Mei-mei Ng may have spent more than a decade helping build Microsoft's business development, retail marketing and licensing business in Asia-Pacific, but when she switched jobs to work in the not-for-profit sector a year ago, she felt she needed to strengthen her skills to deliver the best value to Hong Kong Education City, the new organisation of which she is executive director. Ms Ng is the first recipient of the Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA NPO Tuition Award, a scholarship which offers partial tuition for executives working in the not-for-profit sector, including non-profit, governmental and non-governmental organisations. What attracted her to the programme was the broad spectrum of participants from more than 20 industries. 'This wide exposure to industry knowledge means I can learn more from different sectors and from the experiences of the other executives ,' she said. 'It is like being able to tap into hundreds of years of work experience, so to speak, in just 16 months.' With 16 years of work experience, Ms Ng is looking forward to heading back to the classroom and approaching her studying in a vastly different manner. 'I may have studied some similar themes before... [but] now that I have the relevant work experience, I will be able to look at things from a different perspective and apply them to a real-life context,' said Ms Ng, who has an undergraduate degree in marketing and commerce. The software industry veteran made the decision to join Hong Kong Education City upon realising the importance and power of education. She first gained exposure to the education sector when working on Microsoft's marketing projects. 'In many ways, the not-for-profit sector is run in the same way as the commercial sector. We like to be agile, accountable for the resources we are given and operate efficiently. The only difference is that the commercial sector makes money, whereas our goal here is to fulfil our mission for the betterment of society,' she said. Hong Kong Education City, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hong Kong government, aims to improve education outcomes and the use of teaching and learning by providing teachers, students and parents with the resources, support and online platform necessary to facilitate the exchange of ideas, improve education resources and introduce new teaching methods. The programme initiated the Kellogg-HKUST MBA Tuition Award endowment, which was supported by Larry Franklin, an adjunct professor of finance, business law and management at the HKUST, who wanted to encourage more NPO leaders to secure high-level leadership development through the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA Programme. Using funds from his family foundation, Professor Franklin pledged HK$1.1million to establish the endowment, matching the contribution made by the university. There are plans to raise HK$2 million from alumni and faculty members as part of continuing efforts to give executives in the non-profit sector an opportunity to participate in the EMBA programme.