Alex Hang Tran

MBA graduate Alex Hang Tran recently embarked on a professional and educational journey that can serve as an inspiration to us all. Studying her MBA online, Alex has been able to fulfil her passions for travel, study, and family life, all while successfully climbing the career ladder.

 

Thanks for speaking to us Alex. Could you tell us a little about yourself, and what you are doing right now?

I moved to New Zealand in June 2013, before which I had been dividing my time between studying and working in the UK and Asia. In the UK I studied my bachelor’s degree at LSE in London, and then I moved to Chester in the north of England where I worked at Bank of America for a couple of years. After that I moved back to Singapore and Vietnam, from where I studied my online MBA while working full-time for the US consulting firm McKinsey & Company. So yes, I’ve really been all over the place! While I was working and studying in Southeast Asia I gave birth to my first baby, right at the end of my MBA studies actually! Shortly after that a great job opportunity arose for my husband here in New Zealand, so we moved here and I began a new career working in the Auckland Council Economic Development Department as a researcher and department leader.

Why did you decide to opt for an online MBA course?

For me it was a very clear and easy decision to do an online MBA. The job I had with McKinsey at that time was fantastic, so while I wanted to acquire further formal education, I didn’t want to give up the chance to get work experience from such an amazing company. I had to find a way to work and study at the same time. Earning my MBA degree while remaining part of the professional network at McKinsey was the only outcome I was prepared to settle for! I was also bearing in mind the cost factors involved when starting an MBA. For example, to study an on-campus MBA you not only have to pay the tuition fees, but you also have to give up two or three years of earnings. So, an online MBA is really advantageous in terms of cost effectiveness, and you can also continue earning and having that all-important real-life work experience while getting a formal education.

 

 

 

An online MBA is really advantageous in terms of cost effectiveness, and you can also continue earning and having that all-important real-life work experience while getting a formal education.

How did you make the decision to study your MBA online?

For me it was a very clear and easy decision to do an online MBA. The job I had with McKinsey at that time was fantastic, so while I wanted to acquire further formal education, I didn’t want to give up the chance to get work experience from such an amazing company. I had to find a way to work and study at the same time. Earning my MBA degree while remaining part of the professional network at McKinsey was the only outcome I was prepared to settle for! I was also bearing in mind the cost factors involved when starting an MBA. For example, to study an on-campus MBA you not only have to pay the tuition fees, but you also have to give up two or three years of earnings. So an online MBA is really advantageous in terms of cost effectiveness.

 

What tips do you have for other students about staying motivated while they are studying online?

One other thing that really helped me was having a friend who was studying the same programme at the same time as me. That gave me a lot of encouragement throughout the programme. But more generally, I would say the most important advice I can offer is good planning; planning your personal life as well as your professional commitments. And don’t be too harsh on yourself, it is okay to take a break once in a while and take stock of things and re-energise yourself. This really helped me to come up with fresh ideas. So my advice to other students would be; plan, prioritise, and leave yourself some flexibility.