A Chinese, Mexican, Canadian, Swiss, and Indian guy walk into a bar...and create the Sales Club...and it beats 14 other clubs to win HKUST MBA Club of the Year!
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
Hosted at HKUST’s scenic seafront sports ground in Clear Water Bay, this family-friendly, day-long event will celebrate the diversity and inclusiveness of the HKUST MBA programme by inviting both current HKUST MBA students and alumni, as well as other MBA programs, to participate in a variety of sporting activities.
On a random afternoon commute to class in Central, I caught up with JJ Jaspio on the MTR and surprised him with 30 questions in 3 minutes. Here's what we found out about JJ:
*Kevin Jazmines was present as well, but observed quietly.
We could not have asked for a better team or a better opportunity! It's already rare to find a team of people you can work well with, but some how we managed to find a team of people who never even made it feel like work. From the internal case competition, to EPS, to the Roland Berger competition in Barcelona last week, we have laughed and laughed and laughed. During our countless sleepless nights, instead of being frustrated and taking it out on one another, we took embarrassing photos of each other falling asleep at 4am with a mouse in hand.
We have learned so much throughout this journey, and noticed a huge improvement from the first case, to the last. Thanks to our many mentors, especially professor Chris Doran, for dedicating their time to helping us improve, and for telling us like it is (in a question we will never forget: "Why is your strategy so... bland?"). It is because of the constant honest and constructive feedback that we were able to perform so well at IESE. No, we did not win, but we are very proud of our work. The amount of research and analysis we conducted guaranteed the answers to every single question during the Q&A, and we received quite positive feedback from Roland Berger regarding our strategy and solution. No one will ever know that at 4am in the above photo, 5 hours before the competition, we actually had no strategy at all.
But how to compete in case competitions is not the only thing we learned, we also learned many valuable life lessons on this trip such as...
If a shoe shiner in Istanbul drops his brush, don't pick it up, because he will offer to shine your shoes as a thank you, and then charge you a fortune.
We also learned how to make paella and sangria (thanks to Roland Berger), but more importantly, we learned not to drink too much wine before dinner, or else you will not remember what the wristband you're wearing is for.
We learned that selfies are important everywhere...
... but it takes a real photographer to get the best shots!
But the most important lesson of all: we can do anything as a team, and we look damn good doing it too.
*For those of you who are wondering where photos of our Amsterdam trip are, please understand what happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam, thank you.
The Sales Club Executive team conducted a poll with all the members of the HKUST MBA Sales Club to get a better understanding of the types of skills they would like to develop. After analyzing all the results, presentation skills were a clear winner so we decided to co-host a dinner with the Hong Kong chapter of the Toastmasters Club. Our guest speaker was Aaron Leung, President of Victoria Toastmasters Club (Hong Kong's oldest Toastmasters Club).
Everyone in the batch seems familiar to Ocean Park after the unexpected case competition in the immersion week, disregarding the fact that most of us haven't been there even once. How can anybody stayed in Hong Kong not visiting the one and only Ocean Park? As a responsible future leader, we should put our first priority on having fun :P despite our busy schedule.
We are so honored to have Mr. Matthias Li, the CEO of Ocean Park, to came to our school as a judge of our first case competition in the program. After presenting our idea for the future development of the park, we were so excited that Mr. Li invited us to the halloween event this year.
We would like to express our gratitude to Ms. Vivian Lee, the Executive Director of Ocean Park, and her assistant, Lisa, for arranging the logistics of our visit to the park despite our late notice. Otherwise, we might not have so much fun after our exams.
On Wednesday October 4th, the Healthcare Club held a detox event for the batch to cleanse their bodies of LG7 and clear their minds of IRR.