It may not have been itemised in the curriculum, but one skill Bruce Zhu Honghai certainly acquired during his PolyU postgraduate course was good time management.
Keen to pack as much as possible into his one year, studying the full-time master of finance (investment management) programme, he had to juggle not just coursework, group projects and exams, but also had to fit in research and interviews to ensure he had a good job after graduation.
"Arranging my time was probably the biggest challenge," says Hong Kong-based Zhu, who currently works as an executive trainee in the corporate banking department of ICBC Asia. "There was always an assignment or homework to be finished, but [I realised before embarking on the course] that it would mean limited time for other activities."
He was ready to make this commitment, knowing that a finance-related master's degree was a necessary step to boost the prospects of faster career progress.
Aware also of the PolyU course's reputation for offering comprehensive content and close links with the business community, he was determined to grab the chance.
"I was confident the programme would offer the right training and preparation before I actually entered the world of finance, which has turned out to be the case," Zhu says.
"I intend to pursue a career in the banking industry - perhaps moving back to the mainland - so I appreciate being able to ask the professors for advice, even after completing the course," he adds.