As if the MBA were a book about to begin, I fancied writing a preface. My intention is to explain what am I going to be doing during the following months, and how do I feel about it.

After about a year of preparation I feel that what once was a dream, and more recently became an obsession, finally becomes real: next Monday, I will fly from Beijing to Hong Kong and on Tuesday I will register at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

The last 12 month have been one of the most special of my life. I have been through the GMAT and IELTS pressure, the writing essays workload and the extremely desperation of the “waiting-for-an-answer” period. Eventually, I have been able to choose between different business schools within the world top-20, which was both, a huge privilege and a responsibility.

Why did I decide to leave my job, my country, and many friends and family and move to Asia? Why not go at least to the US or to one of the great schools in Europe? After writing all the essays I feel that answering “why” should be easy, but is still a complicated question, and the most honest answer is that something inside me has been shouting me to do it for years. I don’t want to sound snobby, but the idea of learning about different business topics from first class business leaders and peers with unique experiences and backgrounds sounds too good. Of course I want to improve my career, earn more money, and all that stuff… but to be honest, I am not even completely sure about what do I want to do after the MBA, so the academic and personal reasons are as important as the professional ones.

There is not a big “in your face” reason to explain why Asia, but many facts together made it happen: the quality and prestige of the HKUST MBA is of course an obvious one, but are also important the possibility of experiencing a new culture, the still high-paced economic growth of China, the opportunities of establishing new bridges between the East and the West, the fame of Hong Kong as a financial hub, the extremely good feeling with Phebe first and Gary and the rest of the admissions team later, the lower total cost of the program, and why not to mention, it’s closeness with many paradisiac south-east Asia countries.

So here I am, a few days before taking that plane and I already have deadlines to meet, but I must say that so far, HKUST is demonstrating why is among the best programs in the world. Every single peer and staff member that I have meet left on me an excellent impression, the “Career & Professional Development Office” is hands on with us, and all the pre-MBA activities appear to be well planned. I hope that most of the things end up being as good as they look now!

With these lines I also want to acknowledge all those people who made it possible for me to be here today, starting with my family, from who I have been physically far away since I started Uni, but that accepted walking next to me on this in many ways. Also, friends that I met at University and that had, and still have, great influence on me, like Julian that is always there, or Jorge, the other “co” of me being a “co-founder”. Also to my peers and bosses in IMS Health from who I was shaped as a professional, with special mention to Sergio and David who kindly helped me with the recommendation letters, and to Xavi who has been a great workmate/jogmate/flatmate and friend since we first met. The same with peers and bosses in Atresmedia, where in a blink of an eye, a group of amazing people (that I am looking forward to receive in HK) made me feel home, noticeably Javier has always supported me, to an extent that exceeds by far my expectations from a boss, in both, professional and personal matters, and to Edu, who accounts for half of anything I have accomplished in Atresmedia. Finally, I must mention Eloísa, who is crazy as hell, and decided to leave everything and literally walk with me on this adventure. She has always supported me, and I am so proud to see her now so happy with the new opportunity in Shenzhen. It would definitely not be the same without her!

And, although I’ve mentioned some names, there are many many more. My friends from my hometown, all those in Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Norway, now Beijing… Life-partners that have been hearing about the MBA since more than 5 years ago, all the clients, suppliers, entrepreneurs, VCs and co-workers that I have collaborated with during the last 4 years, everybody that have been by my side have shaped who I am now… I own each and every one of those people a big thank you for allowing me today to make this dream come true.

See you in Hong Kong!

Francesc Lucena


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