When Thomas Cheong, EMBA-Shanghai Class 13, entered the Washington University–Fudan University Executive MBA program, he had already been working for 20 years, becoming a CFO at age 32 and a CEO by age 40.
“I wanted to go back to school to recharge and learn new skills to prepare for bigger roles in the second half of my career,” he says. He chose the program because of the reputation of the universities and the opportunity to learn concurrently from a Chinese and American university.
“The professors at both schools were top-notch,” Cheong says. Even today he sits in on lectures when he has time, thanks to the program’s lifelong learning provision.
After graduating, Cheong became a CEO at an asset management company in Taiwan. There, he doubled the company’s assets under management in one year by building a strong team, developing a strategic plan for the future and forging productive relationships.
“All the stuff I learned during the EMBA program was put to good use,” he says.
“I am thankful that the EMBA program—particularly its courses on leadership, strategic thinking, innovation and marketing—has prepared me well for my current role.”
From there, he was recruited to be vice president of North Asia for Principal Financial Group, one of the largest pension asset managers in the U.S. and South America. They were looking to grow their operations in Asia. Now, more than 500 individuals report to Cheong.
“I am thankful that the EMBA program—particularly its courses on leadership, strategic thinking, innovation and marketing—has prepared me well for my current role,” Cheong says. “And the friendships and support of fellow participants and the mentorships of professors have also helped me a lot.”
This article previously appeared in Asia Extra. You can read the full profile here.
Article written by Rosalind Early
Image: Thomas Cheong, EMBA-Shanghai Class 13, with his son.