Launched in 1990, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's MBA in general management is the institution's oldest MBA programme. Victor Wong Kwai-ming, a member of the programme's 11th graduating class, will be one of 34 students to receive their degree at today's congregation. 'It will definitely help my career path in the future, especially in a top management role,' he says 'If I want to start my own business some day, it will also help.' A management information systems (MIS) manager at Tommy Hilfiger (HK), Mr Wong has a BSc in mathematical science from Hong Kong Baptist University and an MSc in computer science from the City University of Hong Kong. With a strong background in mathematics and computer science, he opted for PolyU's MBA in general management because he wanted a programme that focused exclusively on business. 'I didn't want something related to information technology,' he says. 'After working as an MIS manager, I needed to learn how to give some input on how to enhance the company's business operations with advanced IT. Managing a team is different from just operating a computer.' The programme aims to prepare managers and professionals to solve the management problems they face not only in Hong Kong but in the surrounding region. There is a general management focus in the first year, with courses in the management of people, markets, finance and information. Participants select from electives in the second year. Classes are generally held two evenings a week. The course expects to enrol 50 students in the coming academic year. 'I learnt a lot taking the MBA course,' Mr Wong says. 'It helped me to think the way top management thinks. And I acquired a better understanding of how top management makes decisions - why they want to do something a certain way. IT tends to be very straightforward. After taking the course, I became able to consider things from more angles.' Mr Wong learned from both his professors, whom he describes as 'very experienced', and his classmates. 'They came from various backgrounds - accounting, engineering, human resources and sales,' he says. 'The lecturers provided the theoretical background and my classmates provided a lot of practical examples.' Being able to interact with experienced professionals in various sectors was a real plus. 'With an IT background, I had no idea how a marketing campaign should be conducted,' says Mr Wong. 'But because one of my classmates works in marketing, we put together an interesting case study for the class. If I start my own business, what I learned about marketing will be useful.' For some, an MBA simply is not enough. Because Mr Wong thinks he may want to further his studies, the fact that PolyU offers a doctor of business administration (DBA) was a factor in his decision to do his MBA at the university. 'I think I might want to continue to study for a DBA. So I thought I would have an advantage if I got my MBA there.' Launched in 1996, PolyU's DBA has attracted some of Hong Kong's movers and shakers in both the private and public sectors. 'Many are Executive MBA holders from top universities in Hong Kong and around the world,' says Professor Judy Tsui, dean, faculty of business, and director of the Graduate School of Business.