The Flag in a Flagship
Among the many flagship programmes pioneered by CUHK, the undergraduate business administration programme offered by the CUHK Business School since 1963, the year the University was established, is the first of its kind in the region.
The School has now developed into a leading business school internationally and in the region with over 100 teaching staff and an annual intake of over 800 promising young men and women tipped to develop into global business leaders for the Asian Century. Its Integrated BBA (IBBA) Programme, the program with largest annual intake among all business programs, offers comprehensive exposure to all aspects of business administration which enables its students to succeed in a wide range of professions. IBBA is distinctive in that it equips students with both broad-based knowledge and specialized expertise.
Dr. Fred Ku, Director of IBBA, said, ‘Along with in-depth business knowledge, we also equip our students with a repertoire of professional skills like leadership, analytical thinking, problem-solving as well as presentation and communication skills. All these skills are essential for personal development and workplace success.’
Justin Ho can testify to the ideal environment here where students can learn and equip themselves with knowledge in various business aspects and enjoy the numerous opportunities to find their future pathways. He has just finished a full-time internship. He said, ‘The programme nurtures students to be leaders in a rapidly changing world. With the flexible curriculum, I am able to gain expertise in specific concentrations such as finance. Together with broad-based knowledge in other business subjects, I am able to acquaint myself with the cutting-edge knowledge and best practices in business and have grown confident of performing to excellence in future.’
IBBA students can freely choose from 10 concentration areas:
- Business Analytics
- Business Economics
- General Finance
- Financial Engineering
- Insurance and Risk Management
- Management of International Business
- Human Resource Management
- Quantitative Marketing
- General Business
There is no quota to any concentration. Students can adjust their areas of concentrations according to their interests, strengths and aspirations, and declare their concentration(s) in their final year of study.
IBBA students may graduate with a BBA degree with (a) specialization in one concentration; (b) specialization in two concentrations; (c) double majors with another business programme such as Professional Accountancy, Quantitative Finance, Insurance, Financial and Actuarial Analysis; or (d) minors discipline offered by other academic units in the University.
Justin described his learning experience thus: ‘The professors are enthusiastic and have a strong desire to share their expertise with the students. They help us develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Some professors have become my mentors through the mentorship programmes and guided me in the search for a career path.’
What about his peers? ‘Teamwork is vital in the workspace,’ said Justin. ‘The collaborative environment on campus enables us to work as a team and be team players. My classmates are collaborative but not competitive. We have a shared vision and work together to overcome challenges and achieve targets as a team.’
Dr. Ku said that IBBA is not just about classroom learning: ‘Our students are highly encouraged to immerse themselves in cultural exchange programmes such as international exchanges, overseas learning trips, international case competitions and global internships. Our personal development and career planning support also provides students with all-rounded skills essential to working in the real business world.’
Over 80% of IBBA students go on overseas exchanges in countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Over 90% of the CUHK Business School students take on internships before graduation in accounting, banking and finance, consultancy, the internet, tourism and hospitality, etc.
After a year of study, IBBA students may also apply for the Asian Business Studies (ABS) stream, a specialized stream run in partnership with Shanghai Jiaotong University in China and Waseda University in Japan. The ABS stream focuses on Asian business knowledge and practices. Students from the three partner universities will learn and live together.
Justin has not missed the point of a China advantage and the benefit of overseas experience. He commented, ‘Hong Kong is strategically located at the gateway to the fast-growing Chinese economy. Being students in a metropolis, it is crucial for us to develop a global mindset. Spending a semester in the US as an exchange student has enabled me to experience new cultures and communicate with people from all walks of life.’
According to Dr. Ku, IBBA students enjoy a diversified career path upon graduation. Graduates are employed in a wide variety of industries, ranging from banking, finance, accounting, public relations, civil services to research. Some of them have even started their own businesses.
CUHK Business School graduates enjoy the largest business school alumni network in Hong Kong with more than 32,000 graduates worldwide. This unparalleled network, both regional and international, gives rise to long-lasting friendships, business connections and opportunities for current students and young graduates.
Dr. Ku concluded, ‘The CUHK Business School is a global community where you will have the opportunity to embrace cultural diversity, expand your own global network and develop a truly international world-view.’
Justin shared his advice: ‘Learning and practising are essential to success. IBBA provides a good platform on which the students can equip themselves with practical knowledge and contribute to society by making use of what is learned here.’
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2018