Venus Tse Weithaeuser was a trained hardware engineer prior to pursuing an MBA. She now works at Credit Suisse, responsible for the overall definition and development of the bank’s digital strategy as well as executing partnerships with financial technology companies. It is hard to imagine someone with a technical background strives and thrives in the banking industry as the industry has always been extremely traditional, jammed with legacies from the “old banking world”.
“This is why a position like mine within the Digital Banking segment of the bank is so disruptive and controversial – which makes it exciting. There is a lot to be changed and the financial industry is finally at a stage where they are ready for the revolution.”
One might ask how could this shift in career made possible? Venus has long decided to pursue an MBA, she has always felt that she had only seen one side of the coin – the technology side. Through her experience, she understood the importance of learning both the business and technical side of things so as to get a holistic view of managing a business. She also mentioned witnessing quite a lot of conflicts between the technical teams versus the business teams in areas like strategy, marketing and communications.
“Engineers always want to build products with the most advanced technology. However, in order to ensure the product sells, it’s not only about how advanced the technical part is, but rather, if it fits the needs of customers and the market.”
An MBA helped her gain a business and strategic mindset where she was able to excel in the role as Strategic Business Development Consultant at Dell after graduation.
Venus chose CUHK for her MBA for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons was the fact that her father was an Alumnus of the CUHK part time MBA programme back in 1983.
“Seeing what my father has achieved after his education at CU is one of the biggest drivers for my decision to also pursue my Business education from CUHK.”
The dual degree programme was another appealing factor for picking CUHK. Born and raised in Hong Kong and then later educated in the United States, it became natural for her to pursue an MBA in Hong Kong where she could spent time in Hong Kong- her home town and gateway to China, whilst being closer to the US where she did her undergraduate degree, and on top of that, a place where some of the largest and most successful corporations are located.
She chose Finance and Management as her concentrations at CUHK and The University of Texas, Austin respectively. Venus was able to gain fundamental financial knowledge on how businesses are run. The practical application of business knowledge through classes enabled her to do real projects at large corporations. The 6-month practicum at Procter & Gamble ended with a howling success.
Venus has previously worked in the United States, Germany and now Switzerland. Her sensibility in cultural differences put her in a faster track to success. In spite of her knowledge and personal interests in what she has been doing that drives her to move forward in jobs across multinationals like Procter & Gamble, Dell, Deutsche Telekom and now Credit Suisse, she said she would not have gone that far if there have not been the right people that believed in her and gave her the platform to perform. The other key success factor, which is also seen as her challenge, is to ensure she stays abreast of all the new trends and technologies since the market moves so quickly.
“Reading news about financial technology, market trends, attending events to see the newest topics, and engaging myself in expert groups and startup environment to learn.”
Last but not least, the friendship and network she gained through the programme were invaluable, both professionally and personally. She also met an extremely important person in her life, her other half, Aaron Weithaeuser, classmate turned husband. They were in the same 2009 class and got married in Hong Kong in 2016!
Venus advises prospective MBA students to ask themselves what they want to achieve after the course. It could either be a career change or a career advancement in the current field. It is important to know what kind of experience they expect themselves to be getting before making such an investment in the midst of a career but in any case, it definitely is going to bring growth opportunities!