Peer Talk Profile: Choi Beng Kin
Chicago Booth: Walk us through your journey to Booth. What brought you to us?
Kin: I've been in the financial industry for the last 24 years and have been fortunate to work in a number of locations, starting in Singapore, then Sydney, and currently in Hong Kong. This has allowed me to work within different cultural contexts, and it has exposed me to a number of opportunities and challenges. There has been a great deal of learning in my career, and I've always thought of going back to school and acquire new perspectives as part of my career development.
Chicago Booth: Did you consider other Executive Education programs? If you did, why did you select Booth’s Accelerated Development Program in Singapore?
Kin: I did consider other executive education programs, and this choice was an effort of some months researching for the right program. There were a multitude of reasons why I've selected the program, including reputation and the right mix of schedule and cohort. The fact that courses have lecturers from the main campus in Chicago and the rankings in Financial Times contributed to my selection process as well.
Chicago Booth: What were some of the key skills you learned in the program, and how have they been useful in your work at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong?
Kin: Some of the keys skills have been in the area of innovation, business strategy, and finance. These new skills have afforded me the framework to understand the firm’s strategy better, as well as the context that enables me to execute our strategy more effectively.
Chicago Booth: Tell us a bit about your work at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong. What are your primary responsibilities as Head of Technology AP?
Kin: I oversee and coordinate the CM IT technology services to RBC CM sites in APAC. We have a geographically diverse region consisting of Hong Kong, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore. Decision making, coordinating activities, and ensuring we deliver service and solutions are key in insuring that the business we support remains competitive.
Chicago Booth: Ultimately, the Accelerated Development Program is about building key business concepts and strategies that can be applied in the workplace. Walk us through a situation you encountered in your work when you were able to apply a concept or strategy that you learned in the program.
Kin: Coaching is an area that we were exposed to in the program. This is an area that most professional leaders would benefit from. Much like how professional athletes require coaching to perform at the highest levels, there are strong benefits in having this avenue available to leaders. I'm involved currently in our mentoring program to help the organization bring the new generation of leaders through.
Innovation is an area that is less explored in my sector of the financial industry, due to regulation and the maturity of our industry. But the basics of creativity and innovation do not necessarily have to be constrained within the products; there are ways we can be more effective in our everyday business processes. This has certainly allowed me to be more open to ideas and changes in my management meetings. That said, Fintech has been an area of keen interest to all financial institutions, and the innovation course has certainly helped in some of my internal discussions relating to this area.
Chicago Booth: The Accelerated Development Program in Singapore has outstanding faculty members teaching in it. Of all the faculty members you had, who had the most impact on you—and why?
Kin: The majority of the faculty members had a good impact to the sessions. I found all of the faculty members engaging and keen on imparting knowledge. This made the sessions interesting, and I appreciated the fact that the school ensured that the faculty members are from the main school in Chicago.
Chicago Booth: Think ahead five years from now. In what ways do you think the concepts, skills, and knowledge you learned at Booth will be valuable to you?
Kin: The concepts in innovation and strategy will continue to be valuable as the rate of change and competitiveness continues to increase. Our ability to grasp and apply these concepts will make a difference in how our business remains relevant in its industry.
Chicago Booth: Why should other senior leaders think about enrolling in the Accelerated Development Program at Booth?
Kin: I believe as senior leaders in any organization we are exposed to opportunities and challenges every day, and our job is to be able to recognize them and work toward effectively moving the organization forward. Having the awareness of new concepts, skills, knowledge, and different perspectives that we gained from a course similar to the one I've attended allows us to do that.