Student Stories


Making a career breakthrough – Davie Chen


Class of 2014 
Post-MBA: Product Manager, GlaxoSmithKline

Although I used to work as a marketer at Bausch & Lomb, a contact lens manufacturer, my academic and professional background was limited to the field of optometry.

HKUST MBA has transformed my career by giving me the confidence and skillset to step out of my comfort zone and take up a more challenging role at the top global pharmaceutical company in Hong Kong.

New opportunities and challenges

I got a new job at GlaxoSmithKline during the first year of my MBA. With a broad range of healthcare products under its belt, GSK has introduced new exposure and challenges to my career. While the core nature of my job is still marketing, I am now involved in higher level responsibilities, including strategic planning and cross-departmental business transformation projects.

Working with colleagues from the finance, supply chain, commercial, IT, medical and regulatory affairs, PR, and HR teams would have been quite overwhelming for me had it not been for the training that I received through the HKUST MBA.

 How HKUST MBA came into play

Courses like IT and Operations Management helped me to fill the gaps in these specialty areas. Whenever I was stuck at work, I could easily turn to my classmates, who are the elite in their fields, for their professional advice. For example, a project manager gave me tips on how to manage my current projects, and I learned from my classmates in HR and finance how to deal with people like them in my company.

The HKUST MBA program also has a strong emphasis on team work and leadership. I have been trained to work effectively in a team and motivate my classmates to contribute, even though each of us has a full-time job to perform. This is something that has become unexpectedly helpful in my current job, in which I must do the same to drive results from other functional teams for the additional projects outside of our core duties.

 Unique learning experience

One of the most valuable experiences during my MBA was to build a business plan with my classmates from IT, accounting and airline to compete in a fundraising challenge. We decided to make use of what we had learned in the program to deliver the ‘Little MBATM’ workshop for children, the proceeds of which went to charity.

This project not only gave us a chance to bridge theory and practice in developing a business from the ground up, but also reminded us of the importance of social responsibility in addition to profit. I am glad that our objective to ‘pay it forward’ was achieved, and am sure that this experience will add value to my future development.

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