Winning combination course
During his three years as a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) undergraduate, Prashant Galani was determined to take every opportunity that came his way.
Having set his sights on a career in business, he signed up for a double major with BBA degrees in operations management and marketing, with a minor in social science, and wholeheartedly threw himself into a range of extra-curricular activities.
"I wanted to learn about business, so I thought why not do both majors to get as much as possible out of my time at university?" says Galani, who graduated this year and is currently working for the Asia-Pacific office of sportswear company Puma. "It was a challenge, but as long as you are well organised and efficient, you can do everything." It helped, he notes, that the subjects were a natural pair.
He says that management courses dealt more with strategy and what goes on "behind the scenes" in a company. Marketing classes and team projects were more outwards-looking, focusing on what works for the customer and why.
"The courses I took had a lot of simulation games where you applied what you learned to 'real-life' problems in a virtual setting," he says. "You saw what could go wrong - even when using best practice - and I found the professors were always very approachable."
Outside the classroom, Galani's basic approach was also to "go for it". He served as secretary of the on-campus economics society and set himself several personal targets each year that went beyond simple academic achievement. These involved organising student events, running orientation camps, and arranging mentorship programmes.
"It is important to have targets [at] university," he says.