Broadening Horizons in Hong Kong
Anne Gregory, Co-Editor-in-Chief
It is difficult in today’s world to discuss business without touching on the influence of globalization—we live in a hyper-connected world, and our ability (as soon-to-be business leaders) to acknowledge the diversity of environments is an invaluable skill that is extremely difficult to learn within the confines of a classroom. The DBi program opens doors for MBA students to experience a country’s culture, businesses and people in an authentic and immersive way—introducing the classes to opportunities that far transcend the insights one might gain from a textbook or online article.
DBi Hong Kong is perhaps one of the more important programs at NYU Stern, considering the focus of our studies was China: one of the most important economic powers in today’s world. Learning about its evolution from a dynastic empire to being an epicenter of innovation and development was one of the most meaningful opportunities of my MBA career. Our professors at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology each provided distinct yet complementary presentations on China’s culture, managerial practices and political ambitions. Our class took a deep dive into the innovative trends of the economy, with technology giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei leading the charge for a digital revolution in a nation that (up to now) primarily invests in OEM contracts and development. We also had the opportunity to experience the culture firsthand, from an evening at the Jockey Club (a Wednesday-night tradition for Hong Kong residents) to a plethora of authentic food and locations, including a trip to the The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.
Doing business in China is an extremely important topic for every MBA student —however it is equally important to acknowledge its challenges. Though the nation has begun to open its doors to trade and markets, the central government maintains tight control over all business, social and political movements within the country. Western MNCs that underestimate the influence of the government and/or the stringency of regulatory policies are often forced from the market (suffering large financial losses and a loss of access to one of the world’s most dominant consumer markets).
And on a broader note, I personally think it is essential for everyone to have a taste of world, whether it be Asia, Latin America, Europe or Africa. From the food to the languages to the sights, our time in Hong Kong was truly magical—and I feel that we each walked away with a greater understanding of the nation’s role in our own futures. The DBi program at NYU Stern is a fantastic vehicle for MBA students who are eager to broaden their horizons, and I hope that our stories and takeaways will inspire others to pursue similar adventures abroad.