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Global business flavour with a mainland accent

Published on Friday, 04 May 2012
Billy Mak

School of Business, HKBU

The business world is ever-changing. So is the curriculum of the Master of Business Management (MBA) programme offered by the School of Business at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). One of the oldest MBAs in Hong Kong – it was introduced in 1994 – it closely follows market trends.

Associate programme director Dr. Billy Mak says their MBA is designed under the general theme of international business, balanced with a mainland focus.

“The course is aimed at executives who want to learn more about mainland business, and doing business there. Students are given opportunities to work with mainland MBA students, who typically are senior business executives. These interactive sessions enrich the learning experience for both groups, as well as expanding networking opportunities,” says Mak.

The programme also offers electives that are highly relevant to today’s business world. “The course’s elective subjects are offered subject to changes in the market and demand from employers,” says Mak. “In recent years, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are two new and timely courses that we have introduced. To let our students learn more about CSR, we linked up with social enterprises and asked our students to give them advice on how to run their businesses in a sustainable manner – a win-win situation for the social enterprise and the students.”

The programme takes a practical approach towards learning with “live learning” activities. “We put students in tough real-life situations in the business world whenever possible. This will help them develop business management and problem-solving skills, two major requirements for executives. There will be overseas business field trips and lots of case studies,” says Mak.

In 2010, students visited Taiwan and Xian on business field studies. Students are required to investigate the business environment and operations of companies on the mainland. They are assigned to a “client company”, for whom they perform a consultancy-type project. These include providing business solutions for department stores, the manufacturing sector, foreign trade businesses and service industries such as hotels.

For their practical final-year MBA project, students produce a client-based consultancy report for a firm. “This experience helps students gain the hands-on experience and knowledge to be all-round executives,” says Mak.

To nurture teamwork among the MBA students, all freshmen are required to participate in an Outward Bound course for their orientation. “During the orientation, students are required to participate in various adventurous activities. Through these activities, students can not only enhance their teamwork and interpersonal relations, but also know more about their personal strengths and weakness. These experiences help students build a foundation for their MBA studies,” says Mak.

Students can complete the programme in two years of part-time studies, with lessons being held on weekday evenings.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university and at least three years’ relevant  experience.

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