Student Stories

08.08.2018

Opening doors in Asia – Curtis Loo

Class of 2010 (United States)
Pre-MBA: Application Specialist, Edtec Inc (United States)
Post-MBA: Managing Consultant, HCL Technologies (China)
Current: Founder, Measure Education (United States)

A two-year stint in China learning the language and travelling convinced Curtis Loo that he wanted his future to be in Asia. The problem was, he felt he didn’t have enough to offer in return.

A Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering earned in his native U.S., some experience working in IT services in the educational field and a non-fluent grasp of Putonghua were not going to give him the edge with employers.

But he did his research and realized one option could open some doors for him: the HKUST MBA.

Why HKUST MBA

 

“I was basically starting from scratch so I knew I needed something extra,” he said. “I wanted a program that is connected to Asia and I was considering many different options. Then I went to a presentation in Beijing by a professor from an American university and spoke with him afterwards about what I was looking for here in Asia. He told me to look at HKUST – it has an internationally recognized program that can prepare you for Asia better than anyone else.

“This recommendation, plus the program’s reputation, weighed heavily in my decision.”

Expectations surpassed

Curtis got all he could hope for and more from the program. He gained world-class business knowledge that would serve him in any part of the world so his career options would be truly global. More importantly, the program gave him the opportunity to apply what he was learning.

 

For example, as part of an HKUST field study project he was called on to provide consulting services for Li & Fung Trinity to make recommendations on the usage of their customer relationship management tools. He was also part of a team that entered a business plan competition with a product developed by an HKUST professor and had their idea picked up and tested by a multinational firm which led to the incorporation of their company in Hong Kong.

“I never would have had an opportunity like that without being at the Business School. They helped us connect with the professor and they gave us the necessary channels to present this product,” he said.

New horizons

He also got to broaden his horizons further with a semester at the London Business School and a summer consulting project in Austria. “Before I started my MBA, I only had educational & work experience in the US and a little exposure in China. The MBA added Europe to the list and deepened my Asian experience. It rounded me out globally.”

The HKUST program helped make Curtis more marketable. Upon graduation, he landed a job with a large international IT firm, HCL Technologies, which continues to grow in China. Because of his MBA, he is asked to take on a wide variety of business development and consulting roles around the country to investigate options and markets.

“I’d only worked for small companies before but I had wanted the experience of working for a large corporation, and that’s what I’m doing now. Without my MBA I wouldn’t have this job, and without this job I wouldn’t get this amazing experience in Asia,” he said.



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