Getting a seat at the C-suite table with the HKUST MBA

Born, raised, and educated in Hong Kong with an impressive career in HR, Catherine Chow wants a seat at the C-suite table. She realized that she needed an MBA to help her get there. She told us how the HKUST MBA has started her on this journey, but not without teaching her a few things about pushing her own limits. She also shared some advice for choosing the right MBA.

In short

Getting to the C-suite table

With an established career in HR, Catherine realized that she really wanted to “have a seat at the C-suite table.” (00:29) With female representation in the boardroom still below par, she knew she could make a difference. Hong Kong’s top female financiers recently stated that gender diversity is critical to good business. Therefore, more should be done to promote women.

However, moving to the C-suite required Catherine to advance her business knowledge and acumen. She thought, “there is no better way to do so than through an MBA course.” (00:41The MBA degree is known as a proven accelerator for a step up the career ladder. In choosing HKUST Business School, Catherine knew she could become part of the average of 78% of students who switched job functions after completing their MBAs at the school.

The intensity of the Management Consulting course in the HKUST MBA

Catherine was ready to be challenged when joining the HKUST MBA. The Management Consulting course showed her just how much she would need to stretch herself and push her own limits. 

In the first lesson, the Professor told the students that it would be a very difficult course that comes with “tons of workload.” (00:59) And tons of workload it was. “It was very tough. Throughout the last month [of the course] I only slept four to six hours on average every day just to get the homework done,” Catherine says. (01:10

This should come as no surprise if you look at what the Management Consulting course entails. Students need to master key consulting skills after which they conduct a real-world consulting project. They need to work out several scenarios for solving real problems by using thinking, communication, project management, and research skills. To ensure that the course reflects the consulting world as much as possible, it is always taught by HKUST faculty with consulting experience and most project problems are presented by real-life companies based in Hong Kong or abroad.

Catherine says it was all worth it. She learned not just about the skills of being a consultant but also how to think, how to make decisions, and how to justify her opinions. Her MBA experience helped her master soft skills that will help her to become more influential and impactful. “In taking this course… not only helped us to learn how to present good content but also how to present ourselves,” she confirms. (02:04

The power of an MBA

Catherine “would always recommend people to take on…an MBA Program.” (02:14

However, for her, it is so much more than just learning something and getting a nice certification on your CV. She is adamant that you need to put in the effort to reap the rewards. 

The HKUST MBA program offered her “something different.” (02:29) It gave her the professional knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to advance in her career but it also helped her to develop much faster. 

“If you really want to equip yourself to be a great leader, I recommend you to sign up for the course today,” Catherine urges. (02:52) Catherine did just that and seems set to use it to make it to that C-suite table. 

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