Career Advice 進修新知

Right course for management role

Master of Corporate Finance
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professionalism is key to success in the financial sector and Betty Tam – who works as an accountant in a listed company with a focus on financial and management reporting – felt the need to upgrade her repertoire. The reason behind this was to reach her future goal of being promoted to management level.With this in mind, Tam enrolled in the master of corporate finance at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to build upon skills relevant to her career.

The two-year course takes an all-round approach. In the first year, students take compulsory subjects regarding the basics of finance. In the second year, they choose between the corporate finance stream or the investment management stream.

The corporate finance stream focuses on risk management and entrepreneur finance, while investment management offers an in-depth view of the latest financial products and portfolio management.

“The most useful course is corporate governance because it focuses on the codes in mergers and acquisitions, securities and futures ordinances and listing rules. As I work in a listed firm, the principles we are taught are absolutely relevant to me,” she says.

Tam has found the course on financial analysis and valuation very practical. “We were asked to perform a detailed research study on a listed company and evaluate the analyst’s report. It involved the application of various valuation concepts and financial statement analysis techniques. It was very practical because we were looking at real-life cases,” she adds.

Dr Allen Ng, deputy programme director, says the course is aimed at accountants, bankers or professionals working in investment services.

“The average working experience [for people on] the course is seven to eight years. To make life easier for working students, we employ the executive teaching mode in which students are required to complete just one subject within seven weeks,” Ng says. “During this period, students are required to attend lessons on four week-day evenings, four Saturday afternoons and on a Sunday.”

Assessment is based on exams and coursework, which includes lectures by respected banking and finance figures on the latest industry developments. “We want to take a practical approach towards educating our students,” says Ng.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university or a professional diploma from PolyU or City University of Hong Kong.

“Applicants are not required to have any professional knowledge of finance but the course requires some basic knowledge of accounting and mathematics. They also need to closely follow the news as many discussion topics and case studies are based on current affairs,” says Ng.