Putting together the engineering expertise of CUHK MBA Part-Time alumnus Daniel Lee (Class of 2020), his years of work experience in multi-national companies as well as a successful transition from a technical to managerial role, it would appear that he had accomplished his career goals. However, Daniel saw it differently – his career had in fact plateaued. He decided that an MBA was exactly what he needed to elevate himself from a manager to a leader.
With a degree in Electronic and Information Engineering, Daniel naturally began his career as an engineer. He managed to work his way up from dealing with machines to managing people. Before doing an MBA, Daniel had been a CS Operation Manager & Transactional Service Consultant at Teradata for six years.
“I would have been in the same position for the rest of my career and even risked being weeded out,” he recalls. It was this epiphany that helped him find out what was missing from his skillset – business know-how that his bachelor’s degree had not offered.
“I was looking for a programme that would cover a wide range of areas, such as finance, marketing, accounting, management, etc. After doing some research, I decided an MBA was the way to go, but the question was, which school?” Daniel says. It was CUHK MBA’s unique focus on entrepreneurship that made him come to a decision.
The courses offered by CUHK MBA laid the foundations for the next step in his professional development, while the entrepreneurship module was a particularly crucial part of this education that prepared him to be an executive.
Over a decade’s work experience does not automatically translate into knowing how to run a business. “The courses on entrepreneurship not only helped me develop the business mindset I previously lacked, but also trained me to think creatively. Now I’m capable of thinking out of the box when it comes to problem solving,” Daniel says.
CUHK has abundant resources for aspiring entrepreneurs – globally renowned professors, extensive facilities, and comprehensive programmes. “Not all MBA students aim to start their own businesses, but I can assure you that everyone can benefit from the entrepreneurship courses unique to CUHK where you’re trained to be a strategic decision maker.” After his MBA, Daniel was promoted to Corporate Director, the representative of Teradata Hong Kong branch. Not only did his role go from managerial to executive, but also an expansion in regional coverage.
With a focus on China business context, CUHK MBA’s curriculum and student community enriched his knowledge about doing business in China, “Through networking with classmates and alumni from mainland China, I familiarised myself with the culture of doing business in mainland China and help to boost my confidence in doing business with clients,” Daniel says.
The huge improvement he had in communicating with mainland clients convinced the Country Director of Greater China Region that Daniel was ready to take on a bigger challenge. Prior to his MBA, Daniel managed the Hong Kong branch. Upon the second year of his MBA studies, in addition to Hong Kong he was also put in charge of South China and Taiwan branches. “I felt a great sense of accomplishment, thanks to CUHK MBA.”
Daniel also shared about how the large alumni network is a great asset for CUHK MBA students. “CUHK MBA matched me with a mentor through the Alumni Mentorship Programme. He is a first-generation head-hunter in Hong Kong and gave me advice that helped me progress through my career advancement. My network has expanded tremendously since I embarked on my MBA journey with CUHK and my network has continued to grow through alumni activities.”
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