Philomena Chen

"The MBA teaches you to adapt and build up your experience"
About my career

I came to the UK having been in the hospitality sector where I worked for eight years. I was a mature student at Manchester Met – I first studied hotel management in 1985, followed by a PG Dip in HR management. You could say I am a Manchester Met student through and through.

Later, I worked as a business services manager before the role with the Department for International Trade. I wanted to become more strategic, to plan and prioritise, and to manage people. I wanted to ‘think outside the box’ for my job and that’s what drove me to the MBA.

In my current role as Head of Asia Pacific at the Department for International Trade, my job is to help businesses from the North West succeed on the global stage. I look at what they can do and what opportunities there are overseas. The MBA has definitely helped me to think more strategically. I now look at the bigger picture of the business.

Since I finished the MBA there has been a lot of change – in my industry, in government and the economic climate. The MBA teaches you to adapt and build up your experience and knowledge for the future. It allows you to keep up with change.

My top tip for students is…

One of the most important things I learned was how to build relationships with people – establishing rapport with people is a huge part of my job now.

Why I love Manchester Met

The multi-disciplinary modules and the chance to link the project to industry stood me in good stead for the shifting global business landscape.