Hong Kong has witnessed speedy changes in the past few decades, transforming into a global financial center whilst running alongside an upsurging global superpower.
A city of approximately 7 million people, Hong Kong is viewed as the gateway to China, a fusion of cutting-edge modernity and tradition. No other city in the world is as studded with skyscrapers, juxtaposed with rolling hills and the vast South China Sea.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School recognizes its location as a competitive advantage, creating innovative master’s courses that not only incorporate ideas at the frontier of business knowledge but also leverage the city's particular connections and characteristics.
BusinessBecause spoke to two master’s students at CUHK Business School to find out what it's like to study in one of the world's most dynamic cities.
Shih-Yu Chou, MSc in Finance
The Financial Times ranks CUHK's MSc in Finance as one of the world's top 50. The course's reputation, and Hong Kong's standing as a global financial hub drew Shih-Yu to the school.
Professors teaching on the course have in-depth knowledge of the industry, with around 40% of them working as senior executives in the financial sector. "In our class on capital markets, the professor shared a lot of experience from her professional career which was extremely useful and ensured that learning was never boring," Shih-Yu says.
She explains that with high-profile industry events organized around the city, networking opportunities are plentiful. For Shih-Yu, "getting in touch with professionals was easy, and most of them were very willing to share their experiences."
On average, over 80% of students taking the MSc in Finance degree are employed within three months of graduation, with 60% of them choosing to stay in Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong is a very fast paced, energetic city, and it's a very exciting place to be as a financial professional," Shih-Yu says. "It's full of people from around the world, which means that you can enjoy a very diverse cuisine. I discovered a tiny but beautiful French bistro in a little alley. But my favorite thing to do when I'm stressed is to take a walk along the coast.”
Thasit Kulvaranon, MSc in Marketing
Thasit completed his undergraduate degree in engineering, before deciding that business-oriented and creative roles were more aligned with his interests. "I wanted to work in this region, and felt that Hong Kong would offer the perfect transition from the US to Asia," Thasit explains.
For Thasit, CUHK’s MSc in Marketing was neatly tailored for students to excel in practical roles after the degree. He now works at the intersection of supply chains, logistics, and technology. "The content is really applicable to my job," he says, "especially the big data elements of the course." Thasit observes that such contemporary knowledge brings new ideas to a company that may be unfamiliar with latest developments in the marketing space.
A collaboration between CUHK and IBM culminated in a 'marketing engineering laboratory' at the school—the first of its kind in the world. Combining resources for research and utilizing software licenses and cloud facilities, students are pushed to focus on big data in marketing decision-making processes.
Thasit explains that the school's close proximity to the Shenzhen district, one of China's most rapidly expanding urban centers and a significant catalyst for the country's staggering growth, presents multitudes of opportunities for students. Innovative and diverse potential employers are to be found in this zone.
Thasit describes Hong Kong as "a very interesting place" with its bustling metropolitan feel on one side and stunning natural scenery on the other. He says the city itself contributed to his learning experience at CUHK Business School.
With a city as vibrant, fast-paced, and innovative as Hong Kong, it comes as no surprise.