Meet Ni Joyce Zhang, an exceptional individual and one of the distinguished class representatives from our Full-time MBA program Intake 2023. Joyce’s journey began in the northeastern region of Mainland China, where her determination and drive laid the foundation for her remarkable career.
With almost 9 years of valuable work experience in Beijing, Joyce’s professional path encompassed diverse roles as a derivatives trader, interbank market bond trader, and portfolio manager at renowned securities and insurance companies.
HOW JOYCE AND HKUST CROSSED PATHS
For years, Joyce found herself immersed in a narrow industry, confined to a single city. The desire to pursue an MBA has been a long-standing aspiration of hers. The year 2023 was finally the time to make a concrete step – turning this aspiration into reality.
After conducting extensive research and careful deliberation, Hong Kong emerged as the ultimate destination for Joyce, thanks to its close connection to the mainland China market and international presence. Although being aware of the rigorous and challenging nature of the program, Joyce’s unwavering determination to join HKUST prevailed, considering her existing industry experience and the relatively low opportunity cost.
“HKUST has the best business school in Hong Kong, so that’s why I chose HKUST”
With a focused interest in the FICC field, she discovered that HKUST has the curriculum and resources that would be highly beneficial for my future career plans, return on investment, and industry resources. Seeking further validation, Joyce proactively engaged with alumni, engaging in enlightening coffee chats that reinforced her belief in the transformative power of an MBA. Joyce pointed out that while an MBA does not guarantee that you will land your dream job, it can serve as a catalyst for maintaining a positive mindset, unlocking newfound opportunities, and propelling oneself towards desired goals.
INVESTING IN YOUR FUTURE
Joyce used a metaphor to explain why pursuing an MBA degree was important to her. Joyce envisioned her 30s as investing in a fixed-income bond, assuming the market rate remains stable. This investment offers two types of returns. The first part is a fixed coupon that is received annually or at fixed intervals, which can be equated to her salary. The second part is the appreciation of the bond as its credit rating value increases. In other words, Joyce has been receiving stable returns for being consistent over a long period, but if she wants her bond to become more valuable, she will need to improve its credit rating. This is why Joyce believes that the HKUST MBA program provides the highest return on investment and has the potential to enhance the value of her 'bond'.
THE TURNING POINT
You need to have a clear understanding of what you can handle and which program you are applying to. Prior to applying, Joyce attended almost every webinar and online workshop to gain a better understanding of the University and its program. In 2022, Joyce had the opportunity to meet Jonathan Kwan, a career advisor at the HKUST MBA program, and they frequently communicated through LinkedIn. Joyce vividly remembers a significant message from Jonathan, emphasizing the value of obtaining a positive mindset growth as a valuable asset, especially in times of uncertainty in the present and future.
Her “aha” moment occurred during the application process, which proved to be a genuine challenge as it prompted deep personal reflection and introspection. Even if one doesn’t end up attending business school, the process itself is incredibly beneficial.
"I have a strong desire to take risks and explore new opportunities, and I believe that HKUST offers the most immersive programs. That's why I chose HKUST – to push myself beyond my comfort zone."