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Trio of schools boost leaders’ global insights

Published on Friday, 23 Nov 2012
Mary Miller

EMBA-Global Asia
HKU

The EMBA-Global Asia programme offered by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) encourages students from different cultures to learn from one another.

The programme features a partnership of three schools located in three major financial centres: London Business School (LBS), Columbia Business School (CBS) in New York and HKU.

“Students will get plenty of global exposure and are welcome to travel to different places to learn,” says programme director Mary Miller at HKU. “Wherever classes take place, the programme provides a sophisticated, supportive and interactive learning environment.”

The programme brings together diverse, high-calibre and globally focused managers from a wide variety of nationalities and industries.

“Students are able to deepen their understanding of business practices in different cultures. At the start of the programme, they will be assigned to a study group of between four to six people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Throughout the first three terms of core courses, they will work closely with their groups. It can be challenging to work in multicultural teams, but it is an essential management skill that is highly valued by employers,” Miller says.

The calibre of students is one of the key strengths of the programme. “Many of the students are seasoned business veterans and budding entrepreneurs. The good mix of students allows them to benefit from one another. Each school also takes advantage of its location to draw upon the surrounding business community to attract exciting guest speakers from around the world,” Miller says.

Students can complete the core courses in blocks of four to five days a month. “The EMBA is a residential programme and students will stay together in a hotel during core study blocks and international assignments. This creates an intense and uninterrupted environment for discussion and debate away from the classroom, as well as an opportunity to socialise with fellow students,” Miller says.

After completing the core courses, students will have the opportunity to specialise by choosing from an extensive portfolio of elective options. “Depending on their elective choices, students may go to London, New York, Hong Kong or Shanghai, as well as other international seminar and assignment destinations,” she says.

Teaching is shared equally between faculty members of the three schools, who travel to teach wherever the class is in residence.

Upon successful completion of the EMBA-Global Asia programme, graduates are awarded a degree jointly conferred by LBS, CBS and HKU.

Miller says the programme has plenty to offer the entrepreneur. “The programme teaches students knowledge in finance, budgeting and advertising. It shows them the right way to turn their business ideas into a real business. The feedback from our diverse group of students has proven that the programme is very beneficial to students who want to run their own business,” she says.

Alexis Kwong Alvarez, a student of the programme, recently launched his own chocolate business. “After working in the media for many years I decided I wanted to do something creative. I wanted to gain business knowledge so I joined the programme,” he says.

Kwong says his experiences of learning from students from diverse backgrounds have been highly valuable, as he received plenty of constructive input. “The mix of students is amazing. I was very lucky to be able to use my business as the topic of a group project. I had a group mate who happens to run a candy factory and she gave me plenty of insights on how to start a chocolate business,” he says.

He thinks the courses offered are very practical for those wanting a head start in running their own business. “The programme has many resources for entrepreneurs. There are courses that teach strategies on transforming an idea into a profitable business. I have also taken courses on advertising and branding, which is very useful for me to run a business,” he says.

“I also make sure I interact with students who I don’t think I would normally get a chance to meet outside of the programme. For example, in my class there is a retired air force officer and a former astronaut,” he says.

There is one intake for the programme every May. The part-time programme is an intensive 20-month commitment, with the option to be completed in 16 months.

Applicants are required to have management experience, a satisfactory GMAT score and company support for time commitment. It is important they demonstrate leadership qualities and the potential to progress into more senior roles, and are highly committed to their professional development.

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