MBA life - Strong alumni network of CUMBA
Angus Wong, 32, is in his second year in the Chinese University of Hong Kong's MBA program (CUMBA). Previously a consultant, Wong is looking to go into private equities or venture capital. After talking to professionals, many of whom are CUMBA alumni, at events organized by the school, he decided on the direction of his career path.
Can you introduce yourself?
I studied electric & electronic engineering in my undergraduate. After graduation, I worked as a consultant and project manager at the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. Since last year, I’ve been studying at CUMBA. I decided to do an MBA because I wanted exposure to something new. Now I’m approaching the end of my time at CUMBA and am doing an internship at Ernst and Young Transaction Advisory Services where I am able to combine my previous experience as a consultant and what I’ve learned at CUMBA — finance and accounting. I will be joining UCLA as an exchange student for the fall semester.
Why did you choose CUMBA?
CUMBA is reputable in the region with the largest alumni network in Hong Kong. It also provides a balanced curriculum which covers different aspects of modern business.
Can you give us an example of how the students benefit from the alumni network?
As the alumni coordinator of the Student Association, when we hold events and activities, my job is to relay the information to alumni and recruit participants. For example, when I was working as the president of the CUMBA Corporate Social Responsibility Conference this May, we sent invitations to alumni along with survey requests to learn how people look at corporate social responsibility. We received very encouraging responses. Hundreds replied in order to help current students hold a successful event and the Japan earthquake relief campaign to which we made a donation per response we received.
The alumni network is also a huge advantage to students looking for jobs. Our alumni, many of whom are well accomplished in Hong Kong, would just pick up the CUMBA student resume book when they’re recruiting. This is a huge advantage when we come to seek internships and even full-time opportunities.
What is your plan after completing the MBA?
I am looking forward to opportunities in the areas of private equity or venture capital.
Did you develop this interest while studying for the MBA?
I was able to develop a concrete career direction during my time here, talking to people in different fields. Outside the curriculum, there are so many activities: seminars, workshops, networking sessions, etc., where you just reach out and talk to people. That’s where you understand what people are truly doing — what IB’s all about, what kind of field private equity or venture capital is.
I heard that there’s a mentorship program at CUMBA, who is your mentor?
My mentor is a management director of Citicorp China Investment Management. When we first met at a lunch, we discovered that we shared many other areas of interests such as current news and political situations besides our careers. I appreciate very much his unique view about China and Hong Kong. I think it is nice to have a chance to exchange ideas with people at that seniority and to understand how they see the world.
What is the biggest strength of the CUMBA?
It is difficult to name one strength since CUMBA is quite a balanced program. The school is not focused on one single area, but offers well-developed curriculum in many fields. This is great since you may start out an MBA thinking you want to study finance, but end up wanting to do marketing or be an entrepreneur. Students of diverse interests also enriched my experience at CUMBA.
What is the toughest part about the school?
The class schedule is rather tight. Some classes are scheduled on Saturday and we have to take two sessions back to back on one day, which may not be the best arrangement.
Interview by Lee Sun-kyo