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I probably asking too many questions here :P . Obtaining excellent advices here really helps me to reduce the number of my sleepless nights. I appreciate that.

I am thinking of doing a MBA. But the choice is difficult:

CHOICES:
(A) Local Universities
Here we only have 7 universities:
First tier:
1. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
2. Chinese University of Hong Kong
3. The University of Hong Kong

These 3 seem to be my natural choices. But I cannot afford the tution fee - US$29,000!!! I tend to choose the no. 4, The City University of Hong Kong, which costs only half.

Pros compared to (B) below: More students in class, more graduates in the industry = better network. I really like its 10-day residence programme which allows me to work in a mainland china company, advise them to improve their business performance!!!

Cons compared to (B): Local qualification. Maybe lack of international recognition? (I need your comment on this). Because I am working and will prefer to work in international firms. Could you tell me your view if you are now hiring in HK?

(B) A distance learning programme
Either by Leicester University or Brimingham University (both from UK). Fee is US$15,000, affordable to me. It is partly taught by UK professors. The qualification to be adwarded will be the same as the campus programme (i.e. no "distance learning" wording on the cert)

Pros: Good international reputation.

Cons: Small class size, limited network. Class not conducted in campus (maybe in British Council HK instead) - I enjoy campus atmosphere, lack of campus facilities support, no placement or residence programme.

MY PURPOSE OF STUDYING:
I have a engineering bachelor. I am now working as a market analyst in consumer goods industry and will join a business consulting firm soon. I want a business degree to improve my knowledge foundation. I also think it will increase my chance for promotion.

Any suggestion? What will be your choice? What qualification will draw your interest if you are now hiring in HK?

Many many tks

corinag's picture

I'm currently doing an MBA in Romania, one of 4 international programs to be offered in the country, and I thought I'd chip in with some observations about programs managed and offered form a distance. They may or may not be true in your case, but they are still things to be aware of.

1. My program is a branch without a home of its own. Classes are in rented meeting rooms at a business center, which means that the school has had to haul computers, projector etc. from other sources, that you may run out of flipchart paper or need some copies ASAP and you have to go beg, buy, or borrow services from somewhere that's not very convenient. It's not major, but annoying, and may occur in your distance program.

2. Problems with textbooks and reading packets. It took us a year to establish relationships with a book supplier, and sometimes they don't have the required readings in the stock and it can take weeks before they get here. Because of a relatively small group of number of people who want the books academic discounts are rather smaller than you'd find in a major schools' bookstore. Reading packets sometimes arrive late because of shipping problems.

3. The professors fly in from abroad, and therefore do not have regular office hours. The amount and depth of guidance that you can get from them is limited because of less face-time.

4. Everything from IT to access to electronic library resources such as EBSCO or subscriptions is either more difficult or nearly impossible (sometimes because of legitimate security concerns)

5. There is significantly less networking, not only because of smaller class sizes, but because there is less administrative capability to organize events, gather executives etc., as most overseas extensions have small offices.

6. Elective courses might be sparser: a small class size makes offering a course for 3-4 people less feasible and likely.

That being said, I'm happier with the program I chose than any other in the country. I don't like the programs offered by Romanian schools because they cover MBA material, but not MBA formats, and are usually attended by straight of of school economics students. The international programs are all good, but some are geared toward higher level executives, some do not offer concentrations (and I wanted to do an MBA with a concentration in marketing, not just a general management one) and some have less attractive financing or tuition remission structures.

These are all things to be considered.

Also look at international accreditation. Schools that have it boast of it, and may even have multiple accreditation, which solves your problem neatly.

And look at alumni. Who they are, and how they evolved after the MBA.

Best of luck!

tomas's picture

tonys,

You have provided some information about your background, which helps, but you need to consider what you want to get out an MBA. For example, you mentioned that you plan on moving into consulting...are you hoping an MBA will get you a consulting job, or do you already have one lined up and just want an MBA for the skills it will provide? This will have an impact on how important the business school's reputation will be for oyu.

In terms of rankings, you can look at determining reputation you can look at rankings such as the Financial Times one at http://rankings.ft.com/rankings/mba/rankings.html I don't know if this biased against certain geographic regions, as no Hong Kong business school seems to have made it in the top 100 for 2007.

Networking opportunities is a major benefit of doing an MBA so you may want to consider how options such as distance education will affect this for you.

My personal view is that Manager Tools and an MBA go very well together. MT fills the gap in "Applied Management" that many MBA programs seem to lack. Personally I would love to see this stuff being taught as a subject to MBA students as I think it would really make them more effective from the get go.

Cheers,

Thomas

jpmorgante's picture

If your looking for some quality education for your MBA you might want to take a look at the Open University. It is based in the UK but has a division in Hong Kong. They are leaders and pioneers in distance learning and thier MBA program is very well run and designed.

For more info see:

The Open University of Hong Kong
30 Good Shepherd Street
Ho Man Tin
Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852 271 12100
Fax: 2309 2188 (24 hour info line)
[email protected]
www.ouhk.edu.hk

wendii's picture

Hi tony

I'm not recruiting in Hong Kong (although I'm tempted!) but I just wanted to share with you a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a candidate. We asked him about his MA course, and he was able to give us a 2 minute summary of why he chose the course he did - it was very well thought out, and although it isn't the course we prefer to see, he had very good reasons for chosing it.

So, the moral of this story is, choose the one that's best for you and then be able to describe why and how you made this decisions. That's what a recruiter is impressed by.

Wendii

tonys's picture

[quote="corinag"]I'm currently doing an MBA in Romania, one of 4 international programs to be offered in the country, and I thought I'd chip in with some observations about programs managed and offered form a distance. They may or may not be true in your case, but they are still things to be aware of.
Best of luck![/quote]

Hi Corinag,

Tks for sharing with your experience. What you mentioned were actually what I worry! I am quite steer to a local MBA after reading your post. Or I will go for the ones jointly organised by local and foreign b'schools.

Regarding the "MBA format", I guess that it means more group discussion, residence/ placement programme, rather than memorising book contents. I also prefer this format but need to get in touch with some current students to find out the actual teaching method. I don't trust the marketing materials at all : )

tonys's picture

[quote="tomas"]tonys,

You have provided some information about your background, which helps, but you need to consider what you want to get out an MBA. For example, you mentioned that you plan on moving into consulting...are you hoping an MBA will get you a consulting job, or do you already have one lined up and just want an MBA for the skills it will provide? This will have an impact on how important the business school's reputation will be for oyu.
[/quote]

Tks Thomas,

I already got an offer from a consulting firm and will start soon.

My primary objective of doing MBA is to strengthen my business knowledge because I have a non-business undergraduate. I expect that it will help me in career development (promotion or job hunting) as well. So, I want to know how employers think about a local MBA. Networking is important to me too, not only for career purpose, also for fun, I like making friends : )

I agree that MT goes well with MBA. Months ago, I was planning to do a Msc in Marketing because of less cost. But after learning many in MT, I decided that MBA was my best choice. I wanna learn more about leadership and management.

Tony

tonys's picture

[quote="wendii"]Hi tony

So, the moral of this story is, choose the one that's best for you and then be able to describe why and how you made this decisions. That's what a recruiter is impressed by.

Wendii[/quote]

Hi Wendii,

Very well said. I am very confident about my choice now. Hehe, actually I discover myself always do the same thing - try to seek some supports on my preferred options : )

I will go for a local one either the more affordable one, or the expensive ones, but I will need a loan in that case :oops:

Tks alot.

Tony