In 2017, Karen Wen Wu flew over 15,000 kilometres from the Dominican Republic to Hong Kong. She arrived at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, jetlagged but with dreams in tow and an entrepreneurial zeal to realise them. Within a few years, she has become a global student ambassador, an emcee for several campus events and the Public Relations Manager for the International Student Association. In between, the social media influencer juggles the roles that come with being one of luxury magazine Hashtag Legend’s top 15 Key Opinion Leaders, partnering with brands such as Kiehl’s, Issey Miyake, CeraVe, LUX, Daniel Wellington, I.T, Max Factor, among others.
“I still have a few months to go, and I am pretty sure every bit of them will be an adventure. If you can dream it, PolyU will guide you towards it!” she says. Growing up in a business-oriented family, the Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) in Management student has always strived to be an entrepreneur and sought a buzzing university to inspire her to reach her full potential — at PolyU, Wu has found a community that makes this possible.
Networking at PolyU is “a piece of cake,” she says. There is no shortage of amazing thinkers one can approach to become friends, mentors and potential partners. “From a social perspective, PolyU’s convenient location is unique. Not only can you get a taste of every culture close to campus, but you can also connect and learn from the different people you meet. Apart from making friends with a Chinese cultural background, you will find others from all over the world,” she says.
In a world grappling with disunity, it is gratifying to find a place that is inclusive. At PolyU, students from different backgrounds and with different interests will find a base and fellowship to help them chart their own personal journey to success.
PolyU is more than just an institution that performs well on international league tables: 25th in Asia and 75th globally (QS World University Rankings 2021); and top 25 globally for Hospitality and Leisure Management; Art and Design; Engineering (Civil and Structural); and Architecture/Built Environment (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020). Nor is it just a hub of groundbreaking research that saves lives, opens up new horizons in space, boosts economic efficiency and fosters sustainability for a better world.
It is also home to diverse cultures and nationalities — one in four students and the majority of research staff are from outside Hong Kong. There are more than 6,000 non-local students and over half of the undergraduate student cohort boast international learning experience. It has nurtured close to 1,000 entrepreneurs and supported around 300 start-ups.
It is this global community of talent that Amanda Putri Wantono from Indonesia has been able to plug into for invaluable learning experiences, from volunteer opportunities to leadership programmes and job placements. The School of Hotel and Tourism Management graduate is set to start a senior marketing role at Poly U’s Hotel ICON after completing an elite management training programme with them.
“My time at PolyU has prepared me for global leadership and my experiences — from becoming an English volunteer teacher for local students to connecting students with club managers internationally — gave me immeasurable global exposure,” she says.
Legions of students around the world hope their degrees will take them places. If they’re lucky, they have fun along the way too. Not many, however, can say they have succeeded in getting a productive and enjoyable university experience.
Most PolyU students and graduates can. Gasham Gorchubayli from Azerbaijan is a first-year student pursuing a Master of Science in International Shipping and Transport Logistics after completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Industrial and Systems Engineering here. With these PolyU degrees in hand, he is optimistic of his future career prospects.
He should be. PolyU students, local and non-local, have access to a myriad of opportunities to develop themselves personally and professionally. Work-Integrated Education (WIE) lets students sample what it’s like to work in a student’s future profession. The UG Summer Research Abroad Sponsorship helps pay for students to conduct research at leading universities abroad. Service-Learning sparks the fire within students to serve the underprivileged, in Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland and overseas. There are also programmes to attend summer courses in Oxford and Cambridge; join conferences and study tours; earn credit in corporate leadership and interpersonal development programmes; or spend a semester in one of PolyU’s partner institutions spanning over 40 countries and regions, including the Chinese Mainland and Taiwan.
Gorchubayli is set to take all he’s gained from such opportunities to carve his own path to success. Where? Right here in Hong Kong — a global financial centre, an innovation and technology hub, a conduit to the second-largest economy in the world and an urban culture unrivalled in the region.
He knows, as many do, that a PolyU degree is a catalyst to a brighter future, which was exactly why he decided to get two degrees — a bachelor’s and now, a master’s — from this leading Asian university. “I am looking forward to my future plans in Hong Kong, such as getting a good job. I’m not sure yet. Let’s let life take its course. One thing I am sure of is that I will stay in Hong Kong!”
The university has two rounds of application deadlines: the Early Round on Nov. 25, 2020 and the Main Round on Feb. 25, 2020. Applications for admission and scholarships are separate, but both will be considered on a rolling basis after the Early Round. All candidates are encouraged to apply early to be eligible for scholarships.