Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Michael Lau, INSEAD

Michael Lau

INSEAD

Committed to making an impact in sustainable farming in China.”

Hometown: Hong Kong, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: A certified Chinese tea sommelier, I can tell the origin and oxidation level of the tea in your cup.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Mathematics, Financial Analysis and Risk Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Founder, 2Elephants Co., a government-funded social venture that promotes sustainable farming in China

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? A short and efficient MBA program with a multi-campus model was particularly attractive to me because of my longer-than-average work experience and my desire to stay close to my family in Asia.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? One of the areas INSEAD has committed to is entrepreneurship. I look forward to the INSEAD Entrepreneurship Forum and the Venture Competition where I could draw insights from fellow entrepreneurs and the opportunity to connect with classmates who want to pursue entrepreneurship.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at INSEAD? What makes you most nervous about starting business school? I’m very excited to meet with the class coming from all over the world, to immerse in the French culture, and to travel on weekend trips in Europe. However, I’m also concerned about the potential outbreak of the COVID-19 on campus in France and Singapore.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My social venture has established ongoing sales channels to help 10+ farmers with sustainable farming practice in China increase their revenue by 15-50% annually.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Having run a social venture over the last three years, I realized that to scale up our impact, I must learn to adopt a different business model and utilize technology. My long-term goal is to start an Agtech company in China dedicated to helping Chinese smallholder farmers transition to sustainable farming.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? CEIBS for its China reach and LBS for its consulting focus, but INSEAD was my first choice given my reasons above and below.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What are the things that you would change if you could start over your social venture?

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I consider my priority for business schools the following: strong school prestige, short program duration, consulting focus, diverse class background in industry and ethnicity, and entrepreneurial spirit. These priorities are in line with both my short-term and long-term goals. To find out more about the schools, I reached out to current students on Linkedin and ask for their honest opinion.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My thoughts for business school emerged when I started to understand the importance of strategy running a social venture and facing business decisions daily. Having this entrepreneurial experience is exceptionally helpful for me to relate to different businesses and provide workable solutions when it comes to case study.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? I admire Disney not only because it offers happiness to a major population on earth, but also because of its crisis management in Florida’s crocodile catastrophe. Disney’s timely response and ongoing communication shows its dedication to responsibility and proactiveness to solidify its brand value. It has successfully contained the crisis that could otherwise be very devastating to its business.

DON’T MISS: Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2021