Student Stories


Blockchain To Big Data: MBA Students Are Learning To Mix Business With Technology

HKUST - Takashi (second from right) saw how business and technology come together on his MBA at HKUST in Hong Kong

Learning to manage technology is a fundamental skill for future business leaders. HKUST Business School in Hong Kong teaches MBAs about hot tech topics like blockchain and big data analytics

Learning about technology is key for MBA students today. If you look at the companies that dominate the public spotlight, you’ll find the names Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, and Google on the tip of your tongue.

If you also look at the list of top unicorns (private companies valued at over $1 billion), you’ll find technology businesses dominate. Do the names Didi Chuxing and Airbnb sound familiar?

The dominance of technology within business means that today’s MBA students need the skills to understand and communicate right across the tech stratosphere. If you look at the companies dominating today, you’ll also notice East and West coming together.

That’s why Takashi Kobayashi, an MBA graduate from the class of 2019 at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s (HKUST) Business School, chose Hong Kong for his studies. Hong Kong, he says, offers access to the world's cutting-edge technologies and acts as a bridge between East and West.

Why business technology knowledge is important

Japanese student Takashi is in his eighth year at NTT Communications. Since starting his MBA—which his company sponsored—he has left a sales role and is now reveling as a manager within corporate strategy and planning for the company. He’s also left Japan for Singapore.

He originally set out to study the MBA to broaden his skillset. Not only in sales and negotiation, but finance, strategy, and data analytics. What he found at HKUST is that business and technology have come together in the MBA program, and the most valuable MBA graduates have strong knowledge of how they interlink.

“We should get used to managing technology,” he says. “Also, from the perspective of the future, data analysis, python, and other data tools will allow you to grasp and articulate your business strategy.”

The HKUST MBA stands out, Takashi adds, because you’re surrounded by myriad students and faculty with strong industry backgrounds. Courses are taught by professors like Cassian Cheung, former president of Walmart China and Quaker Oats Asia, as well as Caroline Wang, former chief marketing officer and chief information officer at IBM.

Then there’s the curriculum. Courses are available on deep learning business applications with python, or business analytics in R. There are also flexible core courses in programming and artificial intelligence. 

Students who don’t have a background in coding or programming can also take HKUST’s pre-MBA introduction to Python before they join the school. 

“You also have deep access to Shenzhen, which was attractive for me,” adds Takashi. “Shenzhen is now a big technology ecosystem.”




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