As an entrepreneur, Eric Yung, chief executive of software provider Playnote, had two specific objectives when signing up for the MBA programme at HKUST. The first was to acquire the hard skills needed to run a successful enterprise, such as accountancy, finance, strategic planning and marketing. The second was to learn how to manage and think like a leader, in order to find better ways of working, offer clear direction and create new sources of revenue. "These skills are important because they allow me to plan a roadmap for the company's future," he says. "The curriculum at HKUST gave me a full understanding of how to operate a business and how to present ideas to investors and customers in the most effective and professional way." Yung credits the MBA for teaching him how to assess situations more quickly and approach decision-making more flexibly. That has made it easier for him to anticipate and avoid problems with solutions that look to the future. He says that the modules he studied on venture capital and new product development are invaluable for those with plans of starting a business from scratch. Others, such as the course on mergers and acquisitions, show the potential options an ambitious start-up can contemplate as it looks to the future. "I now have much better vision. I understand what other people need and why," Yung says. His MBA has also opened a lot of doors for his company. Classmates and alumni help to spread the word while being potential future customers. He is also in a position to receive concrete advice on strategy, refinements and future expansion from individuals in his network. "As an ambassador for the MBA programme, I also have the chance to meet each year's newcomers and, in that way, get to understand their mindset," Yung says. "That really helps me in managing younger staff who are part of the next generation."