Name: Chung Yuan Lee, HKUST '15
Education: National University of Singapore, B.Eng. Electrical Engineering
Before MBA (work): Portfolio Control Analyst, The Capital Group in Singapore for 2 years; mixed roles in Portfolio Management & Business Management at UBS Wealth Management in Singapore for close to 5 years.
After MBA (work): Head of Corporate Development, Hubert Burda Media (Asia) in Hong Kong
Why did you pick HKUST?
Small & intimate class of high quality peers, Asian focus & location in HK, flexibility to switch between formats (12 vs 16 months, full vs part-time, with/without exchange).
Best part of the program?
The collaborative culture, supportive & tight-knit community of classmates & alumni. If I need help with a subject area I’m unfamiliar with or a networking referral, just a call / message does the trick. I travel a lot for work and being able to ring up a classmate or alum for coffee or dinner in almost all the cities I frequent is an invaluable “home base” to have.
Most surprising part of the program?
High diversity of classmates in terms of professional and personal backgrounds, in spite of small class size. In my class of 103 students, we had peers from 31 different nationalities & from all walks of life.
Room for improvement?
Career services & alumni engagement, although a lot of improvement has already been made in the last years e.g. I’m looking forward to trying out the latest pilot program that allows alumni to audit select classes as part of ongoing alumni education.
Did you plan to work in HK after? Was it difficult?
Yes I planned to work in HK after. It was difficult as I was seeking to enter a niche area of venture capital investing as my first choice and the market for that is very small and competitive. I've been very fortunate to find this opportunity. Hong Kong in general is an opaque job market where a lot of the opportunities are not made publicly known and graduate training programs are not commonplace - you need to hustle to get good roles!
How do most classmates find jobs - career services/alumni/other?
Networking through career office, alumni, industry contacts and personal relationships. Taking on consulting projects or part-time work during the MBA to build experience / expertise was particularly effective, especially for career switchers.
What should more applicants know about HKUST / Hong Kong business schools?
The strength of HKUST / Hong Kong business schools extends beyond the MBA. HKUST for example also has a strong undergraduate base especially in Engineering, programs in support for entrepreneurship and large university-wide alumni base that although is very strong in Hong Kong, is also scattered globally. As a place to live and work, there are very few global cities that can match the dynamicism and vibrancy of Hong Kong.
Feel free to get in touch on anything, be it in relation to the HKUST, MBA programs or questions on working and living in Asia. At HKUST I did the full-time, 16-month program with a fall semester exchange to Columbia Business School, New York. Prior to accepting, I also considered full/part-time programs at INSEAD, LBS, and University of Chicago Booth before deciding on HKUST.