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3 Ways An MBA Provides A Career Boost For Women In Leadership

An MBA degree can offer the knowledge, skills, and experiences to provide a vital career boost for women in business from a variety of backgrounds


Mon Mar 4 2024

Each year ambitious women apply to MBA programs in order to enhance their knowledge and take the next steps in their careers. According to the Forte Foundation, female MBA enrollment hit a new high in 2023, rising to 42%—up by around 10% over the last decade. 

Gender diversity within the MBA classroom is therefore increasing at many of the world’s top schools. 

At Hong Kong University (HKU) Business School, the MBA cohort comprises 47% female students. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, including young professionals looking to get ahead in their careers, experienced technical experts aiming to diversify their skillsets, and mothers seeking to balance family life with a career in business. 

All bring challenges to the classroom they plan to overcome via an MBA. So how exactly does an MBA provide a career boost for women in leadership? 

1. Broaden your knowledge base

The value of an MBA extends beyond just what you learn in class, however developing an understanding of business fundamentals is at the core of the MBA experience. 

Modules covering topics ranging from competitive strategy to managing digital innovation ensure you graduate with a well-rounded business acumen, prepared for the challenges of a management career. 

For Disha Kataria, this was a key reason for deciding to enroll in the HKU MBA in 2023. An experienced medical professional with several years of experience in dentistry, she felt an MBA would help bridge the gap between her extensive technical expertise and a lack of managerial experience in the business side of the medical industry. 

Currently midway through her studies, the wide range of modules she has been able to take, including electives in areas such as analytics, have allowed Disha to take the next step in transforming her career. Today, she is undertaking a marketing and strategy internship with the Hong Kong office of a leading multinational corporation in the medical device industry. 

2. Gain career opportunities

Disha is just one of many women in business who have leveraged the knowledge they have gained during an MBA to take new steps in their careers. 

The MBA ecosystem provides a strong platform within which to do this, with the opportunity to leverage extensive career support including mentoring, one-to-one coaching, company visits, and leadership talks—all hosted via a business school's career services. 

Within the HKU MBA, the career services are tailored to assist each individual student based on their professional background and aspiration. With around 35% of the career staff being women, this provides an environment where female students feel comfortable, understood, and supported, says Mercy Liu, assistant director of marketing and admissions for HKU MBA programs. 

“Women may understand the hurdles of our female students a little bit more and they may feel more at ease to talk about certain topics, including challenges in balancing their drive in career progression and personal life during the MBA as well as in business” she explains. 

The extensive support that an MBA offers means students such as Disha can unlock new career opportunities. Many undertake internships with partner companies offering the chance to gain insights into their target industries. 

Serina Suzuki enrolled in the HKU MBA in 2021 to gain career opportunities with top multinationals. She embarked on three internships across the consulting and financial sectors during her studies, culminating with an offer to join JP Morgan as a summer associate. She was later able to turn this opportunity into a full-time offer. 

“During the application process the HKU MBA career team was a really great help, from the interview preparation to landing the opportunity,” she says. 

3. Enhance your mindset and recognize your potential 

While the MBA’s combination of theoretical business knowledge and practical experiences can help you seize new career opportunities, equally important is the impact that studying can have in developing your mindset. 

For many ambitious women, enrolling means gaining exposure to role models and the chance to learn from inspiring women in business during guest lectures and networking sessions. 

HKU MBAs gain the opportunity to hear from the likes of Cindy Chow, executive director and CEO of the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Hong Kong Fund, and June Wong, CEO of Value Partners Group. 

Such opportunities encourage you to reflect on your own personal journey in business. Paired with her internships, where she gained an in-depth look insight into different industries, these experiences helped Serina shift towards a lifelong learning mindset. 

She feels the MBA program helped her gain a diverse outlook and adopt a long term vision of her career potential. “Be true to yourself and listen to your own voice, and be fully accountable for what is to come,” she says. 

For women in business, enrolling in an MBA can provide the knowledge and experience to help you understand your career potential. And, with a mixture of extensive in-class learning and diverse extracurricular opportunities on offer, an MBA can provide you with the tools to boost your career and make the most of your potential.  

Student Reviews

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) - MBA Programmes HKU Business School




On Campus


Very good academic, caes course amazing, ccs are all amazing, professors are excellent, the architecture and infrastructure is splendid, people here are awesome, made some really nice friends, and teachers support us




On Campus

Diversified culture

I highly recommend The University of Hong Kong to students all around the world because of their diversified culture, teaching standards, and the people which make the learning experience better every day.




A place where you best understand local and international cultures

With plenty of experiences available, HKU provides a plenty of experience for me to explore our own and other countries culture. She has excellent teaching and research staffs in the Department of Ecology and Biodiversity. Time allocate to students are considered sufficient and staffs are ready to reach anytime. Besides academic, she has various subsidised programmes that allow students to explore. This credit should be given to GenEd (general education) Office to provide different interesting programmes. These ranged from guest speaker giving talks on China-Hong Kong relationship; Contemporary art in Asia; or holding mini forum on geopolitics. Most, if not all, of which are free of charge!




Life at HKU

Pursued the SHS degree at HKU, academic and clinical staff members were very devoted and passionate. The academic program is under constant reviews, staff members are open minded and willing to modify the program with regards to students' opinions. Career prospect is good. Uni life is fruitful, many different activities for students to choose. Great facilities supporting learning.




Student Life in HKU

As an Accounting and Finance year3 undergrad student in HKU, the university provides lots of opportunities for me to learn and explore my interests. You could join a wide variety of activities, like being an committee member of societies and joining hall activities. As for me, I chose to join the winter exchange programme, be a committee member, and did volunteering servic and had latrine construction and volunteer teaching in Ghana, Africa. I also organized lots of activities for societies and had lots of meetings with company representatives. As for school work, it is okay normally but definitely u got a lot busier during November and April. You got a lot more free time compared to CUHK and HKUST. And of course, this is considered as the most ‘international’ uni in HK in a way that I could make friends coming from different countries. Just wanna add, HKU has a good location for foodie as its near Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. For those who love night lifes dont miss this. I didnt speak of anything i dislike coz there isnt anything i dislike much, but if I do have to say, it is the hall life of many local students, such as having cheers at night and never sleeps that may disturb others.






I think it’s a great university that gives you a lot of opportunities in terms of academics as well as extracurricular activities. The education system is fairly westernized and the professors are good for the most part.




International, stratified and political

Adequate resources and very convenient campus with sufficient channels to expand your social and professional circle. Also politically active, and perhaps too biasedly so. Its law school is firmly established, with the longest history in Hong Kong. Practical and professional training, with a constant atmosphere of anxiety and competition that encourages a relatively focused and narrow vision of career outlook. Good range of extra curricular activities available.




Life in HKU

HKU provides students with lots of opportunities in multidisciplinary researches and experiences. This encourages students to widen their horizons and prepare for the future. The programme I attended organised both local and oversea field trips that allowed me to have the first hand experiences of relative aspects. It was very useful for my later career.





I am a graduate of the BSocSc programme several years ago. I appreciate that the programme provided a flexible choice of majors and minors. Even I was admitted into social sciences programme, I could explore various streams of studies in and out of the social sciences faculty, including global studies, human resources, politics, science and music. I did a double major in psychology and sociology. Among all learning experiences in lectures, tutorials, field trips…, I would say the internship experience was one of the most memorable part of my university life. The faculty offers a credit-bearing internship programme in which students can go to various NGOs to work on social issues, ranging from poverty, education to adjustment of ethnic minorities. Students can be placed locally or overseas, depending on placement quota, their personal preference and past experience. I went to a social service agency that serves adults who are intellectually challenged and have autism spectrum disorder. It was an eye-opening experience in observing how different professionals work together to provide training for those people and reflecting on how psychological knowledge could come into play. I was also able to gain some hands-on experience in leading an activity. There are more and more internship opportunities for university students. It is just another way to gain practical experience apart from applying for interns in government agencies or business companies, especially in organisations that would not openly recruit interns but only work with tertiary institutions. It should be noted that for some majors/courses, there are really a lot of people studying. When I was an undergraduate back then, we often expected a lecture with 100+ students and a tutorial with nearly 20 students. If you favour close student-teacher interaction in small classes, you may look into the enrolment of particular courses.