MBA Hong Kong

Jackie Lu_Dec_1In a few days, when I leave HKUST the same way I came, lugging my two 28-inch suitcases up the picturesque seaside campus; one added thing I take home is a sense of fulfillment. In thinking about my study abroad experience, I cannot recommend it more. The value of going abroad, especially at the MBA level, is that your network of business-oriented classmates and alumni grows substantially, your knowledge and appreciation of global business trends are lived out in front of your eyes, and if those weren’t enough reasons to study abroad, I here present some other reasons to do so:

1. A new-found appreciation for take-for-granted fast food chains
Traveling brings about a lot of new experiences, but sometimes familiarity is comforting. While traveling for the first time to Thailand this November, I felt overwhelmed by what seemed like a lack of traffic laws and unrelenting humidity, so the moment I spotted a familiar fast food chain, I knew I could find some refuge in its air-conditioned building. Plus, it’s fun to observe the localization of the brand such as Ronald McDonald posing in a gesture of welcome in Bangkok to the breakfast congee on the Thai menu.

Jackie Lu_Dec_22. You can find almost every American thing abroad
You’re in Asia and you’re longing for home? You don’t have to look very far for things American. First, across the border in Shenzhen, there is an exact replica of the most famous U.S. sites from the skyline of Manhattan to my hometown of Washington D.C. but at one-tenth the actual size! Missing the glitz and excitement of Las Vegas? There’s a cure for that in Macau. Macau is only an hour’s boat ride away, where the biggest names from the Vegas strip also have their counterparts on Macau’s Cotai strip plus unbelievable international cuisine.

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3. A global network of couches on which to crash in the future
In the next few days, my classmates and I will all disperse into the four corners of world; while no one knows exactly when our paths will cross again, but what is certain is that we all have a shared experience during our time in a foreign land and a common goal of making an impact in the world using our business skills. As I’ve said to many of my friends as we parted ways, my couch in New York is always open to them when they visit, and I’ve been offered reciprocal treatment in Dubai, Delhi, Shanghai, etc.

November in Hong Kong is a lot like New York in late September; the humidity has dissipated and the holiday tourist crowds have largely gone home. It is the perfect time to explore. Also, now is when I’m beginning to feel like a real Hong Kong resident, or at least qualify to stand in the resident lane at immigration at the airport. This month, I want to share a “week-in-the-life” of an NYU Stern student in Hong Kong.

Tuesday
It's the beginning of my academic week, and with the way electives credits work at HKUST, I take four courses per quarter. All my classes meet once a week for 3 hours on weekday nights or weekends. Since this is a weekday class, I have to make the trek to the off-campus site, which is centrally located at the historical HK Club to better accommodate part-timers. This, however, creates a bit of a journey from my campus housing, located an hour away. No worries, however, as it gives me a chance to see the city through my commute.

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