‘The most important thought I have after the three trips is that the world is much, much bigger than what I imagined! Interacting with foreigners had been a rare experience for me, which broadened my horizons and honed my skills in the workplace. Being on my own in a foreign country also boosted my confidence.’
With his grades slipping at secondary school, Ken Mau decided to switch from focusing on science subjects to the humanities at university. He enrolled in the OUHK’s Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Language Studies and Translation programme in 2013. Ken’s excellent academic performance has earned him many outstanding student awards and scholarships over the last four years. Ken looked back at those days and said humbly: ‘I’m deeply grateful to the school for giving me a chance to study here.’
‘I pushed myself to catch up with peers starting from Year One, working hard to firm up my foundation in the humanities and find various learning opportunities,’ he continued. In addition to being a diligent student in class, he grasped chances to study abroad and spent three summer holidays exploring foreign cultures.
During his first summer vacation, he joined a study tour to London to improve his English. Having fully immersed himself in an English language and cultural environment, Ken enhanced his skills and confidence in conversing in English. In the following year, he went to Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkey for an internship and met with peers from around the world, including those from countries in Central Asia with whom he had seldom come into contact before. It was a refreshing and beneficial experience. ‘Initially I was quite apprehensive about setting foot in this unfamiliar country. Since the interns were about my age, it wasn’t difficult for us to get along although we were from different cultural backgrounds. Moreover, I was able to improve my communication skills because we spoke different languages,’ he said. Turkey’s unique culture also opened the curious eyes of this humble young lad.
In 2016, Ken stood out in a highly competitive selection process and got an internship at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore. He also obtained a David Chan Outbound Internship Award which helped him embark on his journey. Although Ken felt he was just being lucky, he tried his best from the very beginning of the internship. He was assigned to do various kinds of work, including those related to overseas visits of Government officials. ‘The internship lasted for three months and it provided me with an extraordinary workplace experience. An invaluable opportunity indeed,’ he said.
It’s certainly worthwhile to travel thousands of miles. ‘The most important thought I have after the three trips is that the world is much, much bigger than what I imagined! Interacting with foreigners had been a rare experience for me, which broadened my horizons and honed my skills in the workplace. Being on my own in a foreign country also boosted my confidence,’ he said.
The past four years at university allowed Ken not only to complete an inspiring programme of study, but also to take up internships overseas. ‘The OUHK has opened many doors of learning for me and I’m really thankful for having all these opportunities,’ he said sincerely. Ken works in a legal firm now and hopes to pursue further studies in the future.