Student Stories


A transformational experience – Gloria Leung

Gloria Leung
Class of 2011

Assistant Manager, Investment Services, Hang Seng Bank
Manager, RMB Business Strategy and Planning, Hang Seng Bank

Focus and ambition led Gloria Leung, currently Manager of RMB Business Strategy and Planning at Hang Seng Bank, to study for an HKUST MBA. The effort paid off with promotions.

Gloria was an Assistant Manager when she enrolled in the part-time program in 2008 but she had her sights set higher. “I wanted to advance in the banking industry, but I realized I needed to develop my skills further,” she says.

She entered as a self-financed student, but made sure her employer knew what she was doing and supported her efforts to juggle career and studies.

“I learned a lot in the program and I think my employer noticed,” she said. During her studies she was promoted to Investment Services Manager and towards the end of her studies, to her present position.

“My MBA may have affected my promotion to a certain extent. I think it’s a transformational change, instead of getting an instant result.”

That change came about as she acquired the hard and soft skills necessary to take on responsibilities that required a broader vision and leadership. The knowledge she gained about management and the finance industry in particular proved to be invaluable.

“The RMB is a very popular currency right now and the road of RMB liberalization is far-reaching; you need a well-developed understanding of finance to work in this field. My studies helped me to think faster and deal better with difficulties and new developments in the market,” she says.

Her soft skill training has also proved to be useful in managing people. The program places students in diverse teams to work on projects and provides leadership training and opportunities for field trips and consulting projects.

“During the MBA you have to deal with peers and faculty and meet people from different backgrounds. You have to have very good people skills and time management. My previous job didn’t involve extensive people management, so I gained that through the MBA. Now, my job requires me to deal with external and internal parties on a much bigger scale and I deal with more people who perform different kinds of functions,” she says.

Gloria advises prospective and current students to cultivate their people skills in their interactions with their MBA study teams. She also says it’s essential that they make an effort to contribute to class discussions and their groups. “A lot of people get excited about the HKUST MBA ranking and think that if they just attend class, they will get these benefits. But you also have to contribute. You get what you put into it.”

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