Born in Changchun, the capital of China’s northeastern province of Jilin, Stanley Wang graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, majoring in missile guidance, from the Harbin Institute of Technology. A wish to study a masculine subject influenced this choice, however, he decided that he didn’t want to follow a career in a field that threatened world peace and became a product manager for a telecommunications equipment maker in Shenzhen after graduating.
Hong Kong has always fascinated Wang and his admiration for its culture saw him study an MBA at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He graduated in June and joined the MBA leadership programme run by Nestlé (China) in Beijing, which rotates MBA graduates through different functions for a year. Wang hopes eventually to work in Nestlé’s marketing operations department.
What prompted you to pursue an MBA in Hong Kong?
I have always been in love with Hong Kong. I have seen the city on television many times, and find it very beautiful and fascinating. I love watching Hong Kong movies, and I am fond of the culture.
What’s more, I agree with the city’s core values, such as the rule of law, anti-corruption, a clean government, and people being given enough freedom to do whatever they want. I also deeply appreciate the benevolence Hong Kong people showed after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. They were so enthusiastic about donating money to help the victims. I was moved by their kindness and generosity.
I have always longed to come to this city. In studying for an MBA in a Hong Kong university, I can no doubt be said to be realising my dream. Apart from my aspirations, I also want to advance my career by doing the MBA programme.
What are the reasons behind your choice of school?
The reason I chose HKUST was because of its high ranking. HKUST is a prestigious university, and the MBA course is famous in the Asia-Pacific region. Having an MBA degree from a prestigious university will definitely help when it comes to seeking employment.
Did you fund your own studies?
Yes, I am self-financed.
How did your full-time studies affect your personal life?
I don’t think my studies had any serious impact on my personal or social life. I enjoyed spending time with my classmates, and I enjoyed my life in Hong Kong. Besides, we are not supposed to study 24 hours a day, so I still managed to have some free time.
Although my family was in Beijing while I was studying for my MBA in Hong Kong, given the close distance between the two, I could fly home every two to three months.
What were the major challenges?
I would not say there were many challenges. Pursuing an MBA degree has long been my dream, and I was so glad that it came true. I enjoyed campus life at HKUST very much, it was a great experience. I made friends with classmates from different parts of the world, and had a great time hanging out with them.
What kind of support did you receive?
After spending a happy and unforgettable year on the university campus, it was time to come back to reality and look for a job. The school gave us a lot of help when it came to seeking employment. They were more than willing to offer us assistance and gave us lots of vital information.
Classmates were also helpful; we all helped one another look for an ideal job. Whenever anyone knew there was an opening in a large enterprise, they would let the others know. We also shared useful interviewing techniques. I was always so glad to have such an amazing bunch of classmates.
How did you expect your MBA to help you with your career or personal life? Were these expectations met?
When I was still living in the mainland, I always yearned to gain international study experience. HKUST has given me a good platform to communicate with people from different parts of the world and from different industries. It has no doubt broadened my horizons. Spending two years at HKUST also gave me sufficient time to figure out my future career path.
As for my personal life, studying at HKUST has given me the experience of a lifetime. As I said, Hong Kong is a city I love, and I was glad I had the chance to come here. I will never forget the experience of studying in Hong Kong.
What happened to your career after graduation?
Right after I graduated, I got four job offers from companies in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. After giving them serious thought, I eventually chose the job offer from Nestlé in Beijing because I think it suits me the most.
I hope I can achieve some remarkable feats, make a solid contribution to Nestlé and develop a good career in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry. Moreover, I hope to develop into an outstanding alumnus of the HKUST MBA and, especially, a better Cantonese speaker, because I like this dialect very much.