LAU Tsz Ki Crystal

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Motto: Overall, the internship also help me to become more adaptable and to learn what it takes to work well in a team

Crystal Lau Tsz Ki takes pride in being socially conscious and pays close attention to the many issues facing Hong Kong. One of the most important issues is the city’s ageing population and the impact it will have on the rest of society. In view of that, her internship at “Happy Aging”, a social enterprise in Seoul, South Korea, was particularly meaningful. The specialist organization offers a comprehensive range of services and products for the ‘assisted living and care’ of the elderly – and there was much to learn.

In particular, working there gave Lau exposure to at least two distinct aspects of how things are done in South Korea. One was the general approach and the workplace culture of a social enterprise there. The other was the high quality care and services provided for the elderly.

As an accounting major, Lau linked up with another student intern to help out with some of the social enterprise’s accounting needs and other financial matters. ” Accounting professionals in South Korea don’t seem to comply with relevant regulations and standards as strictly as those in Hong Kong do,” she says. “So, my partner and I initially had a few teething problems and we had to adjust to fit in with requirements. However, we did eventually adapt to local practices and meet their expectations, which was a good lesson in collaboration and cooperation.”

During the internship, Lau also accompanied some of the organization’s executives on visits to business partners, including homes for senior citizens. “Because most of the conversations were conducted in Korean, I just carefully observed the required business etiquette in interactions between the executives, the partners and clients. For in stance, the initial approach to a receptionist would be polite, but also direct and succinct.”

On several occasions, Lau also accompanied Happy Ageing’s staff to install safety fixtures at the homes of elderly people, such as extra handles in bathrooms. “I was impressed by the attention to detail that they showed,” she says. “The planning was meticulous and measurements were ultra precise. I also came to appreciate the high quality of care provided for the elderly in South Korea and the attitude of service providers towards their work.”