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Three HKMU alumni return to serve alma mater

Having graduated from different faculties and programmes in different years, the three HKMUers, Jamie Lee Tsz-ching, Queenie Kwan Ching-man and Elvin Lau Yu-kit, have coincidentally returned to Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) for service. Despite staying in a familiar environment during their education and employment, the three graduates have never been bound by the comfort zone. With firm determination and acute awareness, they are able to forge ahead a new path towards success. Rooted in a solid soil for careers, the three HKMUers are able to fulfil their dream of education and the service spirit for our society. Let’s dive into their stories.

Jamie Lee Tsz-ching:
Graduate Trainee Scheme to pave the way for career development

Admitting a passion for business, Jamie pursued a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management programme that suited her interests. Of all the diverse knowledge gained through the programme, she was particularly benefitted from collaborating with her classmates in group projects and extracurricular activities. “I am not an extrovert, but collaborating with my senior peers from different faculties has broadened my perspectives and strengthened my communication skills, which enables me to be more open-minded in my exchanges with other people,” she said. How did she become the Human Resources Manager of the University? She said, “I would like to share my story.”

Now and Then: Enhanced on-the-job training

At the time of Jamie’s graduation, the University was launching the Graduate Trainee Scheme, a programme that allows graduates to experience the actual workplace through internships in internal departments. She took the plunge and equipped herself as an Executive Trainee in the School of Education and Languages to follow up on students' teaching practices and to get her first taste of working in a tertiary institution: “I became interested and enjoyed it, so I continued to look for jobs in this area instead of wasting my experience.” After working in a tertiary institution for a year, she was delighted to see a vacancy in her alma mater and succeeded in securing the position in the Human Resources Office in 2012.

A decade later, she explained to have a deeper understanding of that initial “good” feeling. “Higher education is of great importance to the development of our society.” She continued, “I may be playing a small role, but I am able to contribute to the University's talent pool, promote its development, and help my younger peers in my capacity as an alumnus, which yielded positive benefits, including my own growth.” The road in front of her stretches from the aforementioned internship programme, as she shared with excitement, “The Graduate Trainee Programme launched by HKMU this year is the first comprehensive on-the-job internship programme offered by the University, which is indeed a significant milestone over the past!”

The three-year new programme is a combination of structured on-the-job training, opportunities for job rotation and exposure to different work processes that promotes career development and inspires the personal development of outstanding graduates. In particular, participants are given the opportunity to meet with the University’s management, combined with mentorship programme and buddy scheme.  With only 20 places available each year, the number of applications received this year was overwhelmingly high at 117.

Exhilaration: The University's rapid expansion

Jamie believes in the benefits of the programme. “In addition to practical work in the actual workplace, the training also enhances soft skills such as interpersonal skills for future career development”, she said. Returning to her alma mater, Jamie expressed her hope for a better future, “More graduates have joined our school, and they take their work very seriously with decent performance”.

Expressing her strong sense of belonging to her alma mater, Jamie spoke of the University’s achievements with a hint of excitement, “The rapid development in recent years has been remarkable, which is not an easy feat to achieve. I saw many companies setting up booths at the Career Fair earlier. It was great to see how widely HKMU is recognised by the community”. Not surprisingly, when asked if staying in a familiar place for a prolonged amount of time would hinder her personal growth, she firmly replied, “It won’t.” She went on to explain, “The office has to keep up with the rapid development of the University, innovate and develop a strong ability to cope with changes”. The dynamic nature of the office is also reflected in its personnel relations, as she described, “Colleagues communicate closely with each other, and the senior management takes an active role engaging with staff, facilitating close interactions among colleagues”.

Going from the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong to its present status, HKMU has gradually shed the prejudice and labelling in society. While Jamie is happy to see students’ self-confidence rising, self-improvement is always the strongest support for graduates. On that note, Jamie said, “It doesn’t matter how others see you, but the key is to acknowledge yourself first. I hope all of you will be well-equipped for the opportunities ahead”.