Melissa Pang landed a top MBA job at JP Morgan after graduating with an MBA from the UK’s Cass Business School in 2015. In less than a year, she resigned from her role to pursue her own venture.
She co-founded Birch Capital with a mission to support eco-tourism globally. Birch Capital's parent company is an investment firm directed at real estate and hospitality. A new arm of the business, Birch Capital is going eco-friendly; trying to integrate environmental projects within the hospitality and tourism industry.
Melissa worked in finance in New York and Singapore before relocating to the UK for Cass Business School’s full-time MBA – ranked the top one-year MBA program in London, and among the top 25 MBA programs for finance in the world by the Financial Times.
While Birch Capital is still in its infancy, Melissa has big ambitions. After the Cass MBA, she’s confident she’ll achieve them.
Where are you at right now with Birch Capital? What do you hope to achieve?
I spent my first six months trying to raise funds, negotiate for contracts and rally support from the business community as well as the government. Initially, traction was not as fast as I’d hoped but perseverance coupled with professional advice gave us the connections and resources needed to propel our business forward.
Since investing in our first project, we have received positive feedback and approvals which in turn generated more interest in our company. Going forward, we hope to create more awareness and interest in clean and green energy as well as promote eco-tourism.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at Cass?
Cass has a stellar reputation and an outstanding MBA program. Almost all the professors at Cass have key industry experience as well as a wealth of knowledge.
The Cass MBA ranked exceptionally well in strategy and finance. The school is situated right in the heart of London, so I knew I could live in a cosmopolitan area and have the chance to participate in many networking events to build relationships with speakers, school alumni, and recruiters.
What stands out from your MBA experience?
The strategy, finance, M&A and international electives were the best experiences for me. I enjoyed working with my respective teams in consultancy projects that attached us to companies and competing with other teams to determine who devised the best solutions in such projects. Being exposed to industry professionals and to their nature of work helped me gained incredible insights to the internal workings of entire businesses.
Another highlight was the consultancy week that we spent in Iceland where we got the opportunity to not only meet the Icelandic President but also scale the fiery Eyjafjallajökull volcano that grounded thousands of flights in 2010!
What have you gained?
The Cass MBA gave me wider perspectives that broadened my mind, nurtured my entrepreneurial spirit, and equipped me with not only the knowledge but also the courage to embrace change. During my MBA program, I participated in several international electives that allowed me to travel and meet people who not only inspired me but also assisted me to set up Birch Capital.