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How My MBA Got Me A Job At A Multinational Company In Hong Kong

Prajjwal Singh knows what it's like being on the outside looking in. After working as a supplier for a major insurance brand pre-MBA, he got a job at the company itself after graduation

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Fri Jun 21 2019

BusinessBecause
Lots of us feel at some point in our careers that we’re on the outside looking in.

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For Prajjwal Singh, this was how he felt working as an IT manager at Tata Consultancy Services in Asia.

Though he’d succeeded in relocating from India to Hong Kong and was working on IT management processes for the international insurance giant AXA, he couldn’t help but feel that he didn’t want to just supply services to the company—he wanted to be in on the action.

To achieve this, he decided to do an MBA at CUHK Business School in Hong Kong. We caught up with Prajjwal to find out why he made this choice, and how he sees his future looking with the MBA behind him.


What made you decide to study an MBA when you did?

Having a management degree had been part of my goals since I completed my undergraduate degree in computer science back in 2011.

However, I was also aware that in order to reap the true benefits of a management degree, you need to have a good [amount of] experience in work, so it was only in 2016 that I decided to give up my role in Hong Kong to further my education with an MBA.

Why did you choose CUHK Business School?

I’d been evaluating the best colleges and locations to pursue my postgraduate degree, focusing not only on the rankings and reputation, but also the geographical location and global conditions.

If you take everything into account, Hong Kong is definitely one of the best locations to go for your postgraduate degree.

I decided to do an MBA at CUHK [specifically] because of its reputation, ranking, top-notch professors, and fast-track one-year format.

The quality [of investment] for non-local grads [was important]—I did not want to take any chances in countries where conditions are not good enough for fresh graduates to establish careers after an MBA.

How did it measure up to your expectations?

I think doing a fast-track MBA course is full of surprises—whether you like it or not, you have to digest the information and move on with full focus on your course.

How much CUHK would offer you in one year is truly remarkable—there were speaker events, networking events, alumni catch-ups, dinners, recruitment talks, wonderful opportunities to participate in Hong Kong Fintech Association events—[even] a sports championship! The list never stops.

This is in addition to regular courses—reflecting back, I still can’t believe this was all done in one year.



How has the MBA helped you achieve your goals?

I am where I want to be. I hadn’t really enjoyed handling IT-related work, and my tenure at TCS reinforced that I’m looking for a management-type role.

Let’s put it in perspective: before my MBA, I was working as a third-party vendor in Hong Kong, and my client was AXA. Post-MBA, I’m working as a business project manager, which is definitely a big jump in my career path.

What does the future look like for you?

My future prospects are looking good, [especially] considering the insurance industry outlook in Asia.

Companies are now ready to make huge investments to transform the way that traditional insurance companies operate.

I can see that over the next five years there will be huge resource demand in the insurance industry led by business transformation and legacy systems replacement—as an MBA grad, I wanted to be part of this.

What’s your advice to aspiring MBAs about how to make the most of these opportunities?

What I would suggest future students do is to keep exploring the market. If you have decided to come to Hong Kong, start from the day you begin your course and do not get stuck on one specific industry or job.

Everyone should have an open mind and keep exploring where the major innovations are going to happen—if you’re willing to take risks, you will gain a greater return from it.

Life in Hong Kong can be challenging, but considering the growth opportunities in Asia, the CUHK one-year MBA course is highly recommended to prepare yourself for future roles.

Student Reviews

CUHK MBA

Student

Verified

23/09/2022

Blended

One of a kind

I studied Bioinformatics at CUHK last year. It was the only Master's degree in Hong Kong in this field. This program developed my analytical skills and equipped me to be a Bioinformatician in a very practical way. I enjoyed my year here and met classmates from different parts of the world. If you are thinking to enhance your profile, this degree program would be a good option.

Student

Verified

19/11/2021

On Campus

general education courses, unique college system, large campus

The university facilitates multi-dimension and interdisciplinary learning. In social science faculty, we need to choose courses as our faculty package from other departments (architecture, psychology, sociology, etc.) to learn more than our major required courses. We are also required to finish general education courses, which aid our critical thinking and humanistic sensibilities. I do recommend the social science broad-based program, and the professors I met so far are all responsible and erudite.

Student

Verified

28/10/2017

LLM

The faculty of law is relatively new. You do not need to have a LLB to pursue a LLM, which is special. The taught programme is great for mature students who want to obtain legal knowledge. CUHK has good teaching staff too.

Student

Verified

20/10/2017

Amazing Campus and Great Educational Environment

Not only is CUHK's main campus breathtaking, it provides for a good educational environment for students. The university is well-equipped with modern and up-to-date facilities to help students with their study. We have 8 libraries in total around the campus; one for media, one for architectural studies, the medical library and the law library. The Professors are always helpful and are happy to talk to students when needed. Moreover, the college system within the university brings forth the uniqueness of CUHK. Each student belongs to a different college, and in that students are able to meet different peoples from different countries and students from different faculties. I think CUHK provides for a well-rounded university life for all students.

Student

Verified

17/10/2017

exthrillating

One of the most down to earth places in HK. A great opportunity to learn and embody the local culture. Also had one the most beautiful campus in Hong Kong up on the hillside. Glad to have graduated here.

Student

Verified

5/10/2017

Innovative and Supportive

My university provided me with all the support I needed, and encouraged me to be up to date with all the new developments in the world. They also provided me with the incentive to excel at what I do, and they take much pride in my achievements. I have had a very rewarding university experience.

Student

Verified

2/10/2017

Small, New But Friendly Law School

To being with, I think the campus of CUHK is the best and the biggest in Hong Kong, with fresh air and trees everywhere. I am an undergraduate Law student at CUHK and I think the teaching here is great, with very friendly and nice professors and the new Lee Shau Kee Building. In terms of the courses offered by CUHK, as one of the largest universities in Hong Kong, CUHK is an all-rounded university, offering a wide range of courses to students. Students may take the introductory courses of discipline other than their own major, or even declare a minor. For law electives, due to the small amount of intake, the variety of law electives are not that huge. However, the Faculty is offering some international programmes, which can be treated as law electives, but at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to travel and know more about the legal system of another country. The career support from the Faculty of Law is also amazing. The Faculty will organise CV Sessions and talks on how to get an internship from law firms or mini-pupillage from barrister's chambers. Each student will also have a Distinguished Professional Mentor, which is a current legal profession, providing us with practical advices and updates of the legal field. Finally, from my personal experience, I think the students in CUHK are friendly and genuine. As Law students, competition is inevitable for grades, GPAs, vacation schemes and training contract. However, I think the competition in CUHK Law School is a positive one, in a sense that help us grow together, instead of fighting with each other no matter what. That is the biggest reason why I am having a very good time here in CUHK Law School.

Student

Verified

30/09/2017

A place to explore your interests

As a law graduate from CUHK (both undergrad and post-grad), I realise that I had many opportunities to explore my areas of interests (legal and non-legal both). The faculty/university requires us to take a certain number of non-law electives, and offers a plethora of courses to choose from. Personally, I took 3 modules in Korean --I can't say it's made me highly proficient, but it's definitely given me a good foundation (I can walk into a Korean restaurant and confidently order food, at the very least). The fact that language courses are offered also provides students who are more financially constrained an opportunity to learn a language without having to shell out a premium for a decent language course. On top of that, we have a range of law electives as well. I know of classmates who have developed lasting interest in different areas of law because of the electives they took in school. The two electives that I would say have changed me is (i) mooting and (ii) family law. I think my experience in an international commercial arbitration moot competition has helped tremendously in formulating legal arguments and legal writing. On the other hand, taking a family law elective has made me very interested in the family law practice, especially in terms of child rights. For these experiences which I have gained, I'm grateful for the opportunities provided by the school. One main issue most students I know have is with the way our GPA is calculated and the lack of transparency in terms of how the honours system works. As our GPA is marked on a curve. it's highly unrepresentative of what we have achieved as individuals. Given that our GPA is the only criteria that is looked at when we apply for the compulsory post-graduate law course (mandatory should we want to practise law and/or be trainees in Hong Kong), it will put our own students at a distinct disadvantage when we compete for limited spaces with students from schools where GPA is not on a bell curve.

Student

Verified

27/06/2022

On Campus

Valuable time in CUHK

I like the learning environment and people at CUHK. Surrounded by hills and Tolo Harbour, CUHK provides a balance between nature and hustle. You can always escape from the busy study life and meet your friend around the big campus for different activities.

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