Hsiang-Ling Hsu

Country of origin: Taiwan

Market Analyst, ASUS

For my first job, I was lucky enough to join Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronic companies. Later, I was again lucky to join another big name in the semiconductors industry, NXP Semiconductors, to serve other top brands, SONY and SONY Ericsson, as my customers. At 25, surrounded by these top companies, I did ask myself why I really needed an MBA.

I did not need an MBA because I wanted to join a Fortune 500 company. Nor did I want to pursue an MBA simply to study abroad or to experience international, cross-cultural communication; I was fortunate to have spent part of my undergraduate studies in Japan, doing International Studies. I had a better reason.

My original intention was a dream, which was to help my country reposition itself in the world. Throughout my years in the electronics industry I realised that Taiwan was facing difficulties positioning itself in the rapidly changing environment, and the last thing I would like to see is Taiwan no longer being competitive. So I decided to pursue an MBA in the hope of going back to serve as part of the driving force that will transform the electronics industry in my country.

With that clear target, I set my criteria for choosing an MBA:

      • A European MBA with an international focus – I felt that business education itself is already too American, and I did not want to be “Americanised” personally. I also wanted to know more about the European aspects of business.
      • Strong in Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Marketing – all subjects I thought would be useful in my future career and that I would like to focus on.
      • Involved action learning

I shortlisted 13 top European MBAs and decided to apply to Lancaster because it met my criteria perfectly. Looking back, I feel grateful that the Lancaster MBA has enhanced my capabilities in many ways.

For Entrepreneurship, we had the Entrepreneurial Challenge, which provides consulting to start-up companies to help them prepare a business plan. Together with the clients, we had the opportunity to experience the tremendous process of preparing a business from the beginning.

The Strategic Management and Consultancy elements were one of my favourite parts of the MBA. I took all the four courses in this field and recommend them all highly. I had comprehensive training which included data analysis, strategic planning, project management, and customer relationship management. Also, the Consultancy Challenge is a terrific opportunity to practise what we had learnt in the class and learn how to deal with real problems and to interact with clients like consultants.

I also highly recommend the Marketing course. I already had a diploma in Marketing from my undergraduate studies, and was afraid that I would not learn anything new here. However, Marketing on the Lancaster MBA is totally different and immensely worthwhile. Previously I was taught to be a good marketing specialist, but the approach here is training me to be a Director of Marketing.

Kevin Roberts is another treasure of the Lancaster MBA. The sessions we had with Kevin Roberts – Global CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi – are completely real-time and realistic, giving us a precious opportunity to work for such a high-level leader in the field of global marketing.

The International Business in Context module in Prague further opened up my world. It was the first time I had been to a post-communist country and an Eastern European country in which everything was so different from the world that I had been used to. I gained valuable understanding of how important it is to localise your strategy implementation in order to adapt to local culture and history.

Last but not least, the critical thinking and reflective training from the Mindful Manager module helped me to review my life constantly, correct my mistakes, and progress step by step.

At the end of the summer term, as the first step towards my original reason for pursuing an MBA, I joined the Finance-Business Development Department of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for my summer internship. I am grateful that the Career Management Programme at Lancaster provided me with training on job-seeking and interview skills which helped me to get this internship.

At the end of it all, I hoped that, as a strategist, I could really combine the knowledge and techniques I had gained from the Lancaster MBA and my previous working experience to further contribute to the electronics industry in my country.

After the MBA

I now work in Taiwan for ASUS as a Market Analyst for European and American markets (North America + Latin America).

The training on the Lancaster MBA made me totally different from my colleagues who gained their education elsewhere. Critical thinking, the VUCA world, and other ideas in the Mindful Manager module gave me a different attitude toward my daily work—as an analyst I need to be objective and see things other people don’t see. I also gained a good understanding of the “tools” I need while analysing complex aspects of business, from finance, marketing to strategy. The experience in Prague is precious as well for the reason that Eastern European markets have a comparatively high growth rate and I now have a better understanding having had actual experience in the country. My current job is just amazing and exciting to me, and I don’t think I could have got this without the Lancaster MBA.