Partner Sites


Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

How I Completed The MBA Triple Jump To Launch My Dream Career In Finance

Luca Pozzan used an MBA in Hong Kong to make a career triple-jump—changing function, industry, and continent to launch his dream career in finance

SPONSORED BY

By  Bethany Garner

Wed Nov 25 2020

BusinessBecause

Italian native Luca Pozzan didn’t expect his work to take him half-way round the world, but after studying for an MBA at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), he completed the fabled MBA triple jump and launched a new career in finance. 

When Luca began his career in 2012, there were few opportunities available that really gripped him. He had just graduated from a Master’s degree in economics, and was looking for a role that would challenge him, while offering plenty of scope for advancement. He took up a job with a car dealership in Germany as an international purchaser, but soon realized it was not for him. He felt the itch to try something different. 

After speaking to friends in different industries, he found that a career in finance fitted his skills and interests perfectly.

“My friends in finance found it interesting and stimulating,” he explains. “And I recognized there were many great job opportunities.”

But to transition from the automotive sector to finance, he knew he would need to re-skill: that’s where an MBA came in.


Choosing an MBA in Hong Kong

When selecting the perfect MBA program, Luca knew he wanted to get outside his comfort zone. He considered business schools in London and mainland Europe, but decided that being so close to home would not offer the transformational experience he craved.

“I wanted to challenge myself at every possible level—not just educationally, but also in daily life,” he recalls. 

This realization led him to Hong Kong. The region offered a totally new culture and lifestyle to explore, as well as prestigious universities, and ample opportunities in its thriving finance sector. As well as being a fintech hub, home to eight virtual banks including WeLab, Hong Kong is strategically placed for professionals hoping to break into the financial sector in China, and Asia at large.

“In Asia, I think the finance industry is transforming,” Luca explains. “Traditional banking is in decline, and it’s vital that we look toward the digital future of banking.” 

Keen to study at a well-renowned school in the city, Luca settled on CUHK. Ranked in the world’s top 100 programs by the Financial Times the prestigious full-time MBA offered Luca the chance to undertake a Finance track, learning from global experts.


45912f5f55d8b13b25af955477a1f2feb9c564b7.jpg


Hong Kong Skyline, © Mstyslav Chernov, used under this license 


Gaining hands-on learning in the real world of finance

At CUHK, modules from Corporate Financial Reporting to Fintech Analytics helped Luca build a deep understanding of the sector—especially in Asia. Because he didn't have a background in finance, Luca opted to take the Finance concentration on offer, which would help him develop a strong knowledge base on which to build. “They laid the foundation for my career in finance,” he says. 

Later in the MBA program, he applied and built on this knowledge in a real-world setting through CUHK's Business Practicum.

During this experience, small teams of MBA students work with a Hong Kong company on a real business issue they are facing. Over the course of four months, Luca and his team supported the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund—a Hong Kong headquartered asset management firm, specializing in energy and infrastructure.

The team researched alternative investment exit strategies, offering recommendations for the company’s second fund.

“It was really fascinating to dive into some of the most pressing problems the financial services industry faces,” Luca reflects. 

Equipped with this hands-on experience, Luca landed his dream internship with banking group Intesa Sanpaolo when he graduated from the MBA, as a corporate banking intern. 

His cross-cultural experience in both Europe and Asia made him the ideal fit for the Hong Kong office of this Italian banking group.


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.