Student Stories


Why HKUST MBA? – Aldric Chau

1. Having your full-time job in Hong Kong, why did you want to take a part-time MBA and why HKUST?

Soon after I began working in commercial positions in different corporate sectors, I realized that I could benefit from academic training in business, especially because my undergraduate degree had been in translation and interpretation.

Several years after I joined Cathay Pacific, there’s internal vacancy for Group Staff Management Trainee Program of John Swire & Sons. It was a great opportunity for me to opt for a generalist career path. An MBA would not only develop my business knowledge but also demonstrate my strong commitment to leadership development.

I chose HKUST’s MBA program because of its diversified class profile and stimulating learning environment. I was able to meet classmates from various cultural and professional backgrounds, and the business cases shared in classes covered a range of topics, including HR cases from Sweden, CSR cases from China, and consulting cases from Asia. This MBA program instills its students with an international perspective, making the program truly global.

2. Do you find the MBA to be influential in your daily work?

Absolutely. The MBA helps propel my daily work in three main areas:

Managerial Communications: My day-to-day work involves considerable managerial communication with people in different positions and at different levels of seniority. Having majored in translation and interpretation, I considered myself to be a good communicator, but the MBA program made me realize that I still had a lot of room for improvement.

Consulting skills: I am grateful that the MBA program honed my logical thinking and influencing skills. In the Management Consulting class, Prof. Chris Doran drew upon his real-life experience as a manager at McKinsey & Co to share strategies and tactics that have proven to be valuable in my daily operations as a department head for a multinational company.

Team management: Earlier in my career, I was principally focused on my own work, but I transformed myself and became a motivator of people. What I learned in the MBA program enabled me to inspire and lead my team effectively, adding value and new perspectives to the process when working with people who often have much stronger subject matter expertise than I do. 

3. How was your career progression since you started the MBA?

The scope of my job expanded along with greater leadership responsibilities. Before earning my MBA, I was an assistant manager for an inflight sales operation and led a team of three. During the first year of my MBA, I was promoted to a new position and managed a team of ten. Upon graduation, I was accepted into the Group Staff Management Trainee Program and was later appointed as Country Manager in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Currently I am the Head of Retail and e-commerce at Cathay Pacific with 29 people on my team. 


4. Do you think the MBA has met your expectations?

Definitely yes. I achieved my goals for the MBA in terms of developing both my tangible hard skills and my intangible knowledge and abilities. The program exceeded my expectations in that its interactive learning modes created a new reality in which the more you contribute, the more you learn.

I was lucky to have met Prof. Elizabeth George, who was then my professor, for a breakfast meeting to discuss feedback that I had received from my employer. She offered professional insight and personal guidance, and it was a rewarding experience.

5. What advice would you give to candidates who are considering a part-time MBA?
I would suggest that you think about your long-term career goals and your vision of leadership, and consider how the MBA program furthers those goals with its connections, knowledge, and global exposure.
Once you accept this challenge, it’s important to manage your time and resources to strike a balance between work, study, and family. Ultimately, this MBA program is a perfect opportunity for you to become a highly efficient and effective person.
My last piece of advice is to devote yourself to the program. How much you get out of it depends on how much time, attention, and energy you invest. Go all out and make the most of this life-changing experience!

We use cookies to ensure you can have the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse our website, we assume you are ok with this. Click HERE for privacy policy and disclaimer.