My fully sponsored Columbia Business School MBA experience
Alex recently rejoined Delta Partners’ Singapore office as a Team Leader after completing his MBA at Columbia Business School. Previously, he was a Senior Consultant based in Delta Partners’ Dubai office and was fully sponsored for his two-year MBA study in New York City.
Pursing an MBA at CBS was definitely one of the best and most impactful decisions I have ever made, both on a personal and a professional level. As I reflect back on my MBA experience, despite the pandemic, I am grateful for the opportunity to immerse myself in New York City with an extremely talented group of peers, and I look forward to bringing what I learned back to Delta Partners.
Learnings from MBA
Three major learnings from my MBA at CBS:
Given my interest in the TMT industry (and as a TMT strategy consultant), I was keen to learn more about data analytics, programming, and product development. At CBS, I was part of the Media and Technology program and was an active member in the Technology and Data Analytics Association.
Although I did not have any technical background, I pushed myself to learn a few programming languages such as Python and SQL, which allowed to me explore tools beyond Excel for advanced data analysis. I also took the opportunity to intern at one of the largest technology companies as a product manager in charge of developing a business intelligence product, in order to further deepen my understanding of applications of analytics in the real world.
I believe those skills are becoming increasingly important for consulting professionals, especially in the TMT industries where there has been an exploding amount of unstructured data. The ability to leverage data analytics tools for more efficient decision-making is critical for most if not all telecom and technology companies.
The soft skills
One of the key objectives I set out in the beginning of my MBA was to improve my leadership and communication skills, which are very essential in my new role as a Team Leader at Delta Partners post-MBA. I took part in workshops and electives to analyze my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, accompanied by professional leadership coaching offered by the school. I also took leadership positions in student clubs at CBS, such as the Media Management Association and the Asian Business Association, where I led school-wide initiatives and supported club members. These experiences helped me improve my communication skills and boosted my confidence to further progress my career at Delta Partners.
The TMT industries are rapidly changing on a daily basis. While at CBS, I was fortunate to learn from many industry leaders and experts in person.
For example, at a media industry summit I heard from Netflix’s Chief Content Officer and Verizon’s CEO on their perspectives of the latest developments in the industry. As part of the CBS West Coast Tech Trek, I visited the headquarters of many established tech companies and start-ups and witnessed their innovations first-hand. At the Columbia China Business Conference, I heard from leading investors and entrepreneurs in the Chinese tech industry, which was very eye-opening. I wish to bring what I learned from these industry practitioners back to Delta Partners and continue helping our clients in the industry solve their most strategic issues.
The fun part
MBA is a 2-year window to have fun as much as it is a learning opportunity. Despite the unexpected pandemic, I had a great amount of fun in New York City and across the US. With an awesome group of friends, I visited many iconic landmarks and explored a wide variety of cuisines in New York City, as well as traveled around the US before (and even during) the pandemic, in addition to school-organized socials and parties. I was fortunate enough to have met some of my best friends in life at CBS.
The Delta Sponsorship
Thanks to Delta Partners, my MBA study was fully sponsored, which allowed me to freely explore my interests and maximize the experience during MBA. It also helped significantly reduce the stress of looking for a full-time job so that I could focus more on learning and having a good time. Another perk of being a sponsored MBA student is that I was able to maintain a tight connection with the firm and my colleagues from the New York office. Throughout my MBA, I was invited to office parties, annual dinners, casual hangouts and recruiting events with Deltas in New York. Given my interest in the tech industry, I also connected with Delta alums working at tech giants like Google and Amazon.
Alex Congxu Ke