Paulo Chak, MSBA '19
“I believe life is a journey, and you get the most out of it by staying hungry and relentlessly moving forward. You need to keep making yourself better and challenging yourself with stretch goals,” says Paulo Chak of the intrinsic motivation that led him to enroll in Stern’s MSBA program. “At my time of application, I aimed for personal growth that would expand my comfort zone and synergize with my existing skillsets.”
At the time, Paulo was leading a small team driving data analytics adoption within his organization, and he had a strong desire to expand his skillset in order to continue to excel.
Paulo cites the program’s curated curriculum and top-tier faculty as a draw over other programs, as well as the format, which allowed him to continue to perform in his professional career. He explains: “The most compelling draw for the Stern MSBA program is that it is the only one of its kind that truly provides global exposure with a flexible part-time format. You grow with a great cohort consisting of leaders and experts in different industries without having to slow down your career progression.”
The courses provided Paulo the framework to immediately start replacing traditional approaches with new modeling techniques he learned in class, and this greatly improved the quality of his insight in his day-to-day professional work. An additional bonus, he explains: “I became better in explaining analytics and data science concepts in layman terms without overwhelming the audience with complex technical jargon. It is crucial to my role as the data analytics product manager to help business users understand how data analytics can be deployed and what values will be created.”
Paulo is a firm believer in collaboration and to him, “synergy” is not just a buzzword. It is a powerful opportunity for growth and perspective shifts, one he found in abundance during his time with Stern.
“There were synergies almost every day throughout my learning journey,” he says. “Our cohort had a diverse background which means in any group setting, there are members with different strengths and experiences to contribute. For instance, in my capstone group, we had a data engineer, an analyst, a business user, a project manager, and a Business Intelligence expert. This combination made us efficient in working on the capstone project while accelerating everyone's learning progress via cross-learning.”
“The makeup of the cohort is fantastic. The program admitted a group of highly experienced and bright professionals with diverse backgrounds. That provides ample sharing and cross-learning opportunities,” he says. “I know a lot more about how data is being leveraged differently for various industries and locations. I learned not only success stories but also pitfalls to avoid. These are handy references when I drive the data analytics journey in my organization.”
Stern’s environment—which fosters deep collaboration among the cohort and offers insight from faculty and guest speakers on the forefront of data and analytics—fortified Paulo’s excitement about the field and its potential to enable organizations to make use of the experience of others, systematically extract insights, and optimize actions.
Paulo looks forward to parlaying this enthusiasm for the growing field into his work at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. “I am on a journey to drive operational and cultural transformation across the organization, so the business can be more competitive and efficient through leveraging data and analytics,” he says. “I believe analytics services will further integrate into our daily routine, and become more approachable and action-driven.”
When reflecting on his return on investment, Paulo says he saw an immediate value-gain from the program, which he anticipates will grow in the future. “The Stern MSBA program was perfect for me. It helped me lay a solid foundation and acquire a sophisticated set of technical skills,” he says. “It also helped me grow from a project manager focusing on individual business cases to a leader driving transformation at scale.
The Stern MSBA program has provided me with a solid foundation, and the alumni network will continue to be a great source for professional advice, business partnerships, and long-lasting relationships.
Q: What words do you live / work by?
All things are difficult before they are easy
Q: How do you define success?
Have a story that I will be proud to tell
Q: What course was your favorite?
Data-Driven Decision Making
Q: What do you like to spend time doing outside of work?
Enrich my life, like trying new sports, working on projects, meeting people, learning new skills.