities with CUHK Shanghai alumni and MBA students from local universities.
During the 5-day trip, the class visited a range of companies in different sectors, including Kerry Logistics, a well-known logistics service provider; K-Boxing, a local high-end fashion brand; Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd., a listed pharmaceutical distributor; Suning, a major Chinese e-commerce company which has both online and offline businesses; and A.O. Smith, a US water heater company with a subsidiary and fast-growing business in China.
The class also attended two lectures in the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) and the Nanjing University (NJU) respectively. From the lecture by Prof. Dongdong Ge in SUFE, our MBA students learnt about the business applications of big data and AI, and the challenges faced by start-up IT companies in China; while in the lecture by Prof. Shuming Zhao at NJU, they learnt about human resources management and how cultural differences are handled in the Chinese context.
Jay Yoo organized this year’s Graduate Business Conference at CUHK Business School, with his passion for corporate social responsibility driving discussions.
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Jay Yoo, an MBA student at Hong Kong’s CUHK Business School, has a passion for socially-responsible business. With this in mind, he undertook his MBA, confident that it would help him take a step towards starting his own socially-impactful consulting firm.
Jay Yoo organized this year’s Graduate Business Conference held at CUHK, which brings together government representatives, leading executives and students from the world’s top business schools, to discuss solutions to world business issues.
With Jay Yoo’s influence, this year’s conference focused on business for good and engaged students and high-ranking professionals in creative discussions about how to have a positive impact on society.
Tell us about your experience organizing the 2017 Graduate Business Conference at CUHK.
I believe that if people can discuss CSR and business sustainability in a global sense, it can be impactful for MBA students.
The conference was a place to share ideas and exchange best practices in order to create a forum of mutual inspiration. Interactive networking and brainstorming activities at the conference helped students get to know fellow attendees and their school’s strengths through sharing.
There were also a series of interactive meetings between the student leaders where best practices and new innovative ideas were shared along with solutions to issues suggested by the student leaders. Each of these workshops focused on a different topic and attendees were asked to develop specific issues within the topic and break into smaller groups to discuss solutions.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
In 2012, I was in charge of conducting a hospital construction official development assistance project in Vietnam. I saw that most companies, despite their competitive advantages on price and quality, were struggling to enter the global market since they were unable to satisfy all the documentary and procedural requirements.
So, I set myself a long-term goal of establishing a consulting firm for small and medium-sized medical device companies, which are competitive but lack effective global market expansion strategies. I want to provide consulting services on exploring and entering the global market. For me, an MBA was an important step towards achieving this.
Why did you choose CUHK?
I’m especially interested in events such as the corporate social responsibility conference. Development projects are relevant to CSR and business sustainability and I believed access to these would be great chance to get exposure to these environments and clarify my career goals.
What’s more, I believe that the strength of China’s market on a global scale will be increasing. So, for me, Hong Kong and CUHK was the best option to explore China and the international atmosphere.
What are your plans for the future?
After graduating from the CUHK MBA, I plan to join a global medical device company which is taking part in development work.
Based on this experience, I will refine the structure of my consulting service business plan and be better able to help small and medium-sized medical device companies enter the development market.
I am close to the end of my MBA journey and I strongly believe that my MBA experience helps me to be prepared. I am confident to face new challenges not only in future work, but also in my personal life.
Section: News/ MBA Hong Kong
Date published: June 23, 2017
Written by: Robert Klecha
The Graduate Business Conference (GBC) hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School MBA programs (CUHK MBA) on May 24-28, 2017 has concluded with great success. Now in its 34th year, the only global business school and MBA student leadership conference was co-organized by CUHK MBA and the Graduate Business Forum and attended […]
The Graduate Business Conference (GBC) hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School MBA programs (CUHK MBA) on May 24-28, 2017 has concluded with great success.
Now in its 34th year, the only global business school and MBA student leadership conference was co-organized by CUHK MBA and the Graduate Business Forum and attended by over 50 elected student government leaders and alumni from all over the world.
The “Business 4 Good: The Ultimate Challenge!” conference aimed at helping student leaders identify and document best practices and innovative ideas in graduate business student government, learn from each other’s strengths in best practices and synthetize the information to create new solutions.
Keynote speaker Dr Kelvin Wong, JP, executive director and deputy managing director of COSCO Shipping Ports spoke about The Governance of Two Sovereign Masters, while speaker Niven Huang, general manager of KPMG discussed the importance of CSR and ESG in the competitiveness of Asian businesses.
Panel discussions were held on impact investing and “turning good into sustainable great”.
Brainstorming and networking sessions were held, where participants shared what their school did best to create a wealth of collective knowledge that can motivate them throughout the year.
The Best Practice interactive workshops shared innovative ideas and developed solutions to issues suggested by the student leaders. Proceedings and findings were later distributed to the attendees to inform those who were in different concurrent workshops.
Participating current and former student leaders from the world’s top graduate business programs, student government presidents and vice presidents and other participants praised the program. Unexpectedly they found that universities faced similar problems all over the world and found enlightening some of the innovative solutions that came up during sharing.
They were also impressed by the sense of community and international participation, and the high level of engagement between delegates.
“CUHK is also among the top three universities in Hong Kong and its MBA program is the longest established in Hong Kong, so it has a strong alumni network. The education and practical experiences as well as the networking helped my own financing preparations and got me in touch with some prospective investors as well”, says Tian in an interview by BusinessBecause.
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Howard Tian is an MBA student at CUHK Business School at the forefront of the Virtual Reality (VR) space in Hong Kong.
Alongside his MBA studies, he co-founded Go VR Immersive, a creative agency specializing in developing immersive Virtual Reality content.
Already, Howard’s worked on a range of Virtual Reality productions, from advertising to games and movies – like Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs – reaching millions of viewers worldwide.
Now, he wants to disrupt the entertainment industry and make Virtual Reality the future of cinema.
BusinessBecause caught up with Howard to find out more.
How did the idea for Go VR Immersive come about?
I previously worked for an established filmmaking equipment rental house and production agency. Around the end of 2013, we signed a deal bringing specialized 360-degree filmmaking technologies to Hong Kong to become the first company in Hong Kong to offer that kind of service.
We started experimenting with Cinematic VR game development and made the first interactive VR game in Hong Kong, combining real-life live-action drama with interactive VR gaming. The game won a Special Mention at the 2015 ICT awards.
As the industry took off in 2016, I saw an opportunity and started Go VR Immersive along with some partners and investors I’d met on the way to focus on developing this kind of Cinematic VR content.
Where are you at right now? What do you hope to achieve?
So far, we’ve been mainly serving commercial clients and making promotional 360 videos, mini VR game experience for brands or institutions at events.
The most well-known project we’ve done to date is a VR series for the famous movie ‘Infernal Affairs.’ The project was funded and in collaboration with major mainland online video platform iQiYi and Media Asia – the IP owner.
The interest is there, but we need to educate the market on what VR is, what it can do and what it takes to make good content.
We also do cinematic training in collaboration with different institutions and partners to also help promote VR and educate the market. Up next, we are raising funding to develop our own VR game, which hopefully can bring the company to the next level.
My vision is to make VR the future cinema format. Instead of watching a rectangular flat screen for movies, in the future, audiences could each wear a headset and “participate” in a cinematic universe – each having its own unique cinematic experience.
I hope to grow Go VR Immersive, be a successful entrepreneur, and a successful VR director that directs good, quality, long-form VR movies.
How has the CUHK MBA helped you in developing your business?
CUHK is the only university that offered an entrepreneur stream on the MBA course. It had a number of courses particularly focused on being an entrepreneur, how to run a startup, raise funding and grow a business. We also had real-life projects in collaboration with real startups in Hong Kong to help them develop and refine business plans to raise funding by pitching to real investors.
CUHK is also among the top three universities in Hong Kong and its MBA program is the longest established in Hong Kong, so it has a strong alumni network. The education and practical experiences as well as the networking helped my own financing preparations and got me in touch with some prospective investors as well.
Do you have any advice for prospective MBA students?
Do your research before applying, and find the right program for you. Also, don’t just focus on studying while in the program. Networking is a big part of MBA programs, go on field trips and expand your horizons.
What do you see as the future for Virtual Reality?
I’m making a huge bet that VR will become a mainstream medium for the entertainment industry and maybe even communication. That’s why I want to get in the market early. Traditional mediums are saturated with existing companies, but VR is new, which allows new up-and-comers like myself to establish a presence.
In 2016, VR got big, but it’s still only in the hype cycle. It needs more content, quality content and market education to be able to sustain the interest. 2017 is about sustaining that interest. As more hardware like the Rift, Vive and PSVR become popular, VR content should have a bright future in the upcoming years.
Section: News/ MBA Entrepreneurs
Date published: June 1, 2017
Written by: Robert Klecha
CUHK Business School is pleased to announce that it has recently been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) for its highest quality standards in the MBA programs including MBA, EMBA and MBA in Finance. AMBA currently accredits programs from the top 2% of business schools in over 70 countries. Along with AACSB International which […]
CUHK Business School is pleased to announce that it has recently been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) for its highest quality standards in the MBA programs including MBA, EMBA and MBA in Finance. AMBA currently accredits programs from the top 2% of business schools in over 70 countries.
Along with AACSB International which also accredited the School, AMBA is amongst the world’s leading international quality assurance benchmarks. Meeting these rigorous international accreditation standards is a reflection of the School’s level of excellence and achievement in business education.
As an AMBA accredited school, our MBA students and alumni will have access to AMBA events and a worldwide professional and education network of over 25,000 MBA students and alumni from all AMBA accredited business schools around the world.
As part of the AMBA accreditation process, there was a two-day assessment by a panel consisting of:
- Prof. Andrew Lock (Panel chair)
Dean Emeritus, Leeds University Business School, UK; Chair of the International Accreditation Advisory Board of AMBA
- Prof. Bodo Schlegelmilch
Founding Dean, WU Executive Academy, Vienna University of Economics and Business; Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of AMBA
- Prof. Zhongming Wang
Former Dean, Zhejiang University School of Management; Director of the Zhejiang University Global Entrepreneurship Research Centre
- Mr. George Iliev
Director of Development Markets, AMBA
About Association of MBAs (AMBA)
AMBA is the impartial authority on postgraduate management education and is committed to raising its profile and quality standards internationally for the benefit of business schools, students and alumni and employers. AMBA established that vision in 1967 and it’s as relevant today as it was almost 50 years ago. For more information, please visit: http://www.mbaworld.com/
This article was first published in the CUHK Business School’s website on May 23, 2017.
“Graduates wanting to work in investment will also find an upward trend in terms of what we call venture philanthropy, investing not just to optimize profit, but also to optimize social impact,” according to Professor Kevin Au.
Fulfilling a range of roles in our society, social enterprises have been growing fast in popularity in Hong Kong since the 2008 financial crisis. Unlike businesses or charities, social enterprises work with a double bottom line: they are not only sustainable businesses, but also pursue a social mission and work towards making a large social impact.
Riding on the growing interest in this business model, CUHK’s Center for Entrepreneurship launched last year a new three credit unit course titled “Selected Topics in Business – Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment”.
“We just had the first batch of students, and the course was completely oversubscribed,” says Professor Kevin Au, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Center for Family Business, and Associate Professor, Department of Management. “We thought we’d have 20 students in one class but we ended up with 32 in the first batch and we accepted 30 students for the summer class of 2017. It is very competitive to get in.”
The wide-based interest in the course is also due to the multiple ways it benefits all students, even those who may not want to set up or run a social enterprise later.
First of all, the course broadens their view on the most important social problems Hong Kong is facing and provides an understanding of how they can contribute to society. This is important, because no matter in what area they are going to work, it is likely that at some stage they will be engaged with social enterprises as professionals, entrepreneurs, investors or government employees, according to Au.
“Graduates wanting to work in investment will also find an upward trend in terms of what we call venture philanthropy, investing not just to optimize profit, but also to optimize social impact,” he says.
The multidisciplinary course trains up students’ skills relevant to consultancy, strengthening their creativity, analytical skills and design thinking. The class is split into four or five groups, and each group works with a social enterprise. Class size is small to allow teachers to support and closely monitor each group’s work.
Students put their new skills into practice by working with the select social enterprises to solve real-life business problems from scratch and, at the same time, expand the enterprise’s social impact, such as reducing discrimination, supporting the socially disadvantaged, offering job opportunities for people with disabilities, solving environmental problems or narrowing the gap between rich and poor.
They are expected to go into the community and work closely with their partners to understand the social problems, their root causes and underlying issues. They need to think from different angles: as a business person to run the business, as a social worker to sympathize and empathize with people who have social needs and as an investor to evaluate carefully how to allocate resources to get the highest return in terms of profit and social impact.
“This is kind of difficult for the students. Pretty challenging,” Au says.
In the process, students should come up with ways to improve operations and help the social enterprise generate ideas for expansion.
There is a large number of social enterprises that have been in business for several years. They are beyond the startup phase and looking at expansion. These companies need fresh ideas, new information or different knowledge and skill sets to solve some problems they cannot solve by relying on their internal resources.
The final objective is to help these social enterprises pitch their expansion plans to a panel of judges, for the best to be awarded HK$250,000 to help it grow.
As social enterprises need members with a variety of perspectives and work experiences, Au encourages students with diverse specialisations to apply to make the learning process more rewarding. “With students of different backgrounds working together, the benefit of the course will be multiple,” he says.
Philanthropy, shared value and social enterprises are expected to grow massively in the next 10 to 20 years as huge amounts of wealth will be directed to charitable activities from high net worth people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and others, internationally and locally.
The expanding philanthropy sector will require a growing number of well-trained executives and offer increasingly interesting work opportunities to those who are well versed in business management of social enterprises, venture philanthropy and impact investment, and experienced in satisfying the demands of the double bottom line.
Written by: Ms. Andrea Zavadszky
Watch the interview for more info about the course – “Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment”
Click HERE to view the course leaflet.
Johnston realised that to get ahead he needed to further improve his leadership skills. And after researching potential qualifications, he decided to enrol in the MBA programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “CUHK’s MBA stood out because it has both an Asian and international focus to its teaching and because it aims to produce the next generation of Asian leaders,” says Lo in an interview by efinancialcareers.
Media Coverage by eFinancialCareers:
In 2012 Johnston Lo was working as a broker at one of the world’s leading banks, HSBC, and had got to assistant vice president level.
But despite his early success in banking, he’d also reached what he describes as a “bottleneck” in his career. “I was skilled enough to perform my day job, I had enough clients, and I was already an AVP in my team,” says Lo.
“Yet I was also stuck at this mid-level. If I’d stayed in the same firm, further promotions would have become more difficult,” he explains. “While my experience was good, it wasn’t enough to step into a senior leadership role.”
Johnston realised that to get ahead he needed to further improve his leadership skills. And after researching potential qualifications, he decided to enrol in the MBA programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
“CUHK’s MBA stood out because it has both an Asian and international focus to its teaching and because it aims to produce the next generation of Asian leaders,” says Lo. “After talking to CUHK alumni, I knew it would allow me to meet new people and get new perspectives on management. It would take me out of my comfort zone and help get me a senior leadership job.”
The MBA lived up to Lo’s expectations. He used his new leadership skills to move into a completely different working environment (at Bank of China International), at a higher rank (he’s now an associate director).
But Lo’s leadership talents were put to the test even before he got into the classroom at CUHK. He first met his MBA cohort on an Outward Bound course – a week of tough problem solving and muddy outdoor adventure in Hong Kong’s New Territories.
“Put into small groups, we’d take turns to be leaders on different assignments. Using maps and compasses to that extent was a completely new and exciting experience,” says Lo. “One night there was a midnight trek from base camp to a check point – if you went the wrong way, you had to start over. It was leadership and teamworking under pressure.”
Lo says that at Outward Bound he began to learn some of the leadership skills that would be reinforced during the CUHK modules. “For example, we had to adjust our leadership styles to suit different individuals because the group was very mixed. We had people from several industries and from countries as diverse as China, the US and Finland.”
It was a similar experience when Lo was working in equally diverse case study groups at CUHK. “The MBA teaches you to become an all-round leader who can face different types of colleagues in different types of workplaces,” says Lo.
“It makes you more open minded when dealing with new people and coping with change as a leader. These elements to leadership are vital in an industry which is evolving as rapidly as Asian banking,” he adds.
Lo says the MBA helped him to make a smoother transition into his job at BOCI. “Compared to a Western bank, it’s very different in its organisational structure and company culture. But my MBA had already taught me to be flexible in order to handle this change.”
He now has a “tool kit” of leadership techniques that he believes will put him on the path for continued success in the Asian finance sector.
“If you’re leading people with a similar amount of experience as you, for example, you could use a ‘partnership approach’, in which you often ask for their opinions. They won’t help you as much if you give direct commands,” says Lo.
Alongside working with peers in case study groups, CUHK students also hone their leadership expertise during lectures.
“The faculty comes from all over the world and are specialists in their fields, including investment banking. They share practical experience of leadership, not just textbook knowledge,” says Lo. “They also invite current business people to provide real-time experiences of leadership challenges.”
CUHK offers an Asia-focused leadership development module on its MBA programme, which aims to make students more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses as managers, so they can lead people more effectively in the workplace.
The school’s emphasis on leadership is infused throughout the MBA. “For example, I took a module on salesmanship and sales management, and the professor told us that successful leaders all have good sales skills, even those not in client-facing roles,” says Lo.
“To be a leader you must be able to sell ideas within your bank. If you see a good investment opportunity, for example, you must get the buy-in of others in your team,” he adds.
Lo improved his leadership skills by trial and error during the MBA. “Compared to being at work, CUHK is a much safer environment in which to learn. Case study groups allow you to make mistakes and learn from them, without the negative financial consequences you’d get at a bank.”
CUHK students still need to work hard if they want to develop their leadership abilities, says Lo. “If you’re in charge of a group, you have to know all the materials in advance, so you can set the right direction when you lead. Most of your team members will be managers themselves, so you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.”
Being able to foster a culture of teamworking is an important part of any leadership project at CUHK, says Lo.
“One of the best things about my MBA is that I worked so closely with my classmates and have kept in touch with many of them since we graduated. My Outward Bound group still meets for regular dinners. The friendships you form at CUHK last for many years – and as you rise up the ranks as a leader, you can always call on someone for advice.”
Date published: May 10, 2017
In the inaugural Financial Times Top MBAs for Finance 2017 ranking released today, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School MBA Program is ranked No.2 in Asia and 14th in the world among the top 50 full-time global MBA programs. CUHK MBA is ranked No.1 in Asia and among the top five in […]
In the inaugural Financial Times Top MBAs for Finance 2017 ranking released today, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School MBA Program is ranked No.2 in Asia and 14th in the world among the top 50 full-time global MBA programs.
CUHK MBA is ranked No.1 in Asia and among the top five in the world in terms of career progress*, as well as No.1 in East Asia and No.6 in the world in terms of salary percentage increase*. Three years after their graduation, the average salary of CUHK MBA graduates working in finance has reached US$139,000 (over HK$1.08 million) per annum, an average increase of 132 percent over their pre-MBA salaries. CUHK MBA is also the best value for money* program in East Asia (7th in the world). Attributed to its world-class curriculum and strong student career counselling support, the outstanding ranking results demonstrate that CUHK MBA has played an important role to enhance its full-time graduates’ employability and career advancement in finance.
According to the data collected by Financial Times, three years after graduation, 40 percent of CUHK MBA alumni are working in finance* and 100 percent of students who worked in finance* before their MBA remain in the business sector. In addition, 11 percent of CUHK MBA alumni who did not work in finance before have successfully switched career*.
Prof. Kalok Chan, Dean of CUHK Business School and Wei Lun Professor of Finance at CUHK, said: “The outstanding ranking results undoubtedly prove that our MBA program is developing young leaders in finance and helping them to achieve professional advancement, career progression and self-enrichment. As our MBA program is moving toward the next 50 years, such great achievement and international recognition have motivated us to continue our effort in enhancing our curriculum, advancing education excellence and grooming talents.”
Ms. Stephanie Villemagne, Associate Dean (Graduate Programs) and Director of MBA Programs at CUHK Business School, added: “These ranking results reflect our continuous effort in responding to dynamic market needs and enhancing the quality of our MBA program. FinTech, for example, is one of our closely monitored areas in which we are keen to provide courses for our students. We will also offer more blended courses (online and face to face) for our part-time students who need a lot of flexibility in their studies.”
CUHK MBA was ranked 36th in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2017 released on January 30. The program was also ranked No.1 in Hong Kong and among the top three in Asia in terms of career progress, as well as the best-ranked MBA program in Hong Kong in terms of salary percentage increase.
This article was first published in the CUHK Business School’s website on May 1, 2017.
*Note on ranking criteria of measurement:
All criteria (except research) are based on data from alumni working in finance only, three years after graduation.
Salary: average salary three years after graduation, US$ PPP equivalent.
Salary increase: average difference in alumni salary before the MBA to now. Half of this figure is calculated according to the absolute salary increase, and half according to the percentage increase relative to pre-MBA salary — the “salary percentage increase” figure in the table.
Career progress: calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of company alumni are working in now, compared with before their MBA.
Value for money: calculated using salary today, course length, fees and other costs, including lost income during the MBA.
Work in finance: proportion of alumni working in finance, three years after graduation.
Stayed in finance: proportion of students who worked in finance before their MBA and remain in finance.
Moved to finance: the proportion of those who did not work in finance before but do so now.
Building on Experience Alvin So had been building solid technical experience in research and development in the US and China, when five years into his job he decided to quit and do an MBA in Hong Kong. Alvin had a truly international upbringing. Born in the US to a Hong Kong family, he grew up […]
Building on Experience
Alvin So had been building solid technical experience in research and development in the US and China, when five years into his job he decided to quit and do an MBA in Hong Kong.
Alvin had a truly international upbringing. Born in the US to a Hong Kong family, he grew up in Taiwan, where his father worked for 20 years. He studied in the US, at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor for a degree in chemical engineering and worked for Procter and Gamble in product research before making the leap and coming to Hong Kong.
“It is a unique place to be in, it’s almost like a double edged sword,” he says of his international upbringing. It made him very adaptable, but at the same time he feels he has no roots anywhere.
“Asking ‘where are you from’ is a good way to connect with people, but if you ask me, be prepared for a long answer,” he quips.
Starting out as an intern at Procter & Gamble, he was offered a full time position as a scientist in 2009 and he quickly rose to the senior scientist position. But after five years on the job, he started wondering about what the next five to 10 years would bring. He realized that his passion lay in launching new products, product equity pricing, and marketing. He foresaw a career in consulting and business development, where he could build on his technical experience.
Coming back to Hong Kong was both a practical and emotional decision. With his grandparents and parents living in Hong Kong and Shanghai respectively, he wanted to “live in Asia, where I’d be happier”, he says.
At the same time, the growing importance of the region on the world scene indicated good opportunities for career development. His father Raymond So, who is an alumnus and strong promoter of CUHK MBA, also encouraged him to apply to CUHK Business School.
“I applied to US schools as well, but I knew and felt this was where I wanted to be and develop my career. Hong Kong is the center of Asia when it comes to business and finance and I could spend about a year really close to my grandparents. It was not a hard decision at all,” he says.
Alvin believes that CUHK Business School stands out with the kind of students they attract. His classmates were academically outstanding and had an easy-going combination of intellect and personality. Interaction between them helped both their IQ and EQ development.
He treasures most his memories of preparing for competitions with his classmates, staying up late on numerous nights to develop the project. Communicating with classmates from all over the world has helped him to understand how to shape the communication according to the personality of the target audience.
His interest in marketing led him to become the director of marketing of the CUHK MBA student-organized Corporate Social Responsibility Conference to quickly discover that it was not an easy job.
“Even communicating with the designer was not easy, but the experience helps me in my current job, where I have to develop research reports and media documents,” he says.
He benefited most from the course on macroeconomics, with theories brought to life by real-life examples, and applied entrepreneurship, where students consult real-life start-ups and redesign them for a fundraising program.
Alvin says the biggest challenge of the MBA is job hunting, which students have to start almost as soon as they begin classes, with practically no achievements to show yet. He was very fortunate as he met his present employer OC&C Strategy Consultants on a career day, and his background was a sector they covered.
But he advises applicants to know from the start what they want, what industry they want to go into and how to get in. “The time frame is very short. Look into the market of your chosen industry even before you start,” he says. His other advice is to take the opportunity to extend the program to a year and a half and join the valuable overseas exchange program.
He feels fortunate for finding employment with a consulting firm and for being based in Shanghai. Although the working hours are long and work involves a lot of traveling, he enjoys the job and feels settled, until it is time for another five-year plan.
Click here to view Alvin’s story on CUHK MBA Programs Youtube Channel
Our 2nd Annual HR Leaders Forum could be the talk of the HR town this month, with speakers, moderators, guests as well as our MBA students participating in the discussion on one of the hottest topics in the HR community – Gamification. Co-hosted with HR Magazine, this year’s forum was back at The Langham Hotel […]
Our 2nd Annual HR Leaders Forum could be the talk of the HR town this month, with speakers, moderators, guests as well as our MBA students participating in the discussion on one of the hottest topics in the HR community – Gamification. Co-hosted with HR Magazine, this year’s forum was back at The Langham Hotel and received overwhelming interest from Senior HR leaders and professionals across industries. Emceed by Michael Au, Professor David Ahlstrom gave the welcome address, introducing our students and career success on Financial Times ranking 2017. Thus was followed by an excellent lineup of our guest speakers Van Can Quach, Regional HR Manager, Talent Attraction and Strategic Initiatives at AXA Asia and Sunny Ip, Director at Deloitte Consulting. Their enthusiastic sharing of Gamification experience and real-life cases provoked many constructive discussions and takeaways amongst the audiences. Special thanks to the guest moderators from Deloitte Consulting, EY, Hutchison E-Commerce, Infosys Consulting, Knorr-Bremse, Mandarin Oriental and our very own MBA Programs professors. Their moderation of the table discussions and presentation of findings left everybody wanting even more.
We sincerely thank all who joined us and made this annual forum a success. Your participation gives Career Management Center the inspiration and aspiration to continue fulfilling a world class standard upswing.
Media Coverage by BusinessBecause: Eliza Swedberg’s MBA experience at Hong Kong’s CUHK Business School changed her life in more ways than one. After several years working in retail in San Diego, she snubbed top-ranked US business schools and decided to relocate thousands of miles for an MBA in Asia. The CUHK MBA – Asia’s longest-established MBA […]
Media Coverage by BusinessBecause:
Eliza Swedberg’s MBA experience at Hong Kong’s CUHK Business School changed her life in more ways than one.
After several years working in retail in San Diego, she snubbed top-ranked US business schools and decided to relocate thousands of miles for an MBA in Asia.
The CUHK MBA – Asia’s longest-established MBA program – is ranked among the top 40 best MBA programs in the world by the Financial Times. It offers 12-month and 16-month flexible formats with the opportunity for international exchange.
Eliza chose Melbourne, Australia for her MBA exchange. There, she interned at a leading retail services group, and met her future husband.
After graduation, Eliza returned stateside and landed a top job at Gap in San Francisco. Now, she’s driving customer experience strategy at Amazon.
Would she be where she is today without the CUHK MBA? “No!”
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at CUHK?
I wanted to move to Hong Kong. I’d explored the area a few years earlier and wanted to spend time calling it home. I received an offer from another school in Hong Kong as well, but ultimately went with CUHK because I liked their open application process for international exchange programs.
CUHK is a great school in the Asia-Pacific. It offers a curriculum that I was interested in and an interesting involvement with social responsibility. The school gave me a scholarship and accepted the US financial aid which I needed to fund my education.
Why did you decide against pursuing an MBA program in the US?
I wanted to live abroad. I felt the impact of a fully global experience via study, internships, network and travel would serve me better for my career and personal growth. I would absolutely recommend this approach to anyone interested in an MBA. Living abroad and earning a degree abroad changes your perspective.
How have you profited from the CUHK MBA?
The MBA definitely helped my application for my post-MBA job at Gap, as well as my performance while actually on the job. The leadership, critical thinking and strategic perspective skills I learned continue to impact my personal and professional life. I’ve been able to take on roles where I lead teams and build strategies that impact the company and ultimately our customers.
Now, I’m a manager on a global team for a company that has a vision to change the world. The MBA created a great platform for continued growth.
Would you be where you are today without it?
No! In so many aspects of my life, no! I wouldn’t have had the same career path. I likely wouldn’t have lived in the same cities since then. I wouldn’t have travelled to over 40 counties – or have made so many friends from around the world. I wouldn’t have met my now husband while on my MBA exchange.
Section: News/ MBA Hong Kong
Date published: April 20, 2017
Written by Marco De Novellis
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