Alumni events in Shenzhen and Hong Kong – Andy's experience
By: Andy Chan Date: September 2023
Our alumni community is very much a global one and it is always a privilege when we get the chance meet and reconnect with international alumni in cities around the world. Andy Chan (MBA, 1990-94) recently attended Durham hosted events in Shenzhen and Hong Kong and tell of his experience below.
Durham alumni events
I enjoyed the whole two events, both in Shenzhen and in Hong Kong, on 14 September and 16 September 2023 organised by the Durham University. Before our evening party, the Business School had organised a fantastic Careers Fair for alumni from Durham, Warwick and Newcastle. I have joined past events in Shenzhen a few times, and on this occasion, it was the biggest crowd of participants! Over the years, I have invited a few corporations to join the fair. For example, Kingdee, a software company. The Human Resources representative of Kingdee said that they could receive many talents from the students who attended and that they showed very high interest in joining their company.
I could see everyone in the event, including the volunteers, our school comrades, and the employers, showing their enthusiasm and eagerness to help their visiting participants, in hopes of assisting them to get job opportunities!
The Shenzhen party that followed was a warm and friendly atmosphere, and I personally loved the food as well. It was a good mix of different tastes by Chef of the Sheraton Hotel. I could see a lot of new and old faces in attendance. A lot of the Shenzhen attendees are of the younger generation, while at the event in Hong Kong, we had more of the older generations (perhaps this is reflecting the long history of the Hong Kong Durham alumni).
Many new and old faces came to the Hong Kong event in the hope to meet the Vice-Chancellor and other members of our University community. While many activities in Asia had previously been suspended for few years (last time I could remember it was in 2018/2019 already), everyone showed great desire to meet together - there were generations of alumni from 80 years old to their great-grand children of few months old!
I was born in Hong Kong and began my career in the auditing services at PwC in the eighties. After few years of work, I wanted to extend my professional qualifications. I was already a certified and chartered accountant and wanted to expand into management and administration work. I was deciding where to study between Strathclyde, Warwick and Durham, and eventually my high school supervisor Dr Elsie Tu gave me an enlightening view that Durham had changed its shape between Newcastle campus and the old Durham colleges, plus the historic Cathedral buildings and city. Following her advice, I chose to complete my MBA at Durham.
Postgraduate studies could really strengthen and enlighten the younger generations in their pursuit of higher levels of achievement. During my time, I gained a genuine and mature calibre in the grasp of knowledge, confidence and achievement. My professors (also the tutors) did enrich my views and knowledge throughout the studying time.
Today, our globe is facing a lot of new challenges that are very different from my time - knowledge, use of AI, climate issue, sustainability, ESGs etc - all these need acumen, impactful participation and continuous support of the learned professors, scientists, corporations and the government. I hope that Durham alumni in Asia will continue to make an impact through investing knowledge in activities covering different areas of specialism.