14 November 2023 Career Talk (English)


The Past Dream

Different from others, after graduating with BSc with a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Biochemistry, Mr. Pang Hiu Fung, Kenneth has decided to pursue his Master’s Degree in Finance. However, throwing back to the days when Kenneth was in his first year of undergraduate, he definitely never anticipated being a part of the financial industry.

In the past, alike with many biochemistry students, Kenneth initially would like to transfer his major to Medicine with his outstanding GPA score during his undergraduate life. He was so insistent that even he gave up the chance to do an exchange at the University of California, Berkeley, just because the interview date of the medicine application crashed with the exchange period. Despite receiving the opportunity to have an interview, unfortunately, the professors rejected his application. Still, he didn’t give up but kept studying hard for his medical dream, until his internship at Prince of Wales Hospital changed his opinion.


During his time at Prince of Wales Hospital, Kenneth realized that working there and even pursuing a career in the medical field would not bring him personal fulfillment and satisfaction. Therefore, he decided to postpone his bachelor's degree graduation time to explore more new opportunities by applying for internships in various fields, such as finance and marketing internships.

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

‘I did three internships in my final year. And I know many people believe that deferring your graduation would be difficult, but actually you just have to retain one major required and one major elective course unfinished in your final year to do so. This allows you to have more time for internships,’ Kenneth shared his experiences and strongly encouraged us to try more new things by pursuing internships.

‘Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various political issues, and discrimination problems, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in CUHK instead of studying aboard. However, I have no regrets about this choice because there is a strong network of alumni here, who are always willing to lend a hand when it comes to finding a job after graduation.’ Kenneth once again emphasized the importance of having interpersonal connections if you would like to be a part of the financial field.

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Words for the Juniors

1. Never underrate yourself
‘I understand that you, being a Biochemistry student may feel inferior to those who study finance. Although being a part of the financial field requires you to be aggressive and have good presentation skills, as a student of the second-top university in Hong Kong, you already possess a fully advantageous ticket,’ Kenneth reiterated his encouragement for us to step out of our comfort zones with confidence, but not cutting corners.

How to broaden your horizons? Participate in different activities actively! ‘As business professionals often say, the best way to learn is to fully “SQUEEZE” all the experiences gained from those activities and strive to “ABSORB” valuable skills and knowledge as much as you can.’

2. Know yourself well
As I mentioned earlier, engaging in internships is the key to discovering your true aspirations for the future,’ Kenneth pointed out that society is cruel: compare and despair.

‘It is correct that schools are the epitomes of society, but only to a limited extent. Since you would not face various complicated interpersonal relationships at school, maybe just often encountering only free-riders. Nevertheless, when you enter the workplace, especially in companies with diverse backgrounds and cultures, your personal growth will accelerate at an incredible pace.’ So please take action now, and don’t sell yourself short! Submit your applications and build up your resume as quickly as possible! Remember, while “zero” and “one” may appear similar, there is a substantial difference.

3. Be courageous, humble, and thick-skinned 
Kenneth specifically mentioned three characteristics we should have as an ambitious person: courageous, humble, and thick-skinned. ‘Again, widen your social circle. There are a lot of CUHK alumni, so try to connect with those who share similar experiences or backgrounds with you. For instance, if you attended my career talk today, you already have an opportunity to reach out. It's normal to feel fear and hesitant when talking to someone you've just met, but remember, you have nothing to lose. Just give it a try!’

4. Technically well-prepared
‘The society is so extreme and competitive, so you have to be well-prepared before doing everything.’ As the saying goes, you can have many chances and opportunities at school. However, you only have one in the workplace. ‘Practice makes perfect, meaning you have to gain experience from internships so that you won’t fall into traps when you are a fresh graduate.’ Kenneth reminded us only we have experience, we can understand the real atmosphere and environment.

‘In today's society, which is marked by extremity and competition, it is crucial to be well-prepared before doing everything,’ Kenneth emphasized. As the saying goes, you may have multiple chances and opportunities while in school, but in the workplace, you typically have only one. ‘Practice makes perfect, meaning that gaining experience through internships is essential to avoid falling into traps as a fresh graduate. At the same time, don’t take everything for granted.’ Kenneth reminded us that we can only feel and understand the atmosphere and environment through cherishable experiences.

5. Go for an exchange
Do not miss any chance for overseas exposure since it is undoubtedly a good chance for you to discover your strengths and your weaknesses.