First-Person

Richard Ong Pho

Richard Ong Pho
MBA 06

Vice President
The Royal Bank of Scotland
San Francisco, California

Upon completing his Berkeley MBA, Richard Ong Pho joined the Merchant Banking Group of BNP Paribas, a major European bank.

Ong Pho chose to pursue his Berkeley MBA to strengthen his relationship management skills when he was working in a client coverage group of BNP Paribas, facilitating business development efforts with West Coast clients. During his first year at Haas, Ong Pho was promoted from Associate to Vice President. "The Haas experience indeed sent a strong signal to my employer that I wanted to accelerate my professional growth," says Ong Pho.

Ong Pho found his International Finance class to be a particularly relevant elective. The course, taught by former California State Controller Kathleen Connell, offered the opportunity to interact with high-profile guest speakers, some of whom are clients of BNP Paribas. "It was a huge opportunity to meet with the treasurer of one of our clients in a classroom setting," says Ong Pho. "I gained greater understanding of what it takes for this client to be competitive in a global environment."

Learning more about his own strengths and weaknesses was one of the key benefits of the Berkeley MBA program for Ong Pho, who says that as a result, he has been able to choose a career path that capitalizes on his strengths.

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