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My HKU MBA Got Me A Top Finance Internship In Hong Kong—Now I’m Using It To Switch Careers

Pranavi Kapur landed a stellar financial compliance internship at Duff & Phelps through the full-time MBA program at the University of Hong Kong. She’s using that experience to make a career change


Fri May 11 2018

Internships are often a key part of any MBA student’s career journey—a chance to try out new industries, build new business networks, and land new jobs.

Pranavi Kapur knows that better than most. A current MBA student at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), she landed an internship at global financial services firm Duff & Phelps in Hong Kong this year, supported by the school’s Career Development Office.

There, she’s helped drive the sales campaigns for the Asian arms of multinational corporations, and experienced working in one of the world’s leading financial services centers first-hand. Now armed with real-life experience, she’s ready to take the next step in her career and complete the switch from risk consulting in Gurgaon, India, to financial services in Hong Kong.

At HKU, she’s well-placed to do so. HKU’s Career Development Series sees professional career coaches advise students on-campus. Students are partnered with leading executives on the school’s mentorship scheme and, like Pranavi, connected with local internships and jobs.

The 14-month MBA program has been ranked Asia’s number one for eight consecutive years by The Economist, and this year came 13th in the world in the Financial Times’ Top MBAs for Finance ranking.

Out of the HKU MBA class of 2015 and 2016, 88% secured post-MBA jobs in Asia; 68% changed location; 55% changed industry; 60% changed role; a majority of 32% went into finance. The biggest hirers of HKU MBA grads include Amazon, PwC, Li & Fung, and HSBC.

BusinessBecause caught up with Pranavi to find out more.

How did the MBA internship at Duff & Phelps come about?

As soon as we joined the University of Hong Kong, we had personal meetings scheduled with the Career Development Office for them to understand our goals and aspirations for the MBA journey. Through these meetings, I got a clearer view of the Hong Kong market conditions and opportunities.

We also had many coaching sessions with experts and top senior management of various industries. Through one of these mentoring sessions, I was introduced to the management of Duff & Phelps and the opportunity of a potential internship came my way.

How have you profited from your MBA internship experience?

It’s been absolutely phenomenal! I started the internship thinking I would get to work behind-the-scenes but, within 15 days, I was taking client meetings and leading discussions with compliance managers and general counsels of asset management companies.

I was seconded to one of the biggest asset management companies in Asia where I got to assess their compliance procedures, lay out frameworks, and work on training the employees on industry best practices. I don’t think I would have got an opportunity to learn so much anywhere else.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at HKU?

I was working as a risk and compliance consultant in India before my MBA, with many multinationals and Fortune 500 companies across the globe. But I started feeling that I needed to get broader exposure, both to hone my management skills and to learn how global corporates think. The best next step for me was an MBA.

I was clear that I wanted to be in financial services, and Hong Kong is a leading financial center. When I started researching more about schools in Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong’s curriculum and ranking made me want to apply. Once I got admitted, talking to various alumni only strengthened my belief that HKU was the right fit for my next career step into finance.

How will your internship experience at HKU help you post-MBA?

When I started my MBA, I was looking at changing both my location and sector. Within only 11 months, I have been able to get a chance to try out both successfully.

Now that I have relevant experience of financial compliance in Hong Kong, this is my starting point of discussions with many potential employers. This has definitely helped me take the first big step towards my post-MBA goal.

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.