Hon Man Chung is originally from Hong Kong but, like many others of his generation, a real citizen of the world. He graduated from ESCP Bachelor in Management (BSc) in 2019 and since then directed his professional interests towards the areas of Innovation, Corporate Strategy, Consulting, and Digital Transformation.
The choice of one’s course of study is an important and complex moment. How did you come to know ESCP Business School and choose it for your education?
The first time I got to know ESCP was through my parents. Then I did a lot of research by myself, on the web as well as speaking with senior students at ESCP, to evaluate if it was the right programme for me.
When I was younger, I actually wanted to study engineering. But to be honest with myself, I wasn’t really into the technical side of things. Instead, I wanted to learn a lot about the industry and I was very curious about the business aspects. My parents also worked in the field so I was somehow attracted to go down that path. And so far, it seems like the right decision.
The main peculiarity of the Bachelor in Management (BSc) is undoubtedly the opportunity to study in 3 different countries during the 3 years of the programme. What was your journey and what were the main educational and cultural differences you faced?
During my Bachelor, I first went to London, then Turin and finally to Berlin. For our year London and Berlin were basically set, but I chose Turin because I had fewer chances to experience the Italian culture, so It was something I really wanted to live first-hand.
Every Campus has its unique perspective. In London, the people are really friendly and is obviously very nice to have that English background around you. Italy was a big change but I really loved the cultural difference. We went into that routine of going out to eat after classes, have a coffee, and go back to attend the second part of the lessons. Berlin was more familiar to me personally, but it was nevertheless a nice way to complete the experience.
The teaching was pretty consistent around the various Campuses. This gives the constant measure of the didactical quality of the programme as a whole. There was just the cultural difference that played a role. While in Italy we had a lot of fun chatting with our professors before and after classes, the climate in London was a bit more formal, for example.
What I really appreciated about studying at ESCP were the relatively small classes compared to an average German public university. You really get to know your professors, and your professors get to know you as well. I had also the opportunity to learn two languages, Italian and German.
Changing 3 states and, consequently, 3 cities, was, of course, interesting but certainly also very demanding, especially at your young age. What major difficulties have you encountered?
The main difficulties in changing so many cities and countries were mainly just through the administrative side, handling all the visas and language tests. Also finding an apartment was sometimes stressful, but other than that, the whole experience was really enjoyable. After the first year, you live all those challenges together with your friends, exploring a new city for the first time together. It is not that much of a chore.
I think there is a particular benefit of living in three different countries. Even though I have already had this experience before coming to ESCP, is the fact that while the study is a stable part of your life, everything around you is constantly changing and you have to adapt quickly, especially if you don’t speak the language. It really teaches you how to understand other people even with language barriers. It is a good skill to have.
Today is a very important day. In a few hours, during the Graduation 2019, you will get your Bachelor’s degree. What are your plans for the future and how are you going to invest this qualification?
Right now, I am in the middle of a 6 months internship at Bayer, in Leverkusen. Afterward, I would like to work for a few years before pursuing my studies with a Master, to gain more practical insight into the industry.
Actually, the Bachelor gives a great opportunity to enter an internship at the end of each year. I have built my experience at BASF throughout the years, before starting at Bayer in the digital innovation team. Here I had the stimulating task of promoting innovation among different levels of employees at the company through services and platforms that enable that change.
I am quite open to the future, even though I would like to work in Germany for a longer-term and travel abroad from there. In fact, my background and my Bachelor in Management at ESCP Business School leave me every door wide open. I will for sure evaluate any opportunity as it crosses my path.
Hon Man Chung