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EMBA programme is just what the 'doctor' ordered


Executives wishing to take a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) may find the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) programme offered by the School of Business at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) an attractive choice.

Programme director Dr John Leung Wai-keung says students can take DBA courses during their second year of study. “Many of our students continue to study a DBA in the hope of consolidating their university knowledge, and the programme and their practical experience have given them a short-cut to doing so. Students are able to complete both EMBA and DBA in five years of part-time study,” he says.

The focus of the programme is on business in China and leadership, and offers plenty of exposure to the running of a business on the mainland. There are three residential trips, along with company visits and CEO forums for students to gain an insight on the business world.

Students will be assigned to do 10 days of consultation work for a mainland firm, giving them practical experience on how to give business advice to a company.

“Students will also pay a one-week visit to the University of California, Berkeley and Silicon Valley, to learn about entrepreneurship and international marketing. Finally, there is a study trip in Asia Pacific for students to experience the operation of companies in other countries,” says Leung.

One graduate of the programme, Li Chan-wing, a consultant and veteran media worker, had the chance to provide consultancy with Beijing Airport during his study trip. “The experience was unbelievable. At the time, Beijing was preparing to host the Olympic Games and I got to give advice on how to handle the huge numbers of visitors during the games,” he says.

Students on the course come from diverse backgrounds. “We interview every applicant to find out his or her achievements, to evaluate how each candidate is able to contribute to the programme,” says Leung. “We want students to learn and contribute to the programme by sharing their experiences in respective fields. Students come from a wide range of industries and, by not taking more than two candidates from the same company, we have a good mix of students.”

Students come from banking, finance, accounting and many other sectors. Most hold manager, director or CEO positions in their companies. “What sets the EMBA apart from MBA is the quality of the students,” says Leung. “EMBA students hold leadership positions, and have more than six years of managerial experience, while an MBA is for future leaders with less working experience.”

Li says he was very impressed with the calibre of his fellow students. “I was in the same study group as a leading fund manager who handles billions of dollars in his daily business. It is certainly a fruitful experience to learn from a high-flier like him,” he says.

Li says the programme not only equipped him with business knowledge but also helped him lead a better life. “The course inspired me to achieve greatness. Many people do not even understand their own life. If you want to build a better life, and aim higher, go back to school like I did,” he says.

Applicants should have a recognised degree, with second-class honours and at least six years of significant managerial experience. A good Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score is an advantage.

The class size is around 25 and lessons are held on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Students must take part in class discussions, write reports on their study trip and work on group projects as part of the assessment.

There will be exams for skill-oriented subjects such as accounting and economics.