Sharing from Student Ambassadors
Sui Ting Jessica CHUENCurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in International Shipping and Transport Logistics (Year 4)
Through connections with its alumni, the Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies offered us a golden opportunity to complete an internship at Walgreens Boots Alliance, a world-renowned logistics company. During the internship, we worked alongside staff members to assist in different departments’ daily duties.
We were given project ownership and defined the topic, carried out research and presented our recommendations in front of the Asia-Pacific directors. One of the most exciting parts of the experience was getting a restricted area permit to visit a cargo aircraft (not the passenger aircraft we usually take).
I also had the chance to learn from my mentors who are experienced professionals and alumni of the department. They were very supportive and took time out of their busy schedules to guide us. My mentor was the general manager of a listed company in Hong Kong for years. He taught me to be ambitious and proactive and brought me along to a lot of events and courses.
When another mentee needed to find a logistics company for her final year project, he immediately phoned his friends to find connections. As for the mentor assigned by department, he was also willing to help. When I had to make decisions before a very tight deadline, he responded instantly via WhatsApp. I am so happy to have such supportive and caring alumni as my mentors.
In my third year, I was nominated by PolyU to join an exchange programme at the National University of Singapore for one semester. Classes were different from Hong Kong. One of the courses I took there was Itadakimasu – Food in Japan. It was a cross-discipline course on how food, history, economies, politics and culture affect each other. We had tasting sessions during lectures. Professors even arranged a tea ceremony for us as a tutorial. The class was very innovative and enjoyable.
Moreover, I developed valuable friendships with my hall mates, chit chatting overnight along the corridor. When they came to Hong Kong last summer to visit me, I took them around Hong Kong as they had done for me back in Singapore. We had site visits to some Singaporean logistics firms, where I discovered that Singaporeans and Singaporean firms are very open-minded and creative.
Connecting with communities
Apart from attending lectures as a student, I also actively participated in community service locally and overseas. As students, we want to be able to contribute to society. I developed teaching kits to teach English to children in rural Chinese villages, in hopes of raising their interest in learning English through storytelling. In a leadership programme organized by PolyU, I also went to Israel to discuss ethnicity issues with local youth to understand the relationship between Jews and Arabs. I also spoke with locals to learn how to develop entrepreneurship.
Shuheng Rick HONGCurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in Global Supply Chain Management (Year 4)
During my years as a Global Supply Chain Management major, I took an extensive range of courses related to supply chain management. Most of the courses were taught by industry veterans with solid connections and experience. As such, we were able to make frequent visits to industry companies and interesting places such as shipping dockyards to engage with professionals.
In one of the courses I took, the lecturer who was a maritime logistics and operations expert, took us to a marine service provider. The company provided ship repair, harbour towage and shipping related engineering service. I got to see an actual tugboat and the equipment introduced in our lectures. We also visited the operation room and learned about the different processes of dockyard operations and the information system.
Apart from a well-rounded academic experience, my time at PolyU was made remarkable because of the people I met. I was chosen as a mentor in the Department’s “mentorship programme”, a programme that connects freshmen with senior students to provide support and guidance as they transition from secondary school to university through various activities. The department arranged outings to Disneyland and the Ocean Park, for example, for mentors and mentees to get to know each other better and form a bond in a relaxing environment. We had so much fun and made precious memories, and eventually become good friends.
I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to attend insightful and practical courses and made some lifelong friends.
Chun Kit Kristopher LEUNGCurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in International Shipping and Transport Logistics (Year 4)
I am Kristopher Leung, a final year student in the International Shipping and Transport Logistics programme at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. During my time at PolyU, our programme gave us a lot of opportunities to explore on our own.
At the beginning of the year, I participated in an exchange programme with Maastricht University in the Netherlands. It enriched my university life in ways I would have never imagined, provided me with insight about dealing with cultural differences, and a chance to call a foreign country home.
Every European country has its own unique characteristics, and language is a particular one in the Netherlands. The funny thing about this language is that it’s written with alphabet letters just like English. However their combination is what makes it different, and even confusing. It can get really frustrating at times, like when you go grocery shopping and everything in the shop is written in Dutch. This situation happened to me too many times during my stay, and I usually resorted to Google Translate or timidly seeked help from a local. Despite not knowing anything about their language, communication was not much of a problem as almost every Dutch person I spoke to knew a fair amount of English.
Growing up in a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, I am used to efficiency and accuracy. In contrast, the laid-back lifestyle in Europe was a stark but pleasant difference. It made me realise the importance of work-life balance and how taking time out from studying to sit back and relax can help deal with stress and a heavy workload.
It is no secret that Europe is a hotbed of history, culture and art, as reflected in its beautiful architecture. As the saying goes, "Travelling brings about far greater benefit than mere book learning.” To better understand a country, it is always a good idea to travel to that place in person. Therefore, I spent most of my holidays travelling around European countries and visiting many famous spots. I visited over 25 cities across 12 countries, including Germany, Hungary and Iceland. Of course, as a curious student of the shipping and logistics industry, I took the chance to visit different shipping ports, including the ports in Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp, and saw how they operate.
The memories I have gained as an exchange student have become an important part of my life, and I am very grateful that I have been given such a precious opportunity to explore the world.
Pui Man Janice LICurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in Global Supply Chain Management (Year 3)
The last three years of university have been some of the most rewarding years of my life, great memories were made, windows of opportunities opened and most importantly, I got to meet some awesome people that I can call friends for life.
Last year, I was an exchange student at the University of Mannheim in Germany. It was the first time I ever got to travel out of Asia, let alone live in a foreign country on my own, so it was pretty intimidating at first. I spent 6 months in Germany and I decided it was a good time to pick up a new language. Unlike Hong Kong, Germany is not a bilingual country and you rarely see English translations on signs, so I signed up for a beginner’s German class.
The learning culture in Germany was quite different from I'm used to in Hong Kong. It emphasises self-learning and curiosity. During lectures, students were eager to raise questions.
Still, I made some very good friends from different parts of the world, with whom I still keep in touch with today. Together we travelled to many neighbouring countries, including Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Denmark. As an avid photographer I took the chance to explore the many beautiful landscapes these countries have to offer. The cultural differences within members in our travel group did not stop us from understanding each other. Instead, we became closer through getting to know each other through our travels and ruling out misconceptions we held previously.
My internship experience at Siemens also deserves a mention. The 3-month internship provided a solid foundation to build my career in the logistics industry. Unlike conventional big companies, the laid-back working environment meant I was rarely given strict procedures to follow and was encouraged to raise questions.
There was an incident during my internship where a shipping schedule was disrupted by a typhoon. The shipment was unable to arrive on time. I assisted my supervisor in rearranging the shipment and liaised freight details with forwarders. That was an exhausting day but it was a worthwhile experience that really sharpened my ability to improvise.
Yuen Wa Sophie NGCurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in Global Supply Chain Management (Year 4)
Time has passed in the blink of an eye and this is my last year at PolyU. Looking back, I have participated in various activities in that have enriched my university life.
PolyU is a place where I have met friends that I will cherish for life. I remember how I met my first group of friends at the student halls of residence. I first moved into the halls 3 years ago and I have never felt bored living there because there are always people there you can hang around with. We have spent numerous sleepless nights chatting, watching movies and playing games in each other’s rooms.
I am an avid traveller and the past three years at PolyU have given me a lot of opportunities to explore the world and gain a global perspective with visits to various countries. I was an exchange student at Ryerson University in Canada for a semester. During that time, I made friends with people from different parts of the world and learned about different cultures. I remember there was an “International Night” dinner event where we sat together sharing traditional dishes from our hometowns.
Last summer, I went to Hangzhou as part of Service Learning, a compulsory course at our university. Service Learning is different from other voluntary works. Throughout the project, teachers guided us on how to promote positive youth development for underprivileged children and adolescents on the mainland.
Towards the end of the project, we went to a primary school in Hangzhou and practised the theories and skills that we had learnt. We provided educational support for a week. We built close relationships with students and the experience has definitely been rewarding and memorable to me.
As a student of global supply chain management, our university and department has given us a lot of work-related opportunities. Last year, I joined a study tour organised by our department to the UK where we paid visits to different ports and companies such as Tesco and John Lewis. We learned from professionals of related fields about real-world business operations.
I also joined the aviation practicum programme last year, where I visited top airlines and airports as well as received professional training on knowledge and skills of the aviation industry. I even worked as student consultant for Hong Kong Airlines Limited and gained hands-on experience.
Apart from academic knowledge, my friends and all the valuable experiences and memories are the key takeaways from my years at PolyU that I will cherish forever.
Cheuk Lai Horace POONCurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in International Shipping and Transport Logistics (Year 4)
My internship experience at Melbourne, Australia gave me a taste of working at a culturally diverse working environment. I worked as a Purchasing and Operations Intern at Alloys International - the Non-Traditional Distributor, where its Melbourne office is home to partners and staff from around the globe.This experience truly opened my eyes to the operations in Australian companies and the different methods they use when compared with local or Chinese firms.
While working with the Purchasing and Operations team, I gained a wide range of knowledge and learned about different techniques such as the calculation of DIFOT (delivery in full, on time) and fill rate, transferral of stocks between warehouses, and how to draw warehouse layouts, to name but a few.
Alloys provided me with a lot of opportunities to really understand and learn how a distributor runs its business, as well as the way they embrace its “non-traditional” values to both buyer and supplier.
Alloys' laid-back working environment made going to work every day very enjoyable. I always heard laughter coming from every corner of the office. I am grateful that my colleagues, including the CEO and my supervisor, were so supportive and motivating during my time there.
They did their best to make me feel at home and were always patient with me. They never turned away my questions and were willing to help when I encountered difficulties.
When I was not working at the Alloys office or on-site with the Purchasing and Operations team, I spent my time exploring the city of Melbourne. I met new friends who also came from PolyU, and we spent a lot of time travelling around. Australia is a place where the beauty of life is all around us, and is home to species such as koalas and kangaroos.
The natural landscapes of Australia were magnificent, places like the Twelve Apostles, Phillip Island, Mornington Island and Brighton Beach had breathtaking views. The most memorable trip I took was to Tasmania for a weekend. It is undeniably a paradise on earth - the sight of Cradle Mountain was unforgettable.
I am honoured to have been selected to participate in this program and would like to thank PolyU and Alloys International for this incredible opportunity. I have made connections and memories that will last a lifetime. I had an excellent time during my time in Melbourne and highly recommend future interns to pursue this opportunity.
Ting Tinsley ZHANGCurrent Student of BBA (Hons) in Global Supply Chain Management (Year 4)
During the summer break of my sophomore year, I joined the Shanghai WIE (work-integrated education) programme where I did an internship with the industry-leading international logistics company, Kuehne + Nagel. The experience not only gave me the chance to put the logistics knowledge acquired from classes in a real-life work setting, but also insights into actual business operations in freight forwarding. I also consider this internship experience as a good chance for self-evaluation. Through daily work and communication with colleges, I understood myself better - my abilities, career interests, and areas in need of improvement.
As my university life comes to an end, I have come to realise that what I gained here at PolyU is much more than just a degree - it's also about having the ability to be a fast learner with solid work experience, because ultimately, these are the values that will take me into the ever-changing world when I graduate.