Name a Seat Stories: Huyan Guo

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MBA Business Administration alumnus, Huyan Guo

The Name a Seat campaign was launched in celebration of the new Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, the teaching and performance centre which will open its doors to the public in spring 2022. The campaign has received generous support from alumni and friends across the world, with more than 260 seats in The Tung Auditorium at the heart of the Centre, now named. In another of our Name a Seat stories, alumnus and ULMS International Advisory Group member Huyan Guo (MBA Business Administration 2015) shared what inspired him to support the University of Liverpool in this way.

“It was December 2011, Dubai. I just finished a two-year-long Middle East natural gas development project and set off on an Emirates flight back to Hong Kong.

I was sitting on the plane in a very depressed mood. At that time I had been working in China’s energy industry for 16 years. During the 16 years, I was mainly involved in the development and production of foreign cooperative oil fields in the South China Sea. Our partners included Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI and some other international petroleum corporations. We worked together in Shekou, Guangdong province, China. That Middle East project was the first time I participated in project management outside of China. However, the project did not go well. I continued to encounter various management challenges during those two years. Even though the project was over at that moment, I still regretted and blamed myself for many of the shortcomings in effective management of the project.

After returning to China, I carefully analysed my strengths and weaknesses as a business manager. I found myself still lacking knowledge about systematic international business management. I was not particularly familiar with the concepts of strategic leadership and effective human resource management. Thus I decided to continue my studies and chose the MBA programme at the University of Liverpool. This MBA learning journey has benefited me a lot. I not only learned the important knowledge of various disciplines such as strategy, innovation, and international business through different modules, but also, through careful management research and dissertation writing, I had a deep understanding of the way to effectively develop successful international project management.

After graduating from the University of Liverpool, my career has ushered in new opportunities. I currently serve as the Managing Director of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (one of China’s three major petroleum companies) Gas and Power Trading & Marketing Limited, working in Hong Kong. My team is responsible for CNOOC’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) global trading business and energy finance. At present, CNOOC is already the world's third largest and China's largest LNG importer.

It is the University of Liverpool that has brought me effective management knowledge, and it is the University of Liverpool that has made me more confident in carrying out global business management. The growth that this knowledge brings to me is precious. I am very grateful to the University of Liverpool, and I still miss the years when I was studying for my MBA.

As an MBA alumnus, I also often participate in alumni activities in Hong Kong. In the summer of 2017, I was honoured to communicate with Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer and I presented a small offshore rig model to the University of Liverpool. In the summer of 2018, I also took my family to Liverpool to visit the beautiful campus of my alma mater. I will always be proud of being an alumnus of the University of Liverpool. Thank you.”

We are incredibly thankful to Huyan and all supporters of this campaign. With less than £154,000 left to raise against our £3 million target, we are ever closer to reaching our goal. To find out how you can name a seat, visit our Name a Seat website, or if you would like to make a gift in support of the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, please visit our JustGiving page.  

We’ve saved you a seat…now put your name on it.