On parade

The University of Bath alumni blog

Tagged: volunteering

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 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)

 

Meeting my mentor

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📥  Bath

Final year student Ruth is taking part in our pilot mentoring programme. She writes about the experience of meeting her graduate mentor for the first time:

"I’ve only ever been on one blind date. Nervously waiting for a friend of a friend who I had been set up with, my nerves were mounting. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I’m not what they were expecting? This may be a strange comparison to make, but waiting to meet my mentor in the reception of the Hilton at Paddington station, I felt a sense of anticipation once more. Nevertheless, I was much more relieved to see my mentor Debbie wave to me across the hall than I was to meet my 6ft something date (I am 5’1” just).

"When I signed up to the mentoring programme, I was in quite a lost state to be frank. Drawing towards the end of the first term of my final year, the expectation to know what I wanted to do post-graduation had been growing. Up until now I have only known what I don’t want to do, in terms of profession. I needed clarity, a fresh take on things. Fortunately, in our first meeting Debbie lifted the fog.

"Once she knew a bit about me, I inquired as to how she thought I should go about securing a graduate job.  She paused and answered with the word choice. It’s much better to have it, she explained. Her next piece of advice also put me at ease. Mistakes, make them. Lastly she described how I should focus on the type of work I would like to do, instead of pigeonholing professions.

"Since our meeting I have been much less anxious about the fact that I don’t quite know where I’m heading, as I am now taking steps in the right direction to find out. It was so uplifting to hear Debbie’s point of view, as she has accumulated so much experience over her career. I am really grateful she has given up her time to mentor me, now I just need to fit in my homework before our next meeting (although it has already gone better than my blind date did)."

Ruth Baughan (Management 2014)