Discover & Innovate: Don't be afraid to dream big and learn from your mistakes

By Kevin Tong Kai-fung, Alumnus, Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong

If life is a journey, what is your ultimate destination?

By Kevin Tong Kai-fung, Alumnus, Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong |

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In 2014, I was lucky enough to take part in a student exchange programme organised by City University. During my 248 days in the United States, I learned many lessons about life that you can't learn in the classroom. It was such a happy, satisfying time, and I have many treasured memories. I made cherished friends from all over the world, people I will never forget.

Of all my experiences, one achievement in particular stands out. During one of the marketing courses, the class was divided into five teams. We had to develop a marketing plan for a real private jet company in California. Our team won the competition; the company was very appreciative of our submission.

We won because we put in a great deal of effort and we worked well together. But, more importantly, we benefited from skills I'd learned at CityU. During my final semester there, I had to do a project comparable to the one we had to complete in the US: developing a marketing plan for a real company.

This valuable experience increased my confidence and professionalism, helping me to develop skills such as being able to negotiate with different clients and address their needs.

A week before I left the US, the private jet company emailed me to say it would like to use my design ideas as its official logo and tagline. I can still remember how excited I was to receive the email. It was a great finale to my whole exchange experience.

Students should cherish their university days, wherever they are, whatever they study. It's a period when we have the most time to talk about our dreams; the most time to pursue crazy ideas; the biggest capacity to accept obstacles and learn from failures. Dare to dream, dare to fail. Try to step outside your comfort zone and try something new and challenging.

Create your own story; be your own author.

After three years at university, I now feel confident enough to face all the uncertainties and challenges society throws at us.

This is my story, this is my journey. What's yours?