How I leveraged my MBA network to launch my career in sustainability |

How I leveraged my MBA network to launch my career in sustainability

By Chloe L

Updated May 13, 2022 Updated May 13, 2022

Sponsored by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School  

An MBA will help you build up a broad range of skills, provide insight into the world of global business and might even help you start your own business, but one of the most useful aspects of completing an MBA is the professional connections you will make.  

We spoke to MBA alumnus Takumi Saito about how his connections and MBA network at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School (CUHK) led him to a career in sustainability.  

Choosing a business school with a strong alumni network 

Born in Japan, Takumi Saito was initially drawn to Hong Kong SAR because of the high number of prestigious business schools there. He was also attracted to Hong Kong SAR’s location as a gateway to the Asian job market.  

There are a total of 41 business schools featured in the most recent QS Global MBA Rankings: Asia, but Takumi found the CUHK’s MBA had several unique advantages. 

“The main reasons I chose CUHK were its entrepreneurship element and its alumni network,” said Takumi.  

Attracted by the MBA’s active curriculum, which features several practical modules where students could collaborate on real commercial projects with local enterprises, Takumi was looking to be pushed beyond his comfort zone.  

He said: “I had few chances to work with people from other countries in my previous work. The MBA provided me with opportunities to discuss ideas with people from around the world on an equal footing.” 

Takumi was also impressed by CUHK’s extensive alumni network. Its MBA programme boasts 7,000 graduates across 40 locations.  

“I had heard that CUHK’s MBA programme had the largest alumni network in Asia, so I thought I would have a chance to contact with many people to broaden my horizons and think about my career,” he said.  

Building connections through the mentorship programme 

CUHK offers an elite mentorship programme for MBA students, allowing them to connect with an experienced professional on a personal level to gain advice on career planning and development and to build up their professional network.   

The professionals are all CUHK alumni who hold senior positions in corporations.  

“This mentorship scheme will accelerate your networking because mentors not only provide personal consulting but also connect you with other alumni or colleagues,” said Takumi. 

CUHK MBA mentorship programme aims to match MBA students with mentors based on their career interests. Takumi was unsure of his career goals at the start of his MBA but now hopes to contribute to the development of emerging economies, helping as many businesses as possible contribute to this.  

It was through his mentor that Takumi received his job offer. Takumi’s mentor is an entrepreneur whose company recycles industrial waste in Thailand using Japanese technologies. This has both a positive effect on the environment and saves on disposal costs. 

To help build Takumi’s network, his mentor connected him with acquaintances and business partners working in Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand. These conversations helped shape Takumi’s career plan and aspirations.  

Aside from building his professional network, Takumi also benefited from his mentor’s feedback and advice on his resume and job applications. With his hard work and support from his mentor, Takumi received job offers from a leading tech company and a M&A firm. 

However, after Takumi had been speaking to his mentor for more than a year, his mentor offered him a job in his company, which he accepted.  

“As we had been in touch almost every month for over one year, my mentor highly evaluated my potential, with an understanding of my personality, professional skills and aspiration. I was able to see his vision and set of values,” said Takumi.  

In his new role, Takumi will be in charge of sales, marketing and finance, providing the processing service for customers and assisting business investments to expand the business. 

“I believe that one of the MBA’s greatest values is the network you build. You will be able to reach many different industries and positions,” he said. 

Learning to work in a diverse environment 

As part of CUHK’s MBA programme, Takumi also had the opportunity to study abroad. He decided to study in the UK, to better understand the differences between Western countries and Asia. 

“Seeing the similarities and differences between the West and Asia helped me understand the business environment better,” said Takumi. 

During the exchange programme, Takumi improved both his analytical and presentation skills. He was able to interact with classmates in an international environment and work alongside people from different backgrounds.  

“The whole experience in the program changed my perspective so that I could be more flexible when discussing in a diversified environment,” he said.  

Overall, Takumi credits his success to the networking opportunities at CUHK.  

“This wonderful opportunity would not be realised without the CUHK mentorship programme and its huge worldwide alumni network,” he said.  

This article was originally published in March 2022 . It was last updated in May 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for and, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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