Alex Thong MBA '20
Alex Thong, MBA candidate (2020)
Current role: Associate Partner, Talent Information Reporting & Systems, Human Resources, NSF International
Work/life balance: Traveler, gamer, badminton champion.
"If you’re in the Lang MBA program, you won’t have a shortage of opportunities or new directions for your career. This program prepares you to better take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way by teaching you critical thinking and self-reflection skills."
How has the Lang MBA transformed your career?
Coming from parents who immigrated to Canada and raised 4 rambunctious kids always instilled in me a belief that you can accomplish anything with hard work. As I gained experience in the business world, I realized that the skills and education I received during my undergrad was not enough to influence change on a global scale at my organization. The Lang MBA program provided me with critical thinking skills necessary to remain competitive in today’s global environment. The very first course I completed, Management Communications, was one of the most difficult yet rewarding courses in the program. It taught me to be clear, concise, and direct. Eliminating useless “business words” and ensuring that all parties understand each other. If we (Lang MBA alumni) are going to change the world, we need to be able to clearly articulate how to go about doing so.
Describe your experience during the on-site residential periods.
I always loved movies that end on a good note. Maybe that’s why I’m a Michael J. Fox fan? Whether it was chatting after classes, going to dinner early together, or staying on campus and studying – the residential experiences allowed our cohort to get to know each other in a personal way. Not just the basic questions like “what do you do for work” or “what are you hoping to specialize in” but serious questions such as “how is your daughter doing” or “how does it feel being a dad?”
During these past two years, our cohort has shared common successes and tragedies, cheered each other on, and supported each other. At first, you think it’s just expanding your network and having study buddies, but once you’ve been through it, you realize it’s more of a community where you can combine your experiences to help you better succeed in your career – whether it be changing your organization or changing your community.
How did you find the online learning component of the program? Was it beneficial to be able to continue working at your job during your studies?
100% the most significant benefit to this MBA was its online component and being able to work during classes. I frequently found myself applying it to corporate policy and approaching our business models with a more sustainable mindset. Other MBA programs market active teachers but this program has many pro-active professors. They would respond immediately to my questions, and I would feel awful if I didn’t send the thank you message within 24 hours! You can tell that CourseLink and the online learning components were well thought out keeping us working professionals in mind.
Did you find any career advancement or new direction during or after your studies? Did Lang help open more doors or show you new directions your career could take?
If you’re in the Lang MBA, you won’t have a shortage of opportunities or new directions for your career, but that isn’t what’s important here. This program prepares you to better take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way by teaching you critical thinking and self-reflection skills. Whether it’s learning from your peers and their years of experience, or applying global best practices, you will have the skills to determine what you want to do, when you want to do it, and how best to do it. The Lang school has definitely provided me with new directions for my career. It’s even led to advancement in my current role!