Feature Stories



Choosing where to study abroad for tertiary education marks the coming of age for youth worldwide. With her interest in the finance industry and decision to stay in Asia, our Malaysian alumnae, Jamie Chong was naturally led to HKUST Business School, a top-ranking young and international university, where she successfully developed her knowledge in the finance industry and cross-cultural communication skills, key attributes needed for today’s globalized workforce. 

A Friendly Atmosphere for International Students

Although Jamie’s heart was set on pursuing tertiary education at HKUST Business School, like many other international students, Jamie had worries about studying abroad and living alone. Thanks to the friendly student hall culture, Jamie quickly settled into her new life, discovering that studying aboard and living alone was not as daunting as it seemed. 

In her four years of hall life, Jamie was able to tackle homesickness and adapt to a new locale. From making friends in a new environment, and adjusting to the difference in culture and languages, Jamie made the most of every opportunity to explore living among both local and international friends in the HKUST hall community. “After moving to Hong Kong for university, I learned how to accept and work with cultural differences. Having hall activities to mingle, connect and live with other students from different backgrounds and living styles helped to smooth out the challenges of living abroad alone.” 

While the inclusive culture on campus helped Jamie settle in well, HKUST’s wide array of student-led activities led Jamie to meet some of her best friends at HKUST.  Amongst the 130+ student clubs, Jamie was very grateful for being invited to join The Yo-hoo club (HKUSTSU), an outdoor activities club where she met local friends and explored Hong Kong together through hiking and camping. “Even today, some of my closest friends are locals I had known here,” she added. 

In her second year, Jamie decided to take a big step to further broaden her exposure and build leadership skills by taking up a leadership role in the Asian-European Partnership for Development (AEPD), an exchange project co-organized by the HKUST and the Warsaw School of Economics (Poland) to expose students to different cultures and business insights via company visits. As one of the committee members, Jamie and her team planned a one-month trip traveling to Beijing, Hong Kong, Poland, and Germany. “It was a meaningful experience as we overcame challenges in the planning stage, such as coordinating across time zones and working style of the Polish students, and were able to enjoy the trip together,” she reflected. 

Grow in a Supportive Campus

While discovering how to embrace different cultures was the first step of Jamie’s journey, learning to thrive in HKUST’s academic environment posed another challenge to her as an undergraduate. Jamie found the multidisciplinary program at HKUST the perfect choice to get herself prepared for today’s demand for talent with interdisciplinary expertise. Jamie enrolled in the Risk Management and Business Intelligence major (RMBI), which catered to her interest in the finance industry through the multidisciplinary curriculum of quantitative techniques and business knowledge. Jointly offered by HKUST’s Schools of Business (SBM), Science (SCCI), and Engineering (ENGG), the RMBI program synergizes these core strengths of business knowledge, mathematical modelling and analysis, and programming into one multidisciplinary degree covering a wide range of topics across diverse academic fields.  (Photo on the left: Jamie emceed the RMBI 10th anniversary dinner.)

Multidisciplinary degree students also receive assistance from all program-offering schools. From academic needs to career needs, Jamie was glad that our campus is full of student support. “The learning environment and curriculum here were very different from my A-levels back in Malaysia. I was lucky to have great friends, seniors, and tutors who supported me to overcome these challenges. I joined the study groups and mentorship programs offered by the Mathematics Support Centre and sought internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience from the Undergraduate Program Office of the Business School and the University’s Career Center.

With a clear direction to delve deeper into the finance industry, she joined summer internships at the AVISTA group in Hong Kong, Mastercard in Malaysia, and UBS, IBD in fields including internal risk advisory, banking, payment, and consulting to build upon her academic training.

When asked about her most unforgettable internship, Jamie highlighted work as an IB COO summer analyst in UBS, IBD. Under the new environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamie helped her division closely monitor and optimize current manpower arrangements on the banking floor. “As we’re exposed to industry knowledge through the internship, the concepts and skills we learned in class, such as programming and data analytics, are enhanced. Applying these skills adds value to the business, even as a student, regardless of our experience.”  (Photo on the right: Besides internship and exchange, Jamie was also in the 180 Degree Student Consulting Club to connect with other brillant minds.)

Thrive in Asia, Eye on the Globe

Through business courses and internship experiences in traditional banks and MNCs, Jamie narrowed her interest in the finance industry to fintech. Characteristic of HKUST graduates’ high global employability, Jamie’s career development was never limited to Hong Kong. Her rigorous training also prepared her well to set foot and roots anywhere in the world.

Upon the recommendation of supportive business alumni in similar fields, Jamie continued life abroad as a product management associate with SeaMoney under Shopee in Singapore after graduating in 2021.  “With all the experience I’ve gained as an HKUST student living abroad in different cities and trying different jobs, I’ve really grown as a person. It has been easier for me to settle down in my current position compared to many others. In the long run, my university journey empowered me with the skills, flexibility, and the right attitude to try out different positions in new circumstances. "


Wisdom from Jamie

Her advice for current undergraduates and those planning to come to Hong Kong amidst the pandemic?

“Be open-minded – don’t just mingle within your comfort zone. Mix with both local and international students, because you never know what kind of experience you’ll have from these interactions.”