MBA Program

Alumni Spotlight: What is Christopher Hana doing now?

Christopher Hana graduated from the Full-Time MBA Program in 2014.

Since then, he's completely changed his industry, combining his passion for video games with his career. In 2016, Christopher accepted the role of CEO at The Esports Observer (TEO), the world's leading source for esports business news and insights.<

You worked at Vodafone for nearly 10 years – why did you decide to enroll in a Full-Time MBA?
Initially, I planned to participate in WHU’s Part-Time MBA Program, while keeping my job at Vodafone. After the admissions interview, I decided to quit my job, make a career cut, and enroll in the Full-Time MBA Program.

After 10 years in a global company, how did it feel to return to education?
Honestly, I was quite nervous. Even though I knew my current situation wasn’t making me happy, it was still hard to leave an environment that I knew so well. Once I’d made the decision however, I was excited. It was a brilliant experience and one that I would do again.

Since graduating in 2014, how has the WHU alumni network experience been?
The ability to get in touch with people and get information, insights, and support based on a common WHU background is great. Working in a niche and rapidly growing market, I like to give back and I’ve had several discussions with WHU alumni who want to understand the esports space better.

Did you always plan to change your industry entirely after your studies?
I knew I needed change, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I considered consulting and project management in other industries, but the program helped me figure out what I really wanted – to work in the industry I cared about most, but had never considered as a potential career path.

So, video games meet business! Was it important to you to build your interests into your career?
Looking back, next to quitting my job and completing the MBA program, this has been the most important career decision I’ve made so far.

Since graduating the MBA Program, what have been your career highlights?
We recently received investment and partnership from ACBJ, owned by Advance Publications. This shows that our hardwork has paid off, and signals the potential that other people, especially sports media, sees in esports. We're now able to scale the organization the way we envisioned it which is really exciting.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to change their industry?
As cheesy as it sounds – do what makes you happy! Do it, but be ready to pay the price. I wrote an article about my experiences from WHU and making a shift into the esports industry, if you want to find out more.

You've been CEO at TEO for 18 months - what are your biggest learnings so far?

  • Execution > Idea: it’s all about the right people and execution
  • Stay focused and be open for change: critically assess recommendations
  • Network! Listen and learn: everyone knows something I don’t
  • Listen to your gut feeling: I’m data driven, but I’ve learned this is important
  • Do things, don't just talk about them