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Friday, October 26, 2018

Exploring MBA Careers in Hong Kong and Singapore

October 24-26, 2018. Hong Kong and Singapore – The CEIBS MBA Class of 2020, in collaboration with the MBA Career Development Centre, hosted two career treks this week, giving students the opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore career opportunities in Greater China and Southeast Asia.  Read on for the highlights and takeaways from MBA 2020’s Michael Liu (in Hong Kong) and Chase Lin (in Singapore).

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, MBA 20202 students visited some of the world’s most prestigious financial institutions including:

  • Bulge bracket investment banks: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, UBS, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Citi;

  • VC/PE firms: Bain Capital, Hillhouse;

  • International organisations: World Bank IFC, Bloomberg, Natixis; and,

  • Chinese enterprises going global: ICBC International.

The experience helped MBAs to better understand top investment banks and private equity firms as well as their different functions and the requirements of each of their typical departments. It also provided students with an opportunity to appreciate the unique working culture at each firm and to better assess their individual fit. With many students joining the career trek looking for both clarity on their career directions and summer internship opportunities, several wrapped up their trips with one-on-one coffee chats and informal interview opportunities.

One of the highlights of the trek was a networking evening with Hong Kong-based CEIBS alumni, 80% of whom occupy roles in financial services.

Singapore

The Singapore Career Trek was comprised of a number of company visits spanning multiple industries. This year, students visited eight companies, six of which CEIBS MBAs were visiting for the first time. These included: DFS Group, the world’s leading luxury travel-retailer and part of the LVMH Group; Partners Group, a global PE firm; IQVIA, a leading healthcare and life-sciences-focused consulting and research firm; Neste, a Finnish renewable energy company; DHL Consulting, the global transport company’s consulting arm; Lazada eLogistics Group, a fast growing business of a leading online e-shopping firm in Southeast Asia; Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR/communications company; and Henkel APAC Supply Chain, with Singapore being one of its two global purchasing hubs for diversified chemicals, professional, and consumer goods.

Each of the companies shared with the students many insightful business initiatives, their standards for talents acquisition, and their various career programmes, and students were amazed to learn more about these companies directly from industry leaders from different sectors. As career seekers, it also represented a chance for students to benchmark different industries for career planning purposes.

As many of the students noted, what was particularly impressive was that every company visited had strong global mind-sets. Globalisation is not just a business plan on paper, but rather the common mind-set of all employees in a given company. This shared global mind-set among companies, from CEO to staff on execution, can be considered one of the core competencies that has allowed Singapore to create such an economic miracle with limited resources and geographic constraints.

Finally, the students also had a fun, casual dinner-mixer with CEIBS alumni based in Singapore, who were open and generous in sharing their career perspectives on considering opportunities as well as living and working in Singapore. Having “walked in their shoes” as previous MBA students, alumni members shared some of their tips and advice on how to think about our career planning, and even how students should approach some of the companies they would be visiting on the trek!

Writer: 
Michael Liu (MBA 2020) and Chase Lin MBA2020)
Editor: 
Michael Thede