Meet The MBA Class Of 2021: Laura Hawxhurst, HKU Business School

Laura Hawxhurst

HKU Business School

Curious, passionate lover of adventure, life-long learning, and exploration.”

Hometown: Sparta, New Jersey, USA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I became a certified emergency medical technician at age 16. I volunteered in my hometown responding to accidents and other emergencies in an ambulance. This experience allows me to remain calm in a crisis and gave me work experience with organizational management. My time as an EMT is one of my most valuable life experiences and laid the foundation for my career to date.

Undergraduate School and Major: James Madison University, Virginia, USA – BA History

Most Recent Full-Time Employer and Job Title: Director of Political Advocacy & Engagement at CVS Health

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA curriculum or activities that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The key part of the HKU MBA programme that attracted me is the international focus. Being in the middle of historic Hong Kong as the Greater Bay Area expands – with opportunities to study in mainland China, the US, or the UK –  is an incredible opportunity. Hong Kong is a richly diverse city at the center of business and culture. HKU offers a unique experience to study business where business happens and expand our networks and experiences to other international locations.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? My HKU MBA classmates are incredibly diverse and bring a wealth of experience to the table. It is easy to focus on the diversity of our nationalities, but our diversity of opinion and background is equally important. It is an honor to learn from my classmates every day in our class discussions and projects. The insights we gain from different socio-economic backgrounds, family lives, education styles, and work experiences are just as important as the course material.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest professional accomplishment so far is the creation of an employee advocacy engagement program for the 250,000 employees of a Fortune 10 company in the United States. It was an enormous project on a tight timeframe that involved working across many business units to be successful. In addition to the technical aspects of the hub, there were also the creative aspects and strategic education of my colleagues from all different backgrounds and business units that had to be done in order to make it an effective tool for the company to use on important issues. I learned how the entire business operated and how to cooperate and collaborate in a massive organization with internal and external stakeholders. This undertaking also made me passionate about efficiency as a business function.

What has been the biggest surprise in your first three months of business school? The biggest surprise in the first three months of my MBA is the importance of a high-performing team! We have a heavy course load and being able to transform our projects from group work to true teamwork has been extremely helpful and productive. We are able to rely on each other’s strengths and differences depending on the project which allows us to learn from each other and get more out of each assignment.

Every class requires active participation and team presentations, which facilitates all students to practice public speaking and pitching in a supportive and constructive environment.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have been lucky to work for a varied set of organizations from a 250,000-employee corporation all the way to a 15-person NGO. Most of my experience to date has been US-domestic focused. With my relocation to Hong Kong in 2019, I see pursuing an MBA now as a distinct pivot to a more international work experience, and to give some of my past roles a common language underpinning.

What do you see yourself doing ten years from now? Ten years from now, I hope to be working in a large corporate setting where my background in employee engagement can be used to its fullest potential. Whether this is in the consulting field or in-house, I would like to focus on improving outcomes through a diverse and inclusive approach to business outputs.


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