Trained to learn
Although born and raised in Hong Kong, Salvina Siu lived and studied in the United States for more than 10 years. She started her career in information technology but switched to outdoor education when she returned to Hong Kong in 2002. Siu graduated from the University of Hong Kong with an MBA in 2011.
She has developed her career in training and has become involved in the learning and development profession.
What prompted you to pursue an MBA?
I actually started studying for an MBA when I lived in the US but I never completed it due to a change in my employment status. Completing my MBA is a personal goal I established 10 years ago.
What are the reasons behind your choice of school?
Prestigious, world-class faculties, a flexible programme format – something which is especially important for part-time students like us – and strong alumni support. Campus location accessibility was also a considerable factor.
Did you fund your own studies or did your company subsidise the cost?
I paid for my own studies.
How did you balance the demands of your job with your studies?
I set my priorities, stayed focused, affirmed my commitment and utilised teamwork. In addition, I also exercised leadership.
What were the major challenges?
Squeezing in the time to exercise, staying healthy and avoiding junk food!
During your studies, what kind of support did you get?
I have to thank my family for bearing with me when I met my MBA teammates more frequently than having family dinners.
I am also grateful to my office colleagues for their support when I needed to leave work on time for school and team meetings. I must also thank my classmates for sharing their expertise and their willingness to take on extra work to back each other up, as we are all full-time workers and sometimes things were out of our control.
How did you expect your MBA to help you with your life or career? Were these expectations met?
The immediate benefit of my MBA studies was in being able to meet my classmates and earn their friendship. Many of us have become very good friends now. We started to see our mutual support for each other in all aspects of our lives.
Putting it in perspective in relation to my career, I believe that more of the return on investment in an MBA lies in the long run. The network we built on our MBAs is expanding and that is a valuable asset and resource for our professional connections. Needless to say, all the technical and academic knowledge we learned during our course has broadened our horizons, and most can be applied in our daily work. The case studies, assignments, class discussions and group projects were great ways to help develop soft skills such as interpersonal relationships, presentation and leadership skills.
What’s the biggest personal impact of your MBA?
I have started incorporating my MBA learning in my thinking and practices. I have adopted a more analytical approach and I now think more strategically, for instance in creating business plans for my projects. I would like to be an entrepreneur, providing innovative learning and development solutions that embrace future work modes and the emerging workforce.