Global Financial Services: Hong Kong, was a fantastic educational experience from a cultural perspective as well as a financial perspective. Three full time MBA students joined 25 part time MBA students in Hong Kong, China for a 10-day seminar course.
One of the nicest things about this experience was the wonderful accommodations. We stayed in a very nice, five star hotel in Mongkok, Hong Kong. This location was just minutes by rail or taxi from the International Commerce Center where we attended class each day. Our classroom was located in Morgan Stanley’s executive boardroom where in addition to engaging speakers, we had an incredible view of Hong Kong Harbor. The diverse array of speakers provided a rich amount of information about Asia’s emerging financial markets. Some of the best speakers were representatives from Asian hedge fund, private equity and banking industries.
Hong Kong is a truly international city that provides a unique blend of Western and Eastern cultures and serves as a hub for global business and pleasure. Multi-language road signs, British trams, Japanese trains, bilingual McDonald’s employees, and Asian street markets all contribute to Hong Kong’s international flavor. A surprise for students was the incredible disparity in Wealth and the lack of a middle class in Hong Kong. It is a bit shocking that a city filled with Rolls Royce’s and Ferraris has 50% of its population lodging in government subsidized public housing.
One of the most entertaining, challenging, and educational experiences of our time in Hong Kong revolved around dining. For the most part we did not enjoy Chinese food, though we were all glad of the opportunity to try it. This experience reinforces our appreciation for American-style cuisine!
One of the greatest things about the trip was the opportunity to weave a unique cultural experience in with exposure to finance in emerging markets. It is only fitting that a visit to one of the global financial capitals entails lessons in economics and finance. I personally had a fantastic time in Hong Kong and would highly recommend this J-term course to any student interested in learning more about global finance while experiencing a unique cultural experience.
Article submitted by Mike Burns