Charles Wang has ambitions to build his own high-tech business empire. He is an MBA student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) who is going global on his exchange year in the US.
Previously, Charles worked in the business innovation department for Samsung in Beijing, progressing swiftly from supervisor to assistant manager.
Eager to learn about business from an international perspective, the elected president of the CUHK MBA student association is currently experiencing his first taste of western culture at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
Studying an MBA was a critical component of my career development plan.
Several years of work experience at Samsung taught me a great deal, but I realized that I needed to sharpen my cross-functional management skills and gain more international experience. I needed a broader, global perspective on business and management, and to develop meaningful business relationships.
What are your career plans?
My long-term career aspiration is to establish my business empire in [the] high-tech industry. I want to provide high-tech devices and applications to young people to help [them] improve their work efficiency and quality of life.
Why did you choose to study at CUHK in particular?
Hong Kong is the world’s gateway to China and from China, a portal to the world. Situated in one of the world’s financial capitals and most open and prosperous economies, CUHK offers unparalleled career opportunities.
It’s Asia’s longest-established MBA program and has a strong reputation for providing a rigorous intellectual experience in which its students gain a solid foundation in business concepts and develop the analytical skills to apply them.
What was the hardest thing about the MBA application process?
Maintaining a balance between the application and work.
I needed to work effectively and efficiently in the day while keeping a high level of energy for the application process and preparing for interviews in the evening. It was tough but rewarding.
How does your experience at CUHK in Hong Kong compare with your experience as an exchange student at UT Austin in the US?
Hong Kong is the confluence of Chinese and western culture. In one street, you can find traditional Chinese buildings and dim sum restaurants while in another you’ll see skyscrapers and fast-food chains. CUHK is the same; you can enjoy traditional Chinese culture while experiencing a modern western business education.
US culture is totally western. People are more directly focused on personal desire. Everyone has a car. Communication and social networking are more important for success. The best way to get to know your classmates is at a party!
On football game day at UT Austin, the whole city went mad. Almost 100,000 people came to campus… and cheered for our “Longhorns” team.
How have you profited from your experience studying for an MBA so far?
I have learned to view business issues from different angles. After analyzing, discussing and proposing solutions to different business problems from real-life companies, I believe that I am becoming an effective problem-solver and decision-maker.
I’ve met numerous classmates from different industries and backgrounds and have learnt a lot about running a business from a global perspective.