Blockchain To Big Data: MBA Students Are Learning To Mix Business With Technology
Alongside the classes he took in data analysis and technology consulting, Takashi says he was taught to manage and lead diverse teams, a key part of his job, and a key part of the professional development he was after on the MBA.
Apart from participating in business case competition at IESE Business School, Takashi also took part in a technopreneur competition held by HKUST this year. His team was made up of MBA students, engineers, and students from HKUST’s MPhil in Technology, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship.
Takashi says that interactions with business leaders on the MBA, engineers, and entrepreneurs left him in a position to move into a more senior leadership position with NTT Communications and NTT Ltd.
“I was in a team with Thai, Canadian, and Philippine students, so participating in the case competition was a very good opportunity for me to learn how to lead diverse teams.
“Before the MBA I didn’t have confidence in English communications, but after leading a diverse team, as long as I have the fundamental knowledge and skills in data analysis, finance, and so on, I feel I can effectively communicate and negotiate with any professional from any country and professional background—that was my biggest takeaway.”
An MBA curriculum for the digital age
Professor Allen Huang teaches students about blockchain technology on the HKUST MBA. He thinks students need business technology knowledge because of the importance in recent years of the tech industry.
“If you look at market capital, the top companies listed and where the development is coming from as the economic driver, you see that most of the companies are all in the tech industry.
“So, it’s very important our MBA students become familiar with the terminology, as well as what’s going on in the tech industry, so they can communicate with people with tech backgrounds.”
But he doesn’t expect his students to be skilled coders or programmers. Obtaining the knowledge is all about being able to communicate with the entrepreneurs or programmers in the firms they work for.
And it doesn’t matter whether you’re entering the program from a tech background or starting from a pure business sense.
“For some, they come from tech backgrounds, so for them the important thing is to understand business knowledge, finance, accounting, how you manage people. For the business students, they should look at a lot of courses in data analytics, and my course is about blockchain technology.
“I don’t think we need to prepare them to be a programmer or developer, but it helps them when they communicate with people from a programming background, as they know where they’re coming from in future.”
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