Ampower Talent Institute’s career experience workshops give Hong Kong students valuable exposure to STEM jobs

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  • NGO organised the workshop to develop the city’s young talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • Pupils as young as 12 had the chance to experience the workplace environment at companies such as NEC, Microsoft, Deloitte and Hutchison Ports
Yanni Chow |
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Thanks to Ampower Talent Institute’s job-shadowing workshop, Scofield Wong (centre) learned to control a robot using programming. Photo: Ampower Talent Institute

Scofield Wong Ngo-ting did not have the best grades in Primary Six and, thus, did not secure entrance to a good secondary school. So every day, the 12-year-old went from school to school by himself, knocking on doors hoping to be admitted to a better school.

And he succeeded.

The student was sharing his story in a career experience workshop at NEC – an information and communications technologies provider in Hong Kong – and the company’s managing director was impressed by his story.

She gave him her name card and asked him to find her for an internship when he successfully got into university with a degree in the technology field.

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“The boy was overjoyed,” said Sophia Chan-Yap, who is the co-founder of Ampower Talent Institute, the NGO that organised the workshop with an invitation from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer to develop Hong Kong’s young talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Students as young as Scofield were given the opportunity to job-shadow and experience the workplace environment at big companies such as NEC, Microsoft, Deloitte, Hutchison Ports and Hutchison Telecoms.

“This opportunity to visit was very valuable to me,” he said, adding that the experience was rare for students his age.

More than 40 students and teachers visited Microsoft’s office. Photo: Ampower Talent Institute

In the NEC workshop, Scofield learned about iris recognition and face recognition, and he even used programming to control robots.

“The programme offers us career experience opportunities ... and an internship opportunity in an international firm,” he said.

Chan-Yap believed early exposure would benefit younger students in formulating their academic focus and identifying informed career aspirations.

“With a clear goal in mind, students will be more purpose-driven to perform well in school,” she said.

A parent herself, Chan-Yap said she wanted to support the education and development of children and teenagers, especially serving the underprivileged.

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In another workshop at Microsoft, student Chong Tsz-yan learned about the technology industry, such as the metaverse, non-fungible tokens and artificial intelligence (AI).

“I was deeply inspired by these workshops to devote myself to technological development and be a contributor instead of a consumer. I want to make the world a better place with AI,” the Form Two pupil said.

She wants to become a software developer, creating apps with AI to make people’s daily lives more convenient.

Chan-Yap hoped these experiences would empower participants by opening the door for future career development.

“It is my sincere wish that students, by joining the programme and the relevant activities, would learn from successful people and become the best versions of themselves,” she said.

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