One year ago, I left behind a cozy corporate job, a fully furnished modern apartment in the vicinity of Zurich, two cars and all sorts of perks that a life in Switzerland brings, and came to seek the challenge in one of the world’s most competitive places: Hong Kong. A lot of people asked me why I would even consider an MBA in the first place and why I wanted to move to Asia. After all, I already had a master’s degree, a well-paying job at a big corporate and lived in Switzerland, which is among the most beautiful and developed countries in the world. In addition, an MBA would come with a big financial burden and would mean a step back to student status. Most people didn’t understand my internal struggle and unhappiness, which became increasingly stronger over the course of 2016. I felt like I was not living life to my full potential, and on top of that, I was losing my competitive edge; that drive and ambition that keeps you going even when you feel tired, and that passion that makes you wake up earlier than you’re supposed to and put your heart and soul in whatever you’re doing. I’m talking about that relentless perseverance to push for your goals and that unyielding desire to live a phenomenal life. When looking into the future, I knew that my current path would not make me happy in the long-run. I was way too ambitious to live a mediocre life. So, I listened to my gut feeling and embarked on a journey, which would bring me closer to my true self.
Fast-forward one year, I look back at a life-changing journey: I got one of the best business educations in the world, taught by some of the most excellent professors. I met some of the brightest minds, people who inspired me, friends who became family, and found the sweetest and most supportive girlfriend in the world. I gained insights into technologies, industries and topics that were unknown to me. I travelled to foreign places, immersed in different cultures, ate delicious foods and experienced local traditions. But at the same time, I was also exposed to an environment, which will eat you alive and spit you out, if you can’t handle the pressure and competition. I faced fears, anxieties and uncertainties, when I didn’t know where I would live after my lease expires and how I would pay for my expenses. But I didn’t give in. I kept fighting. And after several sleepless nights, I finished all my courses and looked back at a rewarding academic year. Not only did I finish my studies, but certain unexpected events also led to job opportunities, which had seemed so out of reach when living my old life. By leveraging my experience from the sales club and what I had learned from my peers and professors, I was able to leave strong impressions in different interviews and to secure an internship in a promising and fast-growing company in an industry which I am truly passionate about. At the same time, my focus on entrepreneurship sharpened my business acumen to such an extent that I will also pursue my own venture in the near-future.
When I look at my life today and compare it to the one from one year ago, I now understand what the word transformation means. I took life-changing decisions and grew both from a personal and professional perspective. And I am sure that my story resonates with my classmates and friends. Today is the day when we say goodbye to each other, as most of us go to different places to pursue an internship and an exchange. Farewells are never easy, but we know that we’ll stay connected in the future and see each other for the graduation ceremony in spring next year. So, in retrospect, do I regret any of my decisions? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I feel blessed beyond imagination for all the things that have happened to me over the course of this year. Would I leave Switzerland again to pursue an MBA in one of the most vibrant cities in the world? Immediately!
Thank you, my beloved friends, MBA family, and all the people I’ve met along the way. And thank you Hong Kong. It’s been a great year, and may we continue to shine for future generations to build upon our legacy. #mUSThaveMBA
For questions, comments or feedback, feel free to reach out to me: tcencik[at]connect.ust.hk