80-to-85% of MBA grads from Hong Kong’s CUHK Business School land jobs in Asia each year. Over 1,000 CUHK MBA alumni work in China.
Michael Czoske joined CUHK with experience working for engineering companies across the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He was looking for a career change.
CUHK’s 16-month full-time MBA – the longest-established MBA program in Asia – offered him the opportunity to reflect on his future career path and develop his knowledge of the Chinese market.
Through his CUHK MBA experience, he’s faced fresh challenges, honed a new language, and immersed himself in new experiences. On a class trip to Shanghai and Nanjing in mainland China he visited local companies and networked with leading execs.
He now hopes to take his skills into a new role with a multinational corporation working in China.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
After six years of working in different positions, I just felt I wanted to make a major change. I decided to pursue an international MBA not only for the typical reasons such as career opportunities or the acquisition of managerial skills, but also to see new places, different cultures, and to build up a global network and friendships during that time.
The MBA in that sense would give me the chance to both take a break to reflect on what I had done till that point and, eventually, refocus myself based on the new experiences and impressions I would gain.
What stood out about CUHK?
CUHK has a focus on Chinese and Asian business and a strong alumni network in those regions. CUHK also emphasized its entrepreneurship concentration which differentiated it from other schools. The time between my initial application to interview was only a few days, and the following processes concerning my visa and further documents was well supported by the MBA office.
What advice would you offer anyone considering an MBA?
I think that the clearer you are about your objectives to pursue an MBA, the more rewarding any program will be.
An MBA is a big investment of time and money, so take your time to get a feeling for the universities and programs you are interested in. Reach out and contact people, MBA staff and current students, and ask questions. The better you understand the study environment and the type of people studying in those programs, the more able you are to pick a program that’s right for you.
What are your plans for the future?
Ideally, I’ll soon be working within a multinational corporation that operates in Asia, aiming to expand its business. Having an engineering background, I find future-oriented, technology-heavy industries and companies extremely interesting, in renewable energies, e-mobility or life sciences.
However, one thing I have learned during my MBA studies is to keep a certain degree of flexibility – so I won’t rule out other opportunities that come along the way.
How has your CUHK MBA experience helped prepare you for a career in China?
The recent CUHK field trip brought me to China, to Shanghai and Nanjing. We visited several companies of different industries and had lectures at local, well-known universities, covering contemporary issues such as changes in HR management in China.
While there, we had to build teams and choose one of the companies we visited to analyze its position in the market and upcoming strategic challenges. These activities allowed us to develop great insight into different industries and their particular challenges and opportunities in China.
CUHK also offered me support right from the beginning when it came to acquiring more Chinese language skills – crucial to eventually working in mainland China.