“Top MBA Program Specialized in Asian Economy”… Interview with the 10th S³ Asia MBA Students
The 10th S³ Asia MBA Continuing Students: Do-Yoon Kim, Prakriti Khanna, JoongKyu Ahn
“Top MBA Program Specialized in Asian Economy”
S³ Asia MBA at Korea University Graduate School of Business is a program offered by 3 business schools in Asia: Fudan University, China; National University of Singapore, Singapore; and Korea University. This 3 semesters program allows students to spend each semester in 3 different countries in Asia, which will be a unique cultural experience for them to be regional specialists. We met 3 AMBA students to hear their thoughts about the MBA program and their business plans in Asia region.
Q. Could you briefly tell us about yourselves.
Do-Yoon Kim | My name is Do-Yoon Kim, I am taking AMBA program. I am a Korea University graduate, majoring in life science. I have worked for ‘Korea Tooth Bank’ nearly 3 years before I started my MBA.
Prakriti Khanna | I am Prakriti Khanna, I am from India. I used to work for Deloitte, back in my country for 2 years.
JoongKyu Ahn | My name is JoongKyu Ahn. I have 9 years of experience at Nexon. I was a part of management team at the online game company.
Q. Could you tell us how you started your MBA? What was the reason that you chose S³ Asia MBA?
Do-Yoon Kim | In fact, I was thinking of taking MBA abroad. Then I read about AMBA on the University’s newsletter. I was fascinated by the fact that you can graduate with 2 degrees, one from KUBS and the other from either Fudan University or NUS, within one and a half year. Since I am interested in the Asian market and looking for a job in Asia, I knew AMBA is just the right choice. Fudan University and NUS are both renowned universities, so I assumed the courses would be very rewarding too.
Prakriti Khanna | I applied for the MBA because I wanted to pursue a different specialty. When I worked for Deloitte, my specialty was in private equity. However, I have been wanting to learn more about investment. I thought that I need to build a strong background in finance, as well as entrepreneurship and management in general. So AMBA seemed to be perfect to fulfill my academic interest, not to mention I get to take courses in 3 different cities during the program.
JoongKyu Ahn | I thought the best thing about AMBA is that it is guaranteed that you spend semesters in 3 different countries in Asia. Unlike exchange programs, you do not have to have research or prepare applications for your overseas study experience. After graduation, I would like to work for IT or FinTech companies in Singapore.
Q. From what you’ve experienced, what are some of the strengths of AMBA?
Do-Yoon Kim | KUBS’s AMBA offers small-sized classes, compared to other MBAs. There are 21 of us now, the 10th AMBA Class. Also, I need to point out that you get one and a half year in 3 different cities, with your 21 AMBA classmates. You build a very special and strong bond with classmates from diverse cultural backgrounds. In particular, I remember times when I counted on Chinese or Singaporean students when we went to their countries. I should also mention one of the courses <Asian Business Insights>. The course opens at the three universities, which allows you to visit business organizations there. It is a great chance to learn business practice in Asian countries.
Prakriti Khanna | During the program you stay in different cities which can be tough, but at the same time, I think that is one of the best things about AMBA. For a year and a half, you get used to one place and then move to the next city. Apart from the classes, the program gets you to learn how to adjust and live in a new place. And spending times abroad with my classmates has made us build close relations. As Do-Yoon pointed out, because of the small-sized class the teaching quality was very outstanding too.
JoongKyu Ahn | Korea University, Fudan University and NUS were each established in 1905. They are all renowned institutions with a long history. So during the program, you will be able to learn from recognized teaching staffs. The universities provide diverse student supports including career development programs, too.
Q. What sort of support does AMBA offer in terms of student network?
Do-Yoon Kim | Basically you will start your first semester at Fudan University, where you attend an additional orientation at the beginning of the semester. Besides an orientation held at Korea University, you meet classmates from diverse backgrounds on the orientation day. Also we have AMBA Alumni Association where professors also participate in the regular events.
Prakriti Khanna | For the semester held at Fudan University, we take courses with International MBA students at Fudan University. During orientation sessions, we got to know each other and got closer during the semester. We also had other events held for us at Fudan University as well, which I assume this is pretty much how it will work on our next semester at NUS.
JoongKyu Ahn | As Do-Yoon mentioned earlier, I think the Alumni Association is one of the strong student network offered by AMBA. In addition, there are alumni associations of Fudan University and NUS in Seoul, which AMBA alumni are also part of. In addition, there is an MBA association of 8 universities in South Korea, which AMBA alumni are eligible to be members. So overall we have 5 to 6 alumni events in a year, and they hold very great events.
The AMBA 10th Students, at Fudan University (Picture by = JoongKyu Ahn)
Q. You completed your first semester at Fudan University. Any thought on courses or life in China?
Do-Yoon Kim | I don’t speak fluent Chinese, so my classmates helped me a lot. Also two of my roommates speak fluent Chinese, which was a relief. During the first semester, my Korean classmates supported each other a lot, and my friends from China gave us great help as well. Since we attend lectures together with International MBA students at Fudan University, they helped AMBA students a lot, too.
Prakriti Khanna | I was pretty satisfied with the courses in general. I liked <Managerial Communication> and <Managerial Economics> in particular. The teaching staffs were really amazing especially my economics professor. I was happy with <Financial Accounting> as well, because the professor often referred to practical examples in the lectures. As regards life in general, I think modern facilities in China were very impressive too. The only issue was my language fluency, I am not fluent in Chinese and it was an issue at first. However, I got used to it and I was able to complete my first semester in China.
JoongKyu Ahn | I was actually pretty impressed by the country in general. It was my first time visiting China, and it was so different from what I had in mind. For example, I was surprised how dynamic and international Shanghai is. I was also surprised to how pervasive mobile pays are in China – you can make payments even at stalls on the street via WeChat or Alipay.
Q. How do you feel about your current semester at Korea University so far?
Prakriti Khanna | Pretty good, actually. I feel international students in our class find it easier to catch up with classes this semester, compared to last semester in China. Korea University offers Korean language programs and people in Korea understand English well when I get stuck with my Korean. My Korean friends took me to cultural events as well, such as cherry blossom festival and other social events. It is also great that sometimes you can have lunch or dinner with your professors here; it is great to talk about things other than the course. I am also very satisfied with the fact that I can learn from the teaching staffs who have degrees from world-renowned universities.
Q. Do you have any advice for those who are thinking of taking AMBA?
Do-Yoon Kim | The best thing about AMBA is that you build unique and strong relations with classmates. You will be able to learn a lot from your experience living in 3 different cities.
Prakriti Khanna | I am aware that there are thousands MBA programs out there. However, two things need to be taken into account: ‘what do you want to learn from MBA’ and ‘your career plan after your MBA’. Since each MBA has a different emphasis, you need to have a close look before applying.
JoongKyu Ahn | I would advise you to focus on ‘what made you consider taking MBA’. If you can answer that, work on your new plan as soon as possible. I have spoken to an MBA student from Italy back at Fudan University, (s)he was 23 years old which is quite an early age to start an MBA. I guess as long as you have a clear sense of goal, the earlier, the better.
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