University of California, Riverside

Anderson Graduate School of Management

AGSM Profile: Kai Chung (AGSM MBA ’09)

The UCR MBA is one of the most sought-after degrees in Inland Southern California. Iit was one of my natural choices when I was applying to business school. On top of that, AGSM recognized my previous academic and working excellence and provided me with a fellowship award.

When Kai Chung looks back on his two years in the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management MBA program, he speaks fondly of the “hard skills” and “soft skills” that helped him become an all-around business professional. While the hard skills — strategic planning, organization and operations, for example — are valuable, it was the soft skills— communication, the ability to engage with clients, customers and teammates — that are the most valuable and made the biggest difference for the native of Malaysia.

“The UCR MBA Program has left an indelible mark of confidence within me as I venture forth into Southern California’s working society,” he said. “The curriculum provided me with excellent technical foundations, especially in the finance, accounting, tax, management, and entrepreneurial fields.”

But all that knowledge is useless if you cannot articulate it to a client, a fact that Chung, who is fluent in English, Malay, and six different dialects of Chinese, is very aware of.

“Being a foreign student, this knowledge allows me to speak, think, read, and service my US clientele effortlessly,” he added.

Chung (AGSM MBA ’09) currently serves as the chief executive officer of Safe Harbor Capital, LLC in Los Angeles, a research and consultancy firm which pushes globalization of business and capital by bridging the knowledge gap between the North American and Austraila-Asian markets. Among the projects he has worked on are a research project on the stability of the European Central Bank’s monetary policies on its member nations and spearheading a new venture start-up in the medical tourism industry.

He came to UCR in 2007 with seven years of finance experience in his native Malaysia. He had completed his undergraduate work at the University of Hetfordshire in the UK, graduating summa cum laude and first in his class. When he decided to pursue an MBA, he said he chose UCR based in part upon its reputation and location.

“The UCR MBA is one of the most sought-after degrees in Inland Southern California,” he said. “It was one of my natural choices when I was applying to business school. On top of that, AGSM recognized my previous academic and working excellence and provided me with a fellowship award.”

In addition to being a two-year recipient of that AGSM fellowship, Chung also received the Gordon Blunden/Provident Bank Scholarship Award 2008 for his article entitled "The U.S. Subprime and Liquidity Crisis."

Chung made the most of his academic opportunities in AGSM, utilizing his financial experience to help teach undergraduate students as a graduate teaching assistant in the finance area. He also participated in many extracurricular activities, including serving as an advisor to the Board of Investment Society and serving as the co-founding financial officer of Future Advising Mentors through Education (FAME), a non-profit organization that mentors high school, junior college, and international students to provide them with the tools and resources needed in planning successful careers and enhancing their knowledge in thinking independently through money management.

In the classroom, Chung became the first AGSM student in recent years to submit an MBA thesis, titled "An Empirical Study of the Explanatory Power of Macroeconomic Variables on Malaysian Stock Market." He completed his coursework with a GPA of 3.8, and was inducted into the UCR Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society in 2009.

In June, 2009, Chung was the featured MBA student speaker during the Anderson Graduate School of Management Commencement ceremony. Addressing an audience that included four generations of his family, he spoke of how he and his classmates came from diverse walks of life to better themselves through an AGSM education. Citing he and his classmates’ “undaunting spirit of striving for excellence” and “relentless quest to constantly push and prove themselves,” Chung said he was certain that he and his classmates would “stand tall among the multitudes.”

And what would Chung say to a student who is interested in attending the AGSM MBA program?

“The program is the best value for the money amongst the AACSB-accredited MBA degrees in Southern California,” he said. He added that “AGSM’s friendly administration, dedicated faculty, state-of-the-art infrastructure and an environment conducive to education, are most ideal for prospective MBA students — both local and international.”

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management

Graduate Programs Office
102 Anderson Hall, South

Tel: (951) 827-6200
Fax: (951) 827-2055