Accessory to boost confidence
RIGHT AFTER receiving an MBA in Fashion Design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2002, Ruby Woo Mei-chun was offered a position as director of Far East sourcing at Jockey International, a prestigious underwear manufacturer in the United States.
'I accepted the offer, and now I am responsible for the Far East sourcing,' Ms Woo said. 'The value the MBA programme is bringing, paired with the strengthened network, makes me a confident supervisor to lead the team.'
After receiving a BA in business administration, Ms Woo worked in the accessories and apparel industry for more than 10 years. 'This industry-based niche makes it a unique MBA in the territory, catering to the needs of our industry,' she said.
Working for the third largest US retailer in 2000 as senior sourcing manager, Ms Woo had to keep up with market trends for a full spectrum of products. She developed and presented tailored product ranges to buyers, located suitable production facilities, formulated challenging but achievable sales forecasts, and operated budgets.
'I realised that strong planning, organising and prioritising skills were needed to meet the changing and demanding business environment,' she said. 'I expected to build a stronger marketing sense and business mind. Meanwhile, I also wanted to study with classmates a programme related to the business I was working in, so we could share and develop our competence, and apply our studies to the job. This is the reason I selected the MBA programme at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.'
And was it all worthwhile?
'Frankly speaking, I really enjoyed the two years of part-time studies, even though the assignments were very tough,' Ms Woo said. 'I met many smart managers over there, and it served as a platform for us to exchange views and insights. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and proficiency of my classmates. Now I understand how important it is to strengthen our business networks and communication skills.
'It is gratifying that we have also maintained a close network among all the MBA alumni.'