On parade

The University of Bath alumni blog

Tagged: Hong Kong

Getting Connected in Hong Kong

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📥  Get Connected, International, Uncategorized

Alumni panel - Get Connected Hong Kong

Alumni panel - Get Connected Hong Kong

This was a week of firsts, from my first landing at Hong Kong Airport in a Level 8 typhoon to my first Thai iced tea (somewhere between an iced coffee and pumpkin juice).

The purpose of this trip was to bring a new offering to our graduates living and working here. My mission? To deliver Hong Kong’s first ever Get Connected event. From Bath to London to New York, we have had great success with these alumni networking evenings, but now it was time to look even further.

With some 1500 Bath alumni living and working in the city, we have a wonderfully strong and enthusiastic community here in Hong Kong with a great breadth of experience and sector knowledge. Despite being some 6,000 miles from Bath, there is a real sense of family amongst out graduates here and this is what it’s all about. The Get Connected events are about making the network ‘work’; utilising the alumni ‘family’ to learn and get ahead and I was really excited to help them do this.

So on Tuesday, with the Typhoon disappearing north and the normal humidity returning to the air, I head over to Exchange Square, the illustrious home of the city’s Stock Exchange, where we are lucky enough to be using the auditorium for our panel discussion. As guests and alumni panel members start to arrive I’m told by many that being allowed inside this building is an experience in itself, adding a great buzz to the atmosphere! This alone goes to shows the power of the Bath community, having been offered this amazing venue by one of our Honorary Graduates in Hong Kong, Sir CK Chow.

The panel seated on the stage is made up of five graduates, all of whom are incredibly successful in their respective fields. Each was kind enough to give up their evening to share their professional experiences and insights and they didn’t disappoint. With 40 eager faces in the crowd we kicked off the discussion, hearing from each panellist in turn as they imparted the best and, indeed, worst points of their careers and their sound advice for starting out and progressing in the world of work.

The audience was a great mix of graduates from across the years (including a 1970’s engineer!) and I was really pleased to see a number of our third year placement students in the crowd as well. Questions from the floor were plentiful and judging by the unwillingness of people to go home, I think it’s fair to say that a huge amount was gained by all.

In true Hong Kong style, business cards were swapping hands left right and centre, then it was back out into the bustling metropolis to fight off the humidity on the journey home. I have a feeling that this Get Connected Hong Kong will be the first of many.

This event wouldn’t have been possible without the help and enthusiasm of Chapter President, Vivian Ching,

Get Connected Hong Kong

Get Connected Hong Kong

and our fantastic Chapter Committee and, of course, our panel members: Mickey Ko, Martin Cerullo, Andy Li and Susan Khua.  I’d like to thank them all again for their support.

 

Update from Hong Kong

  

📥  International

Find out what happened when alumna Vivian Ching (MSc Management) met with the Foreign Office Minister in Hong Kong

Vivian Ching (middle row, second from left) with the panellists who met with Mark Field, the UK Minister for Asia

On 24 August 2017 I was honoured to have been invited by the British Council to an Exclusive Roundtable Discussion with Rt Hon Mark Field, who is a UK Member of Parliament for London and Westminster, and also the Minister of State for Asia Pacific.

Field was in Hong Kong for a few days, and he was interested to learn more about the prevailing attitudes and opinions of young people in Hong Kong. As one out of ten young emerging leaders from a wide range of industries selected to join the panel, the event offered a unique opportunity for us to share our thoughts with Field with regards to building improved UK foreign policies that benefit the future of Hong Kong.

The roundtable touched on a wide array of social, economic and political issues. We discussed how young people in Hong Kong tend to perceive themselves in relation to China and the world, shared our opinions on the impact of economic integration with mainland China, as well as Hong Kong’s status as China’s “world city.”

Given the diversity of the panellists at the event, we also shared our views on how our respective education has helped shape who we are today, and what can be done to improve the current education system in Hong Kong. This topic actually triggered a deeper discussion on the importance of nurturing creativity among the younger generation.

As a doctoral degree holder, a business professional working at a Global Fortune 500 company as well as an artist, I talked about my experiences as an example of the benefits that Hong Kong students can gain from a more diverse curriculum that promotes innovation and experimentation beyond traditional career paths.

Overall, the roundtable was a success and we were able to openly exchange ideas with Field, as well as other British Consulate General and British Council staff who were also present at the meeting. Even though all panellists had come from differing backgrounds and specialties, the majority of our opinions were actually on a similar page, which was a fascinating finding to all those who were present at the event.

It will be interesting to see how our ideas can be integrated into existing foreign policies, and I very much look forward to new opportunities to contribute more towards enhanced dialogue between Hong Kong and the UK in the future.

 

 

Update from Vivian Ching, Hong Kong Alumni Chapter

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📥  Bath, International

imageAs the External Affairs Director of the University of Bath's Hong Kong Alumni Chapter, I have always been actively involved with maximizing the exposure of the University through alumni activities in Hong Kong, enabling various opportunities to closely collaborate with the British Council. Over a year ago, I represented University of Bath in auctioning my “Question Mark” painting during the British Council Gala Dinner. The painting sold for HKD$20,000 to world-renowned UK architect Mr Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas, by which the proceeds were donated to a designated charity to help underprivileged children in Hong Kong.

To strengthen our mutual cooperation in the future, Mr Robert Ness, Director of HK British Council, invited me to attend an exclusive breakfast meeting with Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council, at the Renaissance Harbourview Hotel on March 25th 2014. We spent a fruitful morning engaging in constructive and visionary discussion about experiences that I had as an UK alumna and how I have been able to utilize my UK education experiences in Hong Kong. Sir Vernon Ellis also shared with me his thoughts on how the creative industry has enabled the British Council to contribute to a stronger UK connection with the wider world through support for creative entrepreneurial skills development and ‘capacity-building’ initiatives. Overall, the breakfast meeting was a unique chance to directly exchange ideas with the Chair of the British Council, and I look forward to new opportunities to contribute towards enhanced intercultural dialogue between Hong Kong and the UK through the Bath HK Alumni Chapter.

Vivian Ching (MSc Management with Finance 2005)