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.
They are also willing to accept new ideas. For example, I learnt that the Electronic Road Pricing in Singapore took inspiration from a study of Hong Kong. Though the Hong Kong study was not implemented, it was successfully implemented in Singapore to ease traffic congestion and encourage the use of public transport.
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.
Jessica Chuen is a Year 4 student in the International Shipping and Transport Logistics programme at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Learn more about the programme at www.polyu.edu.hk/lms/en/