JOIN OPEN HOUSE ON DEC 2 (SAT) - OUR LARGEST ON-CAMPUS ADMISSION EVENT!
You will have the opportunity to meet alumni, students, professors, and network here. Join us to have your CV reviewed, attend info sessions and MBA masterclass led by renowned professors, join student and alumni panels, take campus tours, and more!
You're Invited! Join us for the HKUST MBA Open House Event (Dec 2, 2023).
Connect with alumni, students, professors, and working professionals who are on a journey to become aspiring business leaders. Enjoy CV reviews, consultations, information sessions, an MBA masterclass by renowned professors, part-time and full-time student and alumni panels, campus tours, and networking opportunities.
A Top Gear Flight with HKUST’s World-Class MBA Program
Zachary Bradford, Full-time MBA Intake 2023
Introducing Zachary (Zach) Bradford from our Full-time MBA program Intake 2023.
Zach grew up in El Paso, Texas, on the border of Mexico. Upon graduating from the US Air Force Academy, Zach was ready for takeoff. He served as a military pilot for the United States for over 11 years, flying across the globe for various missions and assignments, while loving every minute of it. Fasten your seatbelts and join the pilot’s seat to discover how HKUST’s world-class MBA Program becomes Zach’s wingman for his next career.
HOW ZACHARY AND HKUST UNITED
In 2020, while Zach was on a military assignment in Japan, his wife started a new Job in Hong Kong. As his military assignment approached its end in 2022, they both began discussing their next steps and where they should settle. After hearing about the positive aspects of Hong Kong from his wife and friends, such as the vibrant community, impressive skyscrapers, world-class cuisine, beautiful natural landscapes, and exciting Pacific adventures, it did not take much convincing for Zach to decide where his next chapter would be – Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong is what it looks like if New York and Hawaii had a baby!”
The saying goes that people pursue an MBA for one of three reasons: career advancement, location change, or career change. In Zach's case, it encompasses all three. He has always embraced new challenges, and envisioning a career in business, he saw it as the perfect opportunity for his next professional venture. The runway to transition from a military pilot to the business world seemed like uncharted territory since most former military pilots tend to pivot towards the airline industry. However, this did not deviate his course as he was determined to enhance his hard skills through an MBA, knowing it would provide the best chance to maximize future career opportunities and expand his local network.
CLEAR FOR LANDING – NEXT STOP HKUST BUSINESS SCHOOL
Zach first discovered HKUST through prior research, particularly when exploring the Financial Times global MBA rankings. While considering pursuing an MBA, he noticed HKUST on the list. Once he made the decision to move to Hong Kong, he delved deeper into his research, and HKUST quickly emerged as the top choice. In addition to expecting administrative support, Zach was drawn to HKUST's emphasis on technology and sustainability, as well as the diverse range of nationalities and professional backgrounds represented in each cohort. Another critical factor for him was gaining global experience. As an extrovert, Zach's MBA journey has been far from disappointing, it has exceeded his expectations.
ALPHA, BRAVO, CHARLIE, DELTA, HKUST
With Zach’s background and extensive experience in aviation, he brings a valuable and stabilizing influence to his cohort. A common instruction for new pilot students was “focus your attention from big to small. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. Fly the airplane!” Zach draws parallels to his MBA cohort, as they face numerous commitments that constantly pulls them into different directions. He emphasizes the importance of adopting a macro-approach to prioritization, ensuring that the most significant tasks are addressed first. Zach also highlights the significance of perspective, recognizing that everyone is busy and stress and anxiety can arise. However, he encourages maintaining calmness, finding balance, and looking at the “big picture” to navigate the MBA journey successfully.
TURBULENCE OR SMOOTH SAILING IN THE FULL-TIME MBA PROGRAM?
Zach states that so far, his MBA journey has been a blast.
“Not to be ageist, but I do think my appreciation for learning has grown as I have aged and so all of my classes are absolutely fascinating, and the faculty have been world-class.”
"Exams are just as 'un-fun' as I remember from my undergraduate days" Zach jokingly remarked. However, he acknowledges that it's a minor and balanced trade-off when considering all the knowledge he has gained in the first three months. One vivid memory he has is the unwavering support he received from the HKUST staff and Career Development Team. They assisted him with administrative matters, organized a variety of networking events, facilitated coffee chats, and presented numerous internship opportunities.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that being a student again for a year and a half didn’t sound like a ton of fun.”
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS WITH THE FULL-TIME MBA PROGRAM
Zach has set several ambitious goals for his MBA journey: acquiring a new arsenal of hard, technical skills and knowledge, establishing a global network of past, present, and future business leaders, and creating joyful and memorable experiences to cherish throughout his life.
He emphasizes how fortunate he feels to be among the few who could have the opportunity to pursue a Full-time MBA, and even more so to do it at a globally renowned university situated in one of the most unique and diverse cities in the world. He considers this experience truly once-in-a-lifetime.
Ultimately, Zach's aim is to secure a job. He firmly believes that by wholeheartedly dedicating his time and energy to the process, the desired outcome will follow naturally.