Information on HKUST-MBA Program hosted by Current Students

Hi PGs In recent times we have received lots of queries regarding our HKUST (The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology) MBA Program which has scaled new heights with each passing year and so we-the current students have started th…

Hi PGs

In recent times we have received lots of queries regarding our HKUST (The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology) MBA Program which has scaled new heights with each passing year and so we-the current students have started this thread to help prospective applicants by answering their queries here. We would be happy to answer queries related to our experience at program, study methodology, admissions process, curriculum, MBA clubs, extracurricular and any other thing which we are in position to answer with regards to the program.

But we would not be able to provide any comments on possibility of someone getting selected by looking at the profiles so please avoid posting your profiles on this thread. Profile questions shall not be addressed by us. Anything related to checking of status for applications submitted please contact MBA office directly.

We will host this thread till May end 2011 so that we can provide enough information on the HKUST MBA Program and answer your queries but at the same time please bear with us for around 24-48hrs to reply to your queries.

We would appreciate and encourage you to visit the School website (MBA) to get most updated information on admissions deadlines, process, GMAT Average Scores and class breakup based on gender, past experience etc. We would recommend you to post a clear and specific question so that it helps the whole PG community to get more relevant information on HKUST MBA.

Here are few key facts about the program:

  1. Our Class size is 115 people with diverse backgrounds (e.g. Police, Banking, Consulting, Music, Digital Media, marketing, IT, Law, Communications to name a few) coming from 25 nationalities

  1. The mission of HKUST MBA is to prepare talents to Lead in the Globe and Excel in Asia

  1. The close vicinity to China is a big plus to understand the emerging economy and to find out more about the Chinese culture i.e. both business and traditional

  1. HKUST MBA is Ranked 6th as per latest FT-2011 rankings whereas our Kellogg-HKUST EMBA is ranked 1st in the world

  1. Most faculty members hold Doctorates or have strong industry experience which provides us broader perspective on business and management

  1. The current batch has 6 Indian students with different backgrounds ranging from finance, marketing, IT, communications, digital media

Also you can get commonly asked FAQs at the link MBA

Please feel free to post queries about the program.

The current students include Rishub, Manish, Arvind, Tina, Parvathy and me (Gaurav).

HKUST MBA Current Indian Students Team

Hi Gaurav,

Thanks for doing this!

I have a couple of questions:

1) How is the placement for Indian students esp in HK last year? (this year if anything has happened yet)

2) Are placements restricted to HK or to Singapore as well?

3) Any idea of the competition for exchange? Do people generally get their first choice of school?

4) How is the diversity? The impression I get that majority of the class is from East asia? (China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia etc).

5) How widely do you think it is recognised in India? (subjective question I know!)

I have already got an admit from HKUST and am the stage of deciding. I also have an admit from ISB. I am awaiting news from INSEAD (which is my number one choice). If I don't get INSEAD then I have to choose between ISB and HKUST hence the above questions.

Thanks a ton!


I have applied to HKUST in the month of January 2011, i.e. for the third round.

As per the website, the interview calls will be out by the 10th May 2011. Are the admissions at HKUST not on rolling basis?

Also, do people get admits in the third round? The website says, applications will be considered only if seats are left after R1 and R2.


Hi hkustorisb

First of all congrats for ur admissions call from HKUST and ISB and good luck for ur Insead results. I'm glad to answer your queries one by one.

1). Placement for my senior batch has been so far good. We had around 8 indians in senior batch and out of them 6 have already started working in different companies. 2 are searching as they have not been able to get something as per their interests. This year we are still searching for our internships before we start for our job search. The response to HKUST has been good in last few years from the companies.
2). No, jobs are not restricted to SG,HK or indonesia but since many people come to HKUST with a mindset to work in Asia especially China and HK so they try and find something in these countries. But for consulting industry in HK-China language requirements are there in most of the companies. People do get jobs outside the countries u mentioned and some people got into leadership/management programs where u r working in different parts of world on rotational basis before u settle down to one particular place. Its upto u where u wanna work and where u wanna apply.
3). We are still in the process of deciding our exchange and have not got the results so far for our choices but what I have heard from senior batches is that 90% of the people do get their first choice of exchange schools.Some schools r in high demand like chicago, NYU Stern, columbia and LBS and so they have more competition than others but we have good number of seats for these schools and each year they vary so people normally get the first choice.
4). I would say that we have 25 nationalities for 115 people. Chinese and HK born people are the most represented people in the class overall but we have plenty of other westerners too. e.g. 2 Brits, 4 french, 4 spanish,6 germans, 7-8 americans, 3-4 koreans, 3-4 canadians,6 indians,2 kuwaitis, 3 japanese, phillipines, singaporean,malaysians,indonesian-1. I would not say that its more of east asians but mix of people.
5). To be honest HKUST many people might not know it but now people have started recognizing it and if u go and ask someone who does not know anything about the MBA schools then u r not gonna hear anything about HKUST from them but companies have started recognizing it but still in india ISB and IIMs are more known or US schools or european schools are more known. It will tk some time but HKUST is coming up as its rankings r going up. Also we do not have many Indian Alumni in india so that is also another factor. But that does not restrict you from getting into good companies in india especially if u r applying for MNCs with operations worldwide.
I hope i've answered your queries and u would be able to get some insights into the program. For me it has been a good experience so far and its been enriching and knowledgeable too. Moreover you would have got invite for ning network for HKUST where in u can chat with current students and new admits as well. That ways u get more info of diversity and u can post questions to get a different views.

Hope it helps. best of luck. If u have any further queries pls feel free to ask.


Thanks for such a detailed and thorough response!

the 6 who have started working.. are they in HK itself or India or elsewhere?
How much is the language problem in living in HK and then getting a job in HK after(finance?)

As far as the MBA program is concerned, is it true that it is a solid finance program and as far as the marketing and consulting side go it is not so strong? What about Entrepreneurship?

Hi nemesis09

We follow our admissions schedule as published on our website here. If time and resources allow, our admissions committee will review the applications earlier. However, that is not guaranteed and candidates should still take our admissions schedule for reference.

For the part-time program, we have limited seats for strong candidates only in the 3rd round. But this is not the case for the full-time program. We have seats available and still admit candidates for the final round of full-time admissions.


hi hkustorisb

3 of them have started in HK. 1 is in HK but he is on rotational program so he will be going to Thailand soon. 1 is in SG. 1 is in India and he is deciding on his location which could be London, Mumbai or HK.

Language is an issue in HK but then in office or in school it is not that big problem as u get people who are fluent in English. And regarding finance openings it depends on what u r opting for in Finance e.g. Buy or Sell side i.e. if you are in business where in u need to communicate with clients from China then Mandarin is must else not.

I don't agree that it is only for finance. We have multiple electives on marketing and consulting. but since HK is financial hub people come to HK for that and that is why it is considered finance program. For consulting we have profs who have worked in mckinsey,BCG and couple of other companies. for marketing we have courses taught by people coming from industry e.g. we have a prof who was CEO-Asia for pepsico, CEO-China for Walmart, CEO-China for Volkswagen. So we have profs from different experience and industries which gives u good exposure on various subjects and u can opt for the different subjects based on your interest.For entrepreneurship we have couple of subjects and profs who come from PE and VC industry and have experience in start ups. Also we have entrepreneurship club for mBA. Plus we have upcoming HKUST Entreprenuership competition soon and lots of activities keep happening in the university on the topic and our club also arranged few events which were helpful.

I hope that answers ur query.


Thanks so much for your reply Gaurav!

Another question - How much importance is given to the GMAT score? My score is close to the average score of the HKUST's students.

What can compensate for a low GMAT score?

Also, the average age of the class is 29 years. Is there a significant number of students having 2-3 years of work experience?


Hi Nemesis09,
The GMAT score is one of the deciding factors for admission into the program hence it is important but not the only DECIDING factor. You can compensate a low GMAT score by demonstrating other achievements such as significant leadership initiatives/roles, unique experiences in your personal and professional life and any other trait(s) of your personality that differentiates you from other applicants. With regards to work experience, most of the students have much more than 3 years of work experience; I don't think there would be more than 2-3 students with work experience of less than 3 years.

Thanks Rishub!

I would be completing 3 years of work experience by August 2011. Is there a good number of students with a similar work experience?

Specifically asking this question, since I am apprehensive that my less Work Exp. may be the reason for not receiving an interview call, other aspects of the application good.


Can you please tell me if I can still apply to HKUST MBA starting in August (since they say round 3 would be considered only if round 1/round 2 is full). Also, I shall be completing 3 years of experience this june in the technology division in an my work experience too less to be considered for application? I have good acads background but EC is average. Please let me know.


Hey Nemesis09

As Rishub has mentioned about the other aspects of the application I think you can always make your application strong and show your various achievements, skills which can be unique and help you stand out amongst the crowd. Also I think HKUST needs min 3 years of experience if I'm not wrong but I would encourage you to check HKUST MBA website for th more information on pre-requisites. Also if candidate is strong then 3-4 months here or there may be considered on case to case basis.
If you can show different reasons why you are suitable fit for the program I think you stand an equal chance of getting an interview call as any one else with 3 or more than 3 year of experience.


Hi guys.. one quick questions.. any regrets in choosing HKUST for ur MBA?

We are very happy to choose HKUST for our MBA program. Some of the reasons are-
Huge diversity. You can meet people from all over the world. This increases your network that will be with you for your whole life. It is this kind of network that makes the MBA program so valuable.
Best business school in Asia and now world number 6. This shows strength of our MBA program.
Hong Kong is a big financial hub. This helps you to make network in the financial sector.
You get deep knowledge about the Asian economies here at HKUST. This helps you to work anywhere in Asia.
Many of our professors have worked at senior positions in the industry. This helps us in understanding more clearly about the practical applications of the course.
Overall we have learned a lot from our MBA program that will be very useful for our career.

and what are the draw backs about the school ? (every school has some!)

Hi hkustorisb,
I will try and take a stab at answering your question about drawbacks, but this is my personal opinion - I do believe that mandarin can be an issue in terms of job hunting - that said, it all depends on what you want to do (finance in general is more language neutral than other fields such as marketing or consulting) and how you present yourself to the employer - as you may know there are a lot of expats working in HK and many of them don't speak a word of mandarin or cantonese.

Hi Khandwe,
You can check the MBA website for key application dates, and as for your question about your workex - I think its more important to show in your application that how you are different and how your lack of workex as compared to others is compensated by other aspects of your application.

Yeah language is definitely one of the major considerations..
Im still quite torn between HKUST and ISB though!

I was looking at the FT 2011 rankings and I was wondering what could be the cause for HKUST's low employment % figures?