A sharing corner for you

Community Voices is a corner where readers can share their thoughts with other members of the FLASS community. We welcome submissions on education-related topics, inspirational life experiences, heart-warming stories that took place at EdUHK, and whatever else you believe would be a meaningful contribution.

In September 2023, the Department of Social Sciences and Policy Studies (SSPS) organised a networking and experience sharing activity where around ten graduates from the Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Global and Environmental Studies (BSocSc (GES)), the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Liberal Studies Education BA(LSE) programmes talked about how their studies at FLASS enriched their knowledge and equipped them with the soft skills and right attitude that are proven useful in the workplaces. The graduates also shared with their fellow juniors currently studying at SSPS their job-finding and work experiences. Both programmes have been phased out and ceased to accept new intake. This issue of FLASS FORWARD features sharing from three of the graduates.

Mr Edwin Au-yeung, Ms Natalie Au Wing-lamMr Gary Chan Chi-hung


Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Global and Environmental Studies
Class of 2017

Edwin once worked at a company providing international moving and relocation services, exhibition logistics, and logistics services for exhibition art pieces. The photo was taken in 2023 when he represented the company to attend an international logistics conference.

Edwin joined an outbound exchange programme in the Netherlands during his BSocSc(GES) studies. He found the exchange very rewarding where his communication and presentation skills were noticeably enhanced.

Edwin, right, encourages his juniors at SSPS to take up jobs even though the skills required by the jobs are not exactly the things they learnt from their studies at EdUHK. Edwin believes work experience and skills learnt at workplaces are important factors for career success.

I spent some time to find a job after completing the BSocSc(GES) programme in 2017. Despite these setbacks during job finding, I was happy to finally find a job as an account executive in a textile company. Although I found myself working in a field different from what I had expected, working in that company for about two years gave me substantial experience in trading and business, in particular regarding business-to-business services.

My career path took a turn when I joined a subsidiary of a multinational logistics company in 2019. I learnt how to work within a multinational corporation (MNC) system while juggling various responsibilities at the subsidiary. This company specialises in international moving and relocation services, exhibition logistics, and logistics services for artwork auction houses. In this company, I needed to deliver both business-to-business and business-to-customer services. I was promoted to assistant manager grade in 2021 after joining the company for two years.

During my university years, I chose “managing global cities” as my minor. Subjects I took under my minor taught me cultural and policy differences in different countries. Through an exchange programme, I went to the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Venlo, the Netherlands, for a six-month study, further enhancing my ability to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds.

At the logistics company, I needed to communicate with people from a wide range of cultural and ethnical backgrounds. The BSocSc(GES) programme equipped me with solid communication and presentation skills. Soft skills like these are really useful in the workplace, which I have continued to apply in various jobs after graduation. Arrangements like internships, overseas field trips, and exchange experiences of the programme provided me with various valuable learning opportunities and broadened my horizons a lot.

At the end of 2023, I changed my job to work at a business counselling and account management services company. In this company, effective communications, building relationships with business partners, and acquiring new customers are key factors of success. I am glad that I have acquired these important soft skills from the BSocSc(GES) programme.

In today's labour market, it is crucial not only to demonstrate that you have the required professional skills but also the right personality and soft skills. Working in smaller companies offers the opportunity to take on multiple roles, allowing you to accumulate different work experiences. Such experiences are highly valued by employers. Remember, your work experiences and skills hold more weight than the university you attended.

I encourage fresh graduates to consider starting their careers in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). They can serve as a stepping stone to a future work in multinational corporations (MNCs). Additionally, it is important to continue pursuing further study and professional development to stay competitive in the job market.


Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Liberal Studies Education
Class of 2017

Born with a heart to help, Natalie finds that working as a social worker is challenging, but fulfilling.

A snapshot taken during the Oxfam Trailwalker event held in November 2023.

I graduated in 2017 with a major in liberal studies education and a minor in counselling and guidance. After graduation, I worked as a career counsellor at an international school. However, I soon realised that my true passion is in social work. After changing a few jobs, I started working in the field of social work at various NGOs. Till now, I have spent around five to six years in this field.

Between 2019 and 2021, I studied for a part-time master's degree in social work. While I was still studying, I took on a full-time position at a residential crisis centre run by a NGO. My main duty was to handle cases of at-risk youth who lived at the centre. After completing my master's degree and obtaining my social work qualification, I was promoted to an assistant social work officer of the centre and became the team leader.

Currently, I am employed by the Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association to work as a social worker at a secondary school. My responsibilities include both programme implementation and case management. I also need to proactively reach out to identify potential cases that need my attention. I stay at the school four days a week and handle approximately 50 cases per year. As a school social worker, I need to address academic, career, family, and relationship aspects of students. I also need to advise them on their behavioural and mental health issues, and support special education needs students as well.

The BA(LSE) programme equipped me with valuable knowledge and perspectives in areas such as gender and politics, which have proven relevant to my work as a social worker. The programme also trained me to approach cases from a macro perspective and to consider problems from a broader angle.

The BA(LSE) studies also fostered my analytic ability and trained me to analyse cases comprehensively. People, including social workers, usually have gender-based biases. It is essential to be aware of such biases when conducting assessments, particularly when dealing with gender issues.

Throughout my studies at EdUHK, I worked in different team projects, undertook internships in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and participated in an exchange programme in Korea. I enjoyed working with people and for the community. I participated in voluntary work even when I was still a student at EdUHK.

My advice to my fellow juniors is to be brave and grab opportunities to explore new things. University is a place where you can experiment, make mistakes, and discover who you want to become. Exploration doesn't just involve discovering the outside world; it also means understanding yourself and embarking on personal growth.

Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Global and Environmental Studies
Class of 2020

Gary encourages his juniors to plan their career during their university studies. His second job was at a hotel. He believes that he was employed because of his satisfactory performance when he worked there as an intern and had left a good impression on the employer.

Gary, far left, work with other interns from EdUHK on promoting sustainability at the hotel.

As an inspector from the EPD, Gary needs to take water samples from the sewage treatment plant of an estate for regular monitoring.

As earlier as when I was studying at EdUHK, I already had a clear mind that I would commit myself to the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) industry. I have strategically sought work opportunities that align with my career plan after graduating in 2020.

When I first joined the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in 2020, I was hired as a Contract Project Assistant where I supported work related to waste reduction and recycling. My second job was a member of the ESG team at a local hotel where I had worked as an intern during a previous summer break. This opportunity not only broadened my horizons but also provided valuable first-hand experience in the ESG industry. I believe I was hired because I had worked at the same hotel as an intern before. This made me realise that how you plan your university life has an impact on your career.

Because of the experience acquired at the hotel, I successfully secured a permanent position as an Environmental Protection Inspector (EPI) at the EPD after leaving the hotel. In my present job at EPD, I am responsible for inspecting and handling environmental complaints. Upon receiving a complaint, I need to assess whether the complaint case has complied with the relevant laws and regulations. In some complaints, I need to oversee discharge of construction waste and sewage, and collaborate with other relevant departments to ensure legal compliance of the discharge.

I always see university as a microcosm of society. There were many group projects at the BSocSc (GES) programme. To achieve teamwork efficiently, I learnt that different team members needed to take up different responsibilities. At my present job, some of my colleagues focus on collecting evidence when investigating complaints, while others handle communications with complainants. This well-coordinated approach enhances our overall team performance. I have learnt the ability to work with other people collaboratively during my university studies. This and other skills learnt from the programme have been instrumental in my professional endeavours.

I would like to advise young graduates and fellow juniors at FLASS to embrace every opportunity, and to apply for positions that align with your interests. Remember, you will never feel fully prepared for all the challenges that come your way. However, it is precisely through embracing these challenges that you will grow both personally and professionally.