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HKUST MBA – Introduction

HKUST gives students the option of completing its full-time MBA program in either 12 or 16 months. The shorter version is designed for students with more work experience and international exposure. Because it lacks the opportunity for a summer internship, it’s generally best for students who are not career changers. The result: it draws a good number of company-sponsored students.

The 16-month program, on the other hand, is meant for students who want to switch careers and want to develop a global perspective. It includes an optional internship in the summer and an exchange opportunity at one of HKUST’s business school partners outside Hong Kong for one semester in the second year.

This is a relatively small full-time program, with a typical intake size of 100 to 120 students. Over 90% of students are from outside of Hong Kong, and classes typically include students from more than 25 nationalities. Three of the top four feeder colleges to this business school are in China: Fudan University, Tsinghua University, and Nanyang Technological University.

MBAs from HKUST tend to stay in Asia–largely because they started in Asia–mainly in Hong Kong but also in mainland China. In fact, roughly seven out of every ten students in the Class of 2012 took jobs in Asia, with only 6% landing jobs in Europe and North America. The top three employers were Standard Chartered Bank, Li & Fung, and IMS Consulting.

Despite the school’s relatively high ranking from the FT, HKUST  is not very transparent when it comes to providing applicants with key data on its MBA program. On its own website, for example, you won’t find average GMAT scores for enrolled students nor will you find salary and placement stats. The percentage of applicants accepted by the school also is not revealed. Typically, schools that fail to provide such data do so because the numbers are less than flattering to the MBA program. For more details Click Here…

Class Profile Summary
Class Size 95
Average GMAT Score 710(520-780)
Average Work Experience (yrs.) 6 years
Average Age (yrs.) 29 years (24-35)
Employment Summary
Average Salary INR 77,600
Average Bonus INR 15,000
% placed within 3 months 94%
Tuition Fees Summary
Total Tuition INR 585,000
Living Cost INR 180,000
Total Cost INR 765,000

HKUST MBA Class Profile 2021 (Click Here)

HKUST MBA Application Deadlines

Deadlines Applications
Round 1 18 Nov 2020
Round 2 13 Jan 2021
Round 3 17 March 2021

HKUST MBA Application Essay Tips

HKUST MBA Essay 1: The HKUST MBA mission is to inspire and transform individuals to be future business leaders for Asia and the world. We embrace diversity and are looking for ambitious and open-minded candidates with a passion to contribute. It is the first day of orientation. Please introduce yourself to your classmates, highlighting what drives you in your personal and professional life. (500 words)

Start with a strong introductory paragraph on who you are personally and professionally.  Eg: “I am Ajay, born and raised in India. I am an engineer with four years of experience in the IT sector leading projects for clients across multiple countries.”

Then show some of your strong academic track record, progress in your professional career, client management exposure, leadership and international experiences. Highlight some of your key achievements with numbers or awards that you may have received. Show your outstanding performance via the promotions or opportunities to lead or international deputation.

Pick one or two values that you hold in high regard. Please keep away from things such as hardworking, determined, good old school kid themes. Instead, talk of your passion for certain hobbies or you can pick values of social and communal importance such as environmental consciousness, veganism, gender equality, education for the underprivileged, etc. Then illustrate these values using supporting examples. Start jotting down all the successful experiences you had in life – big or small – whatever you think are significant achievements of your life. Most people fall back to professional experiences but it is strongly advised to go beyond professional stories. It may be easier to bucket and think across three areas – professional, extra-curricular, personal. Pick one example in each of these buckets that resonate with the values you have identified.

Once you have these examples, an easy method to illustrate them is the STAR methodology. Situation → Task → Action → Result.

Start with describing the situation at hand to give a background to the reader. Explain what was expected out of you to do and the consequence of the task. Explain how these intrinsic values drove you to take up this activity or do certain actions. It is important to show what the outcome of the action was and what are the results that you obtained. Conclude by showing how this value will continue to drive you to pick similar things in the future.

HKUST MBA essay #2: Tell us about your post-MBA goals and based on that, why is the HKUST MBA the ideal program for you, and how do you plan to engage and enrich our community? (500 words)

Quick essay Tips – To write career essays for the HKUST MBA program, a very simple structure to follow is

  1. Explain your current position and work experience → 2. State your short and long-term goals → 3. Skillsets you have acquired throughout your career so far → 4. Explain what you currently lack to attain your short and long-term goal → 5. Show how an MBA from a school like HKUST can help you bridge the gap in your skills to achieve your short-term goal.

Detailed Essay Writing Tips – The best and an easy approach to write this HKUST application essay is to break it into two parts:

  • First Half – explain “what are your goals and why you need an MBA”
  • Second Half – establish ”Why or how the HKUST MBA program is the perfect fit for you?”

First Half – Goals and why MBA?

Start with a strong introductory paragraph on who you are and what are your desired goals from an MBA.

Eg: “I am an engineer with four years of experience in the IT sector leading projects for clients across multiple countries. In the short term, i want to transition from a software developer role to a product manager role” 

For the main body, start on a strong note, show what skills you already have. B-schools, in general, prefer to see a strong academic track record, progress in a professional career, client management exposure, leadership, and international experiences. Highlight some of your key achievements with numbers or awards that you may have received. Show your outstanding performance via the promotions or opportunities to lead or international deputation.

After establishing the strengths of your profile, move on to show what are your long-term goals and how the limitation of your current role and skills are hindering your future career progress or desired transitions. Establish the need for upskilling yourself which can only be done via an MBA at this stage of your career. Talk about how an MBA can enhance your business acumen, leadership skills, soft skills for communication and presentation or provide you the network to grow your career or business.

This sets the context for your “Why MBA” argument. The first half of the essay explains what you already have and what you lack to grow in your career. Lastly how an MBA can unlock opportunities for you to grow. 

Second Half – Why HKUST MBA?

To answer the – “why HKUST MBA” part of the essay, build your argument on 3-4 points which helps you fulfill the gaps in your skill set and achieve your goals. Reasons to choose the HKUST MBA program should align with your reason to do an MBA as mentioned in the first half of the essay.

Ensure your reasons portray a holistic approach to how you intend to gain/upskill from the MBA program. An easy way to structure can be to break it down across three buckets –

  • Inside the class – what excites you the most about the HKUST MBA program in regards to the academic curriculum? Is it a particular specialization? Range of Electives? Quality of Professor?  Feel free to name drop a few.
  • Outside the class – outside of the academics, how do you plan to make the most of the opportunities available at HKUST? Clubs? Networking event? International exchanges? Leadership seminar? Speak with Alum, current students and find specifics which perfectly aligns with your needs to achieve your goals in a particular industry or function.
  • Outside of campus – show how the overall school brand, alumni network which you would carry and be a part of long after your campus stint can help you build a successful career in the long term.

Closing argument

Summarize your entire essay in 3-4 lines and confidently portray how you believe the HKUST MBA program is the perfect next step or logical step for you to achieve your career goals and how you would be a great fit and valuable addition to the class if selected.

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