meeting with Priyanka

Ever since the first week of our MBA programme, I have found Priyanka a caring and expressive person. She doesn’t hesitate to speak up when difficulties appear. I still recall when I got a terrible allergic reaction from mosquito bites, I went to her for help, and she was able to dig out something for me from her magical bag.

Q: How would you describe yourself in three words?

“Reliable, Committed, go with the flow. If I’m committed to something, I will do it, and I enjoy my life.”

Q: How would you like others to describe you?

“A helping hand and honest. I hope people will see me as a very honest person, good or bad.”

Q: Please share with us a memorable story at work.

“I have 10 years of working experience and have been lucky to meet some of the most wonderful souls. The story I am going to share is when I got my first job in Singapore. I was scared when put in front of client for a presentation, worried that I might do something offensive to their culture or say something irrelevant. However, my boss told me I should let it go, the worst that could happen is they would reject the proposal. His two minutes pep talk gave me so much confidence and got me thinking ‘How bad could it be?’ Luckily, it got converted, and the client likes me so much that even till today she and I would still message every other week! Before I left Singapore, she even reached to meet. After this I realized what I believe a good leader is, who encourages you to grow.

Q: Please share with us about someone who you worked with that you like or don’t like about.

“I kind of shared about one of my favorite bosses (laugh), but I have also worked with a startup company that I had to leave in six months. CEO was micromanaging and being the ‘mom’ in the office and telling you what you ‘can’ or ‘can’t’ do. He made me self-doubt myself and eventually I was losing confidence on myself.”

Q: What do you love to do in your free time?

“I am a mom of two, I don't usually get free time (laugh). But if I have time, I love cooking and reading. I think cooking and reading are something that give me peace in my mind. Recently I stared a book about Jeff Bezos, but I only started three chapters, and then Corporate Finance started (laugh). With my kids having term breaks, and Diwali coming up, juggling between classes and family, leaves me with no time.” I couldn’t help but asked, “do you get any time for yourself?” and what Priyanka shared with me still amazes me till today. I would say I want to try and start, but I also know I haven’t been trying hard enough.

“Ever since I think I was 8 or 9, I get up at 5:30. From 5:30 to 6:30 I am 200 times more productive than how I am after 9 o’clock. During that time, I finish so many things, I flush out the bad things, and I know exactly what I need to do, I prepare my To-Do-List. That one hour brings peace to myself. I love that one hour of the day, and I still do this until today, no matter what time I go to bed. My son has also been picking up this habit, and sometimes he wakes up at six to join me in cooking.”

Q: Please share with us with your experience at HKU MBA.

“It’s been ups and downs. The first few weeks I had no house help so I had to rush home and then back to class. So many saw me as unfriendly and very strict person, because I was running short in time every day. It was a struggle for me with class and taking care of the family. I told my teammates at the time that I had to be very organized and punctual. When I am given a task, I would have it 100% ready, and vice versa, I expect the same from others. I know some people saw me as unfriendly and confronted me. When I explained my situation, they could understand. We are in MBA now, and we do things maturely.

One of the best part is HKU CDT team, I love interacting with them and they are doing a fantastic job to help me find my career path.”

Q: Please describe who you want to be in the future?

“Eventually I want to do something for the society, I am trying to learn more about ESG. I want to help the underprivileged segment. There are places in India with many underprivileged kids who do not have platform or access to show their skills. I don’t know how to help them yet, but I see myself to be a mentor or a support system for these kids.”

Q: Imagine we are now at July 2032, Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What are you doing next?

“I will be in this place called “Meghalaya (North-East of India)”, I love that place, it’s cold in the winter and comfortable in the summer. I’m in a garden with a lot of kids playing around, and we are gardening together. These are the underprivileged kids who are very intelligent but don’t have any opportunities. I want to be with them. After gardening we will be having big buffet lunch together with them, I would have prepared the food, and probably scolding the kids here and there”

Have to say, I am guilty, to see Priyanka as the mom of the group of us. But after talking with her, I see a strong woman whose content with who she is, a happy and proud mother. I hope to see her dream come true, not only for the good she would be doing, but also how happy she would be.

Tina Wang