MBACM Travels to Hong Kong and Beijing – What We Learned

Whether you’re seeking employment in the U.S. or abroad, MBACM is dedicated to supporting every student’s job search. Every year the MBACM team has travelled to a location to expand our knowledge of the global marketplace, as well as collect and distribute key information about industries and companies to students. In the past, we’ve travelled to Brazil and Western Europe and this year image003we set our sights on China.

In December, Recruiting Relationship Managers Marco Smith (private equity and venture capital) and Hanne Berg (healthcare and CPG) travelled to Hong Kong and Beijing. Marco and Hanne began their whirlwind weeklong trip in Hong Kong where they met with six private equity and investment management firms. Marco remained in Hong Kong for the rest of the week and met with an additional eleven firms—including several real estate firms—while Hanne travelled to Beijing to meet with nine tech and startup companies.


So, what did they learn? Here are some overall themes and industry insights:

  • In financial services, the recurring theme is to “think globally, but have relationships locally.”
  • Private equity in the region is still considered more challenging, due to the lack of structure and formalization of legal services, banking regulations, etc. Hires at the most esteemed firms are sporadic, due to low turnover – as every hire is theoretically a partner-track opportunity.
  • Hedge funds and large mutual funds are increasingly aware of the value of U.S. work experience and the training MBA students receive in the States. They prize a thorough understanding of the Asian markets and the ability to balance financial intelligence with human capital.
  • Startup and entrepreneurial opportunities are hot and on the move. Chinese startups receive a variety of tax incentives, as the government hopes to stimulate innovation. Beijing is beginning to most closely resemble the traditional American hub of startup activity. However, censorship concerns have made it difficult for international Internet companies to succeed, though LinkedIn is on the path to become the first to break this mold.
  • Hong Kong is a great place for entrepreneurs and startups with the 5th fastest growing startup ecosystem worldwide (see Forbes article “Hong Kong’s Startup Scene Grows Up”) and recent visits to the city from Elon Musk as part of the government’s StartmeupHK program.

This trip was a great success and we’re looking forward to increased engagement with Chinese companies interested in Wharton talent in the form of job postings, trek visits, and conference involvement.


Interested in learning more about opportunities in China and how to strategize your job search? Schedule an appointment with any of our career advisors on CareerPath.  


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