It’s no secret COVID-19 turned our world upside down, altering industries and accelerating trends at a pace as unexpected as the pandemic itself. Professor Gerard Prendergast, Associate Dean (Internationalisation) of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) School of Business, confirms this. Utilising his decades of experience in education spent working across the world, he shares what he foresees the future entailing for individuals and organisations: “All people-facing businesses will need to reconsider their models,” he says. “Additionally, online education will grow, resulting in a hybrid mode that will have dramatic consequences for the physical infrastructure of a university and lastly, entrepreneurship will accelerate.’’
He goes on to tell us that these changes will impact a new generation of professionals, stating they will need ‘’a wide range of skills’’ to be creative, flexible, and adaptable. At HKBU School of Business, where he’s been for the better part of three decades, there are several methods used to ensure graduates stay a cut above the rest.
“At HKBU School of Business, we don’t run to where the ball is, we run to where we think the ball is going to be,” he says. “We focus on producing graduates who have entrepreneurial thinking, a sense of ethics and social responsibility, technology skills to cope with the digital transformation, and a global vision.”
Ranked among 1% of business schools worldwide, it’s the only business school in Hong Kong with triple accreditation by the three prestigious global accreditation bodies — AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, along with a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes. At HKBU, an unrivalled and world-renowned education developing well-rounded graduates is ready, waiting, and open to all. It’s these highlights and more that attracts aspirants from all corners of the globe.
With an extensive line up of postgraduate programmes, these students are set on the right path to secure rewarding careers in fields ranging from accountancy, to business administration and management, to corporate governance and economics, all the way to data analytics, finance and FinTech. Other programmes offered include human resources management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
For Natalia Petushenko from Russia, all it took was a pleasant conversation with a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) programme graduate to solidify her goal to pursue the same path. However, it was the fact that the school provided non-locals with various scholarships that made the idea of HKBU School of Business all the more welcoming. From one-off entrance grants, to full-tuition waivers — the options for international students are endless. The one that caught Natalia’s eye the most was the International Postgraduate Scholarships (IPS) which offer full tuition waiver and US$12,820 worth of living allowance.
What’s more, she knew the programme’s recognition from major international organisations, such as the ACCA, CIMA, AIA, and CPA Australia, would exempt her from most of the examinations required for obtaining the certification or membership, alongside the practical knowledge she’s actively gaining. It’s clear – Natalia has a lot to look forward to once she enters the workforce, but it’s the connections she’s made that she’ll miss the most. “Professors from the MAcc programme help me overcome any difficulties I encounter during studies,” she says. “They even have helped me find an internship in a large international company, and furthermore, I’ve made some good friends from my classmates.”
Yahya Kabboul from Morocco agrees. Looking back, the Master of Science in Finance (Fintech and Financial Analytics) (MScFTFA) programme student’s first impressions of the HKBU community were far from what he originally expected. He describes the people in three words: Fun, ambitious, and open-minded. As an international student surrounded by many other non-local students, his fondest memories include exchanging ideas over WhatsApp and WeChat at the beginning of the academic year while he was still in France, going on a hike in Victoria Peak, and being convinced to finally taste chicken feet in these recent few months as he is now in Hong Kong. The immersion began long before arriving in Hong Kong. By joining the youth-led AIESEC organisation, he got to make new friends and virtually attend workshops and meetings.
The attributes he used to describe the HKBU community are the same ones he uses to describe Vimal Pargain, his classmate-turned-flatmate who he got to know while partaking in virtual group projects. All the professors in the MScFTFA programme have also made an impact on his experience.
“We didn’t know most of the concepts we know now, but our professors were always there to answer our questions, address our concerns, and share the knowledge they gained from years of professional experience without hesitation,” shares Yahya.
Friendships and immersive teachings provided a great time for Yahya to study at HKBU School of Business — they are also the factors that encouraged Rodrigo Torres from El Salvador to stay in Hong Kong once he graduated. After completing the Master of Science in Data Analytics and Business Economics (MScDABE) programme, Rodrigo successfully finished an internship at Carrefour Global Sourcing and landed a full-time job at a start-up. At HKBU School of Business, he met a fellow international student, Parama Setiaboedi from Indonesia, with whom he found a special bond and source of unwavering support. One of Rodrigo’s fondest memories was travelling to Parama’s hometown in Indonesia and experiencing life there first-hand.
Professor Prendergast loves to witness these bonds come to life. ‘’It’s a very proud moment for me and my team,’’ he says. “Diversity is very important because students learn more from people who are different from themselves than they learn from those who are the same as themselves. Without diversity, we would not be a university.”
Rodrigo enjoyed the same level of support from his educators, like Dr. Monique Wan, Programme Director of the MSc in Data Analytics and Business Economics and MSc in Applied Economics programmes, who was always eager to check in before, during, and after his time at HKBU. In fact, she was the reason Rodrigo decided to pursue the programme he did — a decision he doesn’t regret.
If you’re keen on developing the same connections that can translate to lifelong partnerships, apply to HKBU School of Business. Applications for their postgraduate programmes for the September 2021 intake is now open, with deadlines ranging from April 2021 to June 2021. Act now.