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HKU Full-time MBA Advantage

Nikhil Sharma
  • NameNikhil Sharma
  • NationalityIndia
  • BatchClass of 2011

I grew up in Mumbai, and, after finishing an engineering degree at the University of Mumbai, I joined the web portals division of an IT company. I quickly progressed to become a subject matter expert in content management systems, leading 8- to 10-strong teams from project initiation to execution. I then switched to managing the sale of software solutions to ICT companies. Although the company’s coverage was worldwide, my specific focus was business development in Western Europe and Southeast Asia.

I later moved to Hong Kong to pursue a career in finance. HKU was a clear choice for me because of the wide exposure it provides to Asian economies and the opportunities it provides to study in premier business schools in the West. I was part of the class of 2011 and officially graduated from HKU in November of that year. I had a wonderful journey in the year and a half I spent on the programme. The tightly knit batch of experienced professionals of 16 nationalities with whom I studied facilitated learning not only in class but also outside it. I also enjoyed travelling with many of my classmates to London and Singapore, and also enjoyed some wonderful times with them in Hong Kong. Overall, the relationships I forged on this journey are my biggest takeaway from the MBA.

The main advantage of the HKU MBA is its location on Hong Kong Island. This in itself provided me with ample opportunities to meet professionals from leading fund houses, Internet banks and consulting firms. During the programme, I secured two internships, one in Hong Kong and the other in London, both in investment research. I am currently working with a Hong Kong-headquartered fund-raising advisory firm in private equity.

Current Status

Employer: SinoPac Solutions and Services Ltd.
Position:   Head of Business Development​
Location:  Hong Kong

Dana Zhou
  • NameDana Zhou
  • NationalityMainland China
  • BatchClass of 2012

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University, I worked as a senior associate in transaction services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, assisting my clients in analysing the financials of the companies that they planned to acquire. I had opportunities to study the business operations of target companies, interview their top management and analyse their financial statements to identify the issues that might affect M&A transactions. As I became involved in more M&A transactions and analysis of a variety of companies, I began to realise that in addition to enhancing my professional knowledge on the finance/accounting side, it was also important to develop a broader understanding of other business disciplines and to gain exposure to international business. This realisation led me to the HKU MBA programme.

Current Status

Employer: United Family Hospital Group
Position:   Assistant Director
Location:  Beijing, Mainland China

Phil Hui
  • NamePhil Hui
  • NationalityU.S.A.
  • BatchClass of 2011

Phil Hui

Current Status

Employer: Fung Group
Position:   Special Assistant to Group Chairman​
Location:  Hong Kong

Ahsan Mohamed
  • NameAhsan Mohamed
  • NationalityIndia
  • BatchClass of 2014

I was born and raised in Bangalore, India. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in business management with a specialism in finance from Christ University in Bangalore, I joined Goldman Sachs, where I worked in investment banking and brokerage business verticals in both India and Singapore. Working in the fast-paced investment banking environment of these two countries provided a great learning experience that helped me to build a strong foundation for a career within this industry.

After four years with Goldman Sachs, I decided it was time for a new challenge. I co-founded a property development company in Bangalore that completed its first project before I left for Beijing. This new role helped me to grow both personally and professionally. I was responsible for acquiring project financing and for long-term business forecasting. Also, being part of a small enterprise exposed me to all aspects of starting a business, which truly helped to make me a more well-rounded and adept business professional.

I first visited Hong Kong in 2012, and I immediately loved the energy and ‘buzz’ of the place. The city is a great mix of cultures with a vibrant city life and numerous recreational options for those more inclined towards outdoor activities.

I decided to pursue an MBA to further enhance my career in the investment banking industry and to broaden my understanding of the business world. After having worked in various industries and countries with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and cultures, an international MBA was an easy decision.

I chose the HKU MBA programme because of the multitude of electives it provides and because it gives me the opportunity to study in three locations – Beijing, Hong Kong and London – a great way to gain insights into how business is conducted in different parts of the globe. The opportunity to live in Beijing and immerse myself in Chinese culture while studying Mandarin was too good to resist.

The month that I spent in Beijing was a great ice-breaker for the MBA programme and also a fantastic way to meet my future classmates. We bonded over bāozi (Chinese stuffed steamed buns) in broken Mandarin and celebrated (repeatedly) the beginning of our MBA journey.

Classes in Hong Kong started two weeks ago, and the benefits of studying in a diverse class are already being felt, with different individuals expressing a variety of opinions on assignments or theories taught in class. I have already learned a lot in these two weeks, and I look forward to the remainder of my time at HKU.

Employer:      Capco
Position:        Principal Consultant
Location:       Singapore

Elizabeth Stevenson
  • NameElizabeth Stevenson
  • NationalityU.S.A.
  • BatchClass of 2014

Elizabeth Stevenson

Current Status

Employer:  American Express
Position:    Vice President, Enterprise Strategy & Execution
Location:   New York

Duncan Yip
  • NameDuncan Yip
  • NationalitySingapore
  • BatchClass of 2014

Duncan Yip

Current Status

Employer:  HSBC
Position:    Credit Advisory
Location:   Hong Kong

Ryan Xu
  • NameRyan Xu
  • NationalityU.S.A.
  • BatchClass of 2011

What difference does a year make? It would be appropriate to describe the HKU MBA programme as a whirlwind journey through a number of cities. Before joining the programme, I was an advisory and regulatory consultant in New York. Upon the occasion of my fifth anniversary with the company, I was presented with the decision of whether to pursue higher education or accept a promotion. I chose the former. I wanted to switch careers and, more importantly, I wanted to return to the place I used to call home. Accordingly, I moved back to Hong Kong and enrolled in the HKU MBA programme. At the time, it seemed like a crazy decision but, looking back, it was probably the best decision I ever made.

I wanted to obtain an MBA because I wanted to make a targeted career switch into strategy consulting or general management. The HKU MBA programme, with its overseas business school partnerships, provided a great platform for me to achieve all of my objectives. The programme not only builds strong foundational business knowledge but also sharpen students’ business acumen through its core and elective courses. In addition, the Career Development Office works tirelessly to prepare students for the next milestone—securing that post-MBA job –through resume workshops, mock interviews, recruitment talks and one-on-one coaching sessions, to name just a few of its initiatives. Even so, the programme would not be as special as it is were if not for the people involved in it. I was surrounded by people from whom I wanted to learn and, most importantly, cultivated many lifelong friendships.

Today, I stand proud as an HKU MBA alumnus. I am currently a graduate-level management associate at Citibank, ready to have a profound influence on this organisation. The HKU MBA enabled me to achieve what I set out to accomplish. I am grateful and happy to share this story with those who are ready to embark on this journey.

Current Status

Employer: Citi
Position:   Corporate Compliance Officer, AVP, Greater China Cluster Lead
Location:  Hong Kong

Francois Lam
  • NameFrancois Lam
  • NationalityPortugal
  • BatchClass of 2018

Francois Lam, Full-time MBA Class of 2018, born in Portugal, who previously worked in Geneva and Hong Kong at UBS before joining HKU MBA, has a wealth of experience in investment banking in the advisory mandates as a portfolio specialist.

Why HKU MBA? Knowledge and Career Opportunities. HKU MBA equips our MBAs with knowledge of new technology and business models beyond the buzzwords. This year, we offer an up-to-market elective course on FinTech, allowing our MBAs to have an understanding of the emergence of FinTech and its impact on global finance and banking. This  provides a more competitive, level playing field for our MBAs in career opportunities.  

Eric Leung
  • NameEric Leung
  • NationalityHong Kong
  • BatchClass of 2018

A persistent team player with diverse work experience and ambition to make the world a happier place.

Having studied in Hong Kong until grade nine, I had the opportunity to travel to America to further my studies. I completed my high school education in Boston and was very fortunate to be accepted by Columbia University in New York City for my undergraduate studies, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.

After I graduated from Columbia University, I joined EY as a Technology Consultant. During my time at EY, I not only had to utilise my programming skills, but also my soft skills because consulting was truly about understanding my clients’ needs and working with my team to provide the best solutions. I then joined Ivy Labs Education in Beijing as an Education Consultant, where I further honed my communication and leadership skills through providing consultations to different families with diverse backgrounds and values, and organising forums throughout major cities in China. Even though I enjoyed what I was doing, I wanted to become a better leader, especially in management. Therefore, I decided to pursue an MBA degree.

I joined HKU MBA because I believe that this programme is the portal to propelling my career to the next stage, and for three main reasons. First, HKU’s wide network can connect me to more opportunities in Hong Kong. Second, the HKU Career Office’s professionalism will also aid me to fully use these resources. Finally, I will also have the opportunity to take classes at LBS, which will definitely be an invaluable experience for me.

Prajnananda Kusuma
  • NamePrajnananda Kusuma
  • NationalityIndonesia
  • BatchClass of 2018

Prajnananda Kusuma

Preparing our MBAs to reach their career goals and objectives is one of the mandates of the  HKU MBA. Both Praj and Zach shared a similar professional background in consulting and they told us that the career services at HKU MBA had provided them with a foundation of understanding about different industry expectations and their career journeys. Having their time packed with different career services activities such as the mentorship programme, company visits, career takes and even case competitions opened up  a lot more possibilities for them. 

Learning in class also plays an important role during the intensive 14-month journey.  They worked on strategy, in teams and on common goals and professors provided spot on feedback on assignments, both to individuals and groups, for our MBAs to continue their development.

Suyanee Attawuttinun
  • NameSuyanee Attawuttinun
  • NationalityThailand
  • BatchClass of 2018

I graduated with a bachelor's degree, majoring in Finance and a minor in Real Estate Business from Thammasat University in Thailand. After graduating, I joined Unilever Thailand in the Finance Division (Marketing Partner).
While I was with Unilever, I  worked not only within the finance function but also with cross-functional teams such as the Brand Building Marketing, Channel Marketing and Supply Chain teams, and this experience made me more interested in overall organisation approach.
To understand more about its business, I would like to improve my knowledge of other business areas. In September last year, I went to the HKU MBA information session in Bangkok. What I did there helped me understand more about the programme. HKU MBA offers extensive coverage of the business environment in Asia and provides opportunities at the global level through its partner universities, LBS and CBS. Not only does HKU MBA design its courses for students to learn different core drivers in business, the programme also prepares a wide range of workshops, organised by its career services team, that support students in their next career journey. This is the programme that I strongly associated with my aspiration, hence I focused solely in getting into HKU MBA.

Amanda Gan
  • NameAmanda Gan
  • NationalityMalaysia
  • BatchClass of 2018

After graduating with Honours in Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, I decided to return home to Kuala Lumpur. There, I worked with Samsung Electronics for 3 years, after a short but rewarding internship with PwC. With a background in science, I always felt I needed to increase my business acumen to widen my horizons and to stay competitive. Since joining this MBA programme, I have gained much more than just textbook knowledge, through the case-based teaching approach that lecturers adopt and also through the non-academic activities students are constantly being involved in. However the most rewarding experience for me personally is the opportunity to interact with bright individuals from immensely diverse backgrounds, cultures and nationalities.

Working with HK Tramways in a live project, gives me a chance to put what I have learnt into practice, by contributing to the solution of a real-world business problem. The Women in Leadership club is also a great venue where I can expand on my networks and collaborate with remarkable professionals on events and activities. I am also making the most out of the mentorship programme arranged by the Career Services office, which are always eager to provide support and career-related advice when required.

I am excited at progressing through the rest of this MBA programme, and in anticipating what awaits all of us in the next step of our journeys towards success.