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How An MBA In Asia Kick-Started My Career In Digital Strategy & Behavioral Analytics

Nico Eggert switched industry and location following an MBA experience at Hong Kong’s HKUST Business School


By  Robert Klecha

Wed Dec 27 2017

When he decided to pursue an MBA, Nico Eggert saw a move to Asia as a way to shake things up. Working in banking in Europe, as a VP in Commerzbank’s capital markets division in Frankfurt, Germany he felt a change of region would help develop his career.

Hong Kong was his first choice as it offered both a large job market and an easier transition for foreigners not fluent in the local languages. After investigating the schools in the region, Hong Kong’s HKUST Business School was the one that best matched his ambitions.

During his degree, an internship at insurance firm MetLife in Sydney, Australia, proved the perfect testing ground for the next stage of his career. It was exactly the kind of practical opportunity that he was looking for when he joined HKUST’s full-time MBA—ranked number one in Asia six times in the last eight years.

Nico went from an internship to a full-time job—he now works as MetLife’s director of digital strategy, driving digital change initiatives and exploring behavioral analytics, based in New York.

BusinessBecause caught up with Nico to find out more.

How important are digital skills in today’s work environment?

Understanding behavioral analytics is the biggest thing being thrown around right now. You need a base level of analytical skills, understanding how things work, and trends. I think it’s important to know how people interact with new digital channels in the insurance industry.

My role is all about keeping user experience up to date. You have to understand why and how people use these things; where things are now and where things are likely to shift. A general understanding of people and technology is key.

How have you profited from your MBA experience?

I was fortunate in that in my first job with the company, I faced challenges that were similar to what I did on the MBA. It was as if the job was written for an MBA grad and everything that I’d learned on the course was helpful.

I also found the network really useful. I had to reach out to health and wellness startups in Asia, so I could utilize the MBA network for this. The HKUST MBA opened my eyes to networking to create new opportunities. I’m thinking about my career much more proactively now. Before school I had a laissez-faire approach, but now I have a spreadsheet and reminders to reach out. I’m a lot more conscious about these things.

Why was the MBA internship important?

I had the opportunity to move to a different arm of the finance industry and visit and work in a country I’d never been to. What it really allowed me to do was evaluate a company I wanted to work for. Getting this experience, allowed me to decide if this was where I’d spend the next phase of my career.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at HKUST?

There are a number of MBA programs in Asia, but only HKUST had a broader appeal for me. The electives on the course, particularly around finance, were really strong. The school performed well in the rankings and the MBA class size—at around 100 students and with a high diversity—was important too. I thought this would allow me to make personal relationships with everyone in the class.

What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?

Do your research and reach out to alumni—people are always happy to offer advice. An MBA is a big time and money investment so you want to make sure you get the school that’s a good option for you. If you want to do an MBA and get into finance as a Westerner in Asia, HKUST Business School maximizes that opportunity.

Student Reviews

HKUST Business School




On Campus

Excellent Supporting Staff

HKUST campus is a very scenic place. However, the best part of the university is the professors and administrators. I have had numerous instances where I have approached them outside their office hours and asked them for help. I have always received full support, and they have helped me escape some very tricky situations. I will miss the faculty and especially the UG Hall 5 Residence Master. I am grateful for his help during my undergraduate program. I will recommend people choose HKUST for their bachelor, master, or Ph.D. studies. Do experience the hall life and you will never regret it.




On Campus

Stressful university

Vibe Students in HKUST is really competitive, they study really hard. Environment Nice sea view and modern campus Teaching Many professors are from mainland, whose accent are difficult to understand sometimes. Harsh grading from most of the professors from my department Opportunities HKUST provides many opportunities and guidance for students on careers and extracurricular activities




On Campus

Hard working and motivational

Major selection activities are very competitive. 1st/2nd year students work hard to get into popular majors they want. If you enjoy working in a competitive environment, this is a great place. Great ocean view with sports facilities and activities ready for you. Many programmes and social clubs available to boost your cv, learn practical skills for future jobs and interviews.





Good for academics but not that good for student life

Professors and teaching staffs definitely know what they are teaching and have strong knowledge in their discipline; Academics can be quite tough and stressful for students as everyone works very hard and course grades are rather competitive; Student societies exist but are not extensive. Activities are also mostly non-existent.