Go To Hong Kong to Complete Your MBA
So you have finished all your coursework for your MBA, but do you think you are done learning? Why not gain some hands-on experience to apply what you learned in the classroom? Several MBA programs offer just that: immersive programs to get a look at life in the industry. This is especially valuable for those graduates who are interested in working in the increasingly interconnected global arena. Asia is high-growth market and a major economic engine for the world. Why not study in the heart of it? Hong Kong is a perfect place to complete your MBA degree with its proximity and close ties to China.
Despite two summer internships during his studies, William Violet writes of his Hong Kong MBA immersion experience: “[T]rust me, if you haven’t done a Global Business Experience, your MBA is simply unfinished.” He was interested in learning more about private equity and spent an intensive week in Hong Kong learning from local business leaders and participating in workshops and panels. The program gave Violet the opportunity to see up close how the lessons learned in the classroom could be applied in real life and how they might differ from what he had learned. For example, the approach to private equity in Hong Kong differs from what he was taught about European or American markets. Violet mentions how regulation in Hong Kong also takes a different approach than Western regulation: “In 2012, the Hong Kong regulator suspended all new IPOs for Chinese companies. From a Western world perspective this would be a disastrous decision...But from Hong Kong's perspective, this can only improve the quality of the industry.”
Talking to local leaders in government and business can help students develop a nuanced understanding of the region’s social, cultural, and political climate; knowledge that could not be gained in the classroom or from a textbook. Participants must also research and present topical subjects during the week-long immersion, such as whether companies should list on the Hong Kong or London stock exchange. The knowledge these participants gain from the experience can be an asset in the eyes of future employers who are looking for people who can work in a multicultural context. Moreover, people who are exposed to different ways of thinking are more likely to be able to think outside the box, being creative and envisioning innovative ways of doing business.
Violet also valued the networking opportunities presented by his Hong Kong MBA experience. Through the program, he was able to meet local private equity professionals, and also connect with alumni and classmates from all over the world. Throughout the weeklong compressed schedule, participants are tested on their ability to work with strangers in an unfamiliar environment, pushing them out of their comfort zones. With a diverse group of participants, this can facilitate intercultural understanding and communication. Once out in the working world, the connections students developed in the program have the potential to develop into strong business relationships in the future.
The Global Business Experience is a program of the London School of Business, but there are several institutions around the world offering global immersion opportunities for MBAs. Several Hong Kong MBA programs have also partnered with other institutions around the world so their own students can gain a new perspective outside Hong Kong. If you want to do business in Asia, finishing your MBA education in Hong Kong could be a worthwhile investment.
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