Yannick graduated with an MBA from CUHK Business School in 2016
Media Coverage by BusinessBecause:
Yannick Asselin relocated thousands of miles for a full-time MBA at Hong Kong’s CUHK Business School.
After almost two decades working for government organizations in his native Canada, he wanted to explore Asia and take his career on a different track. Not long after graduation, he landed a senior consulting job at financial services-focused consultancy Capco in Hong Kong.
On the CUHK MBA’s China Business concentration, Yannick travelled through Shenzhen, Nanjing and Suzhou in China, visiting companies like private retail giant Suning and US manufacturer AO Smith, and attending guest lectures at some of the region’s most prestigious universities.
He learned Mandarin, studying part-time at CUHK’s Chinese language center. And he took up a consulting internship for a Hong Kong-based financial technology – FinTech – startup developing a cloud-based wealth management platform.
96% of CUHK MBA students are hired within six months of graduation. 76% pursue careers in Hong Kong or mainland China. A keen marathon runner, and a seasoned leader in business, Yannick first came across his future employer on campus at the school.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at CUHK?
Having never attended a business school, I reached a point in my career where my management abilities were not backed by formal credentials. I felt that the MBA was a good opportunity to quickly acquire credentials and, at the same time, give me a mid-career break to re-assess if I was where I wanted to be.
CUHK offered a great program focused on China and Asia. Through the China Business concentration, I was able to explore the intricacies of doing business in China. In fact, we had opportunities to go to China, visit organizations, and meet with local executives there, on almost a monthly basis.
What should applicants think about when deciding to do an MBA?
You should think about an MBA holistically, and understand what it will mean for your whole life, not just your academic profile. Taking a break from your career and reassessing yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, will benefit you greatly and set you up for success and happiness after the MBA.
Think about how you will contribute to the class and prepare yourself to be able to share your experiences and knowledge. The opportunity to meet smart and motivated people from all over the world will benefit you, just as much as the classroom learning you’ll obtain.
What stands out from your MBA experience?
The true highlight for me was confirming to myself that I have what it takes to be a great leader and manager, and realizing that this is what I want to do. Meeting other great people that inspired me, and whom I inspired, created a virtuous cycle where we all encouraged each other to reach new heights.
A late night working with my team through Skype, Google Drive, and WhatsApp, before presenting a reimagined product to real investors was one of my academic highlights. Karaoke in Chongqing was one of my recreational highlights, along with the MBA Ball where we celebrated our shared success!
Why did you decide to stay and pursue a career in Hong Kong after graduation?
I wanted a more dynamic working environment. In North America, we cheer about above-zero growth. Here, six percent growth is slow! Interesting career opportunities are always available.
I started talking with Capco after they presented to our class at CUHK. Their presentation about the kind of entrepreneurial, motivated, positive, inquisitive and creative people that they wanted resonated with who I believe I am and my aspirations.
Plus, Hong Kong is uniquely positioned between East and West. The city is vibrant and active, and a perfect base from which to explore Asia and the rest of the world.
Section: News/ MBA Hong Kong
Date published: February 1, 2017