Shun Wang, who joined HKUST’s Part-Time MBA Program (Bi-Weekly Mode) in 2020, is a customer experience innovation manager at the Accenture Shenzhen Innovation Hub.
In many people’s view, MBA students at top business schools are mostly professional elites. They have a clear view of the big picture, are brave enough to challenge themselves, and can envision the future. They are also deep thinkers and love life. They know themselves and have clear goals. Wang Shun is such an elite.
Working at the Accenture Shenzhen Innovation Hub, he is a role model in both work and life, a customer experience innovation manager, a guitar enthusiast, a good speaker, and a business event host. By striking the perfect work–life balance, Shun manages to achieve self-growth and help others to add more meaning to life.
Make learning a lifelong habit
With 12 years of professional experience, Shun has worked for both foreign and private companies. He has learned different things from different platforms. His expertise grew exponentially after reaching a tipping point. During his time at Volvo, Shun was responsible for marketing, PR, and communications. Managing the company’s “internal identity and external image,” he honed his relationship management skills, journalistic acumen, and market insight.
“Working for a global leader in commercial transport and construction equipment manufacturing like Volvo not only opened up my international perspectives but also gave me a chance to participate in the digital transformation. It allowed me to stay up-to-date in the industry and be open-minded.” This led Shun to adjust his career plans and set his sights on another world-class platform, Accenture.
Moving from Volvo to Accenture meant more than just moving from Beijing to Shenzhen. Shun made a lot of effort to adapt to the pressure of changing from manufacturing to consulting, handling heavy workloads, and being in charge of operations as an entrepreneur. A fast learner, Shun quickly adjusted to the new environment.
In 2011, Shun joined Toastmasters International, an international non-profit organization whose vision is to improve its members’ communication and leadership skills. After joining the organization, Shun completed almost 1,000 public speaking engagements and facilitation sessions, and learned advanced communication concepts. This crossover experience increased his outside-in influence and improved his goal-oriented, holistic, and structured thinking.
Photo of Shun at a speaking engagement
Working for a Fortune 500 consulting firm such as Accenture, Shun admitted, “there is definitely pressure when you are surrounded by great people, but it also means a lot of room for growth, which is most gratifying.” With more than 12 years of professional experience, Shun has already developed the habit of learning. This habit continued at HKUST.
Advance in the company of great minds and inspire confidence in the workplace
Shun’s link with the HKUST MBA program began after he started work at Accenture. “I had considered studying in the U.K. and received an offer to do so.” However, he had not expected that his new colleagues and friends in Shenzhen would encourage him to enroll in HKUST’s MBA program.
“My colleagues and friends who had studied for an MBA at HKUST told me about their experience and gains, which raised my interest in this on-the-job program. So, I sought out more information about it.” Shun believes he has a wonderful bond with HKUST’s MBA program. He received the offer on October 4, 2019, one month after he came to Shenzhen. It was the most special Chinese National Day gift he ever received.
Juggling school and work took a lot of effort, not to mention the fact that Shun had just entered a new field at Accenture. “It was actually quite stressful. I worked overtime a lot and I felt anxious at the beginning. The good thing was that my colleagues and leaders gave me a lot of help and support, plus I gradually found a sense of joy and accomplishment in working for a consulting firm, which helped me to ease off from that ‘intense’ state quickly.”
Shun thinks he has a lot of freedom when studying for the MBA. “HKUST’s MBA program features an interesting ecosystem consisting of teachers, classmates, colleagues, and even the working environment we are in. We can choose the direction of learning within the curriculum framework according to our needs, so as to achieve mutual facilitation between learning and work. The Business Technology course, the first of its kind in Asia, is most relevant to my career development needs.”
Individuals are attracted to those who share similar traits. Shun describes himself as “an introvert who likes to make friends”. He set up an offline study group, “the Greater Bay Area MBA Club,” with several classmates from Shenzhen soon after joining HKUST MBA’s program. They meet once a fortnight to discuss theories and methods related to the course, and exchange ideas on business cases and business analysis with each other.
“The study group, which had only five members back in May, has 14 now.” Shun is happy to see students from diverse career backgrounds interacting with each other to spark more ideas. The group members publish articles on HKUST MBA’s website to integrate insights into different industries, which further improves their knowledge and thinking skills and enables everyone to be heard.
“HKUST’s MBA program helped me become more steadfast in my journey with the best.” Shun is thankful to his professors and classmates for inspiring his enthusiasm and confidence, which enabled him to cope with the pressure of learning new things while adapting to a new workplace.
Practice strict self-discipline and create rituals in life
From Volvo to Accenture, Shun has been working hard to broaden his career path without compromising life quality. With a wide range of hobbies, he has been hooked on the guitar since 2012 and considers it a “part of his life.”
“I taught myself guitar online for two years, and then went to a guitar teacher in 2014.” However, despite practicing year-round, Shun was never able to conquer his stage fright. “No matter how well I practiced, I would get too nervous to play in front of the audience or the camera.”
To overcome his stage fright, Shun set a goal in 2017 to play 100 times a year in front of an audience. He accomplished the goal through strict self-discipline and finally got over his stage fright. During the pandemic, he played the guitar for his classmates during breaks in online classes, bringing joy to them through the screen.
What Shun did not expect was that his persistence and execution would make him a “motivator” among his friends. “I have almost 30 friends who want me to push them to achieve their goals. Their different goals, be it English recitation or writing, share two common keywords: ‘one year’ and ‘100’.”
Moving from Beijing, his spiritual hometown, to Shenzhen, Shun is impressed by the city’s dynamics and inclusiveness, which gives him the confidence to continue his active lifestyle.
“I enjoy cooking for my friends. I have organized a party, inviting 30 or 40 close friends to count down the New Year’s Eve on December 31 since 2017. This ritual continues in Shenzhen.”
Shun’s stories with his friends continue in Shenzhen. He may send his friends an invitation card with a recipe attached, invite them to enjoy a yellowtail hotpot, play the guitar for them, or have discussions with them in a bookstore.
In his spare time, Shun likes to visit pristine scenic spots and take time-lapse photos. “I subscribe to a ‘natural’ way of growth in both life and work. I believe that we will eventually become better versions of ourselves as long as we can move forward while remaining true to ourselves along the way.”