Internships are an important part of university life to gain real world working experience as well as discovering and understanding yourself. Here are stories of two Dual Degree Program in Technology & Management (T&M-DDP) students on how they are inspired by their internships.
Pishun TANTIVANGPHAISAL is a final year T&M-DDP student with majors in Civil Engineering and General Business Management. In 2015/16, he spent a year studying at University College London and he really enjoyed the environment there, thus at the end of his exchange stay, he sought out working opportunities in London.
This was where, by chance, he found work as an intern assistant for a Master Potter and rediscovered his interest in pottery. After returning to Hong Kong, he first began to work for a ceramics design studio, and is now renting his own studio space in order to develop his craftsmanship in pottery. He is now creating his own pieces, soon to be sold at Eslite at Taikooshing this year.
Last summer, after taking the initiative to apply to dozens of internship positions in London, Pishun received an offer from Mott MacDonald, a global engineering and development consultancy firm. Pishun was mainly involved within two big projects: bidding to design a new wastewater tunnel and the ongoing Thames tideway project. It was his first time working closely with consultant engineers. Sharing the working environment with Londoners also amazed Pishun with how they maintained their work-life balance. This reinforced his belief that life can encompass much more than only work.
Pishun is now in his final year, with decisions to be made on his future path. He wants to pursue his passion in pottery yet that may mean forgoing the positive contribution he would make to society as an engineer. Although there are many uncertainties, his advice is, whatever you do, do not restrict yourself by what you study, because the future is full of possibilities.
Abby YAO is a Year 3 T&M-DDP student with majors in Computer Engineering and General Business Management. Abby has always been a big fan of robotics. Through HeadStart Program of HKUST, Abby was selected to Silicon Valley of USA- all tech-lovers’ dream workplace- to work for a venture capital fund company, Comet Labs, as an investment analyst. Comet Labs is a venture initiative focused on helping B2B intelligent machine (AI and Robotics) startups scale up. Abby’s main duty was to attend pitching of entrepreneurs of startups and conduct due diligence on their defensibility and market potentials. She also needed to conduct research to understand the latest technology development in AI/robotics and catch up with market trends to backup her evaluations. After work, Abby talked with robotics engineers and successful entrepreneurs at meetup events to learn and get inspirations.
During the 11-week internship, Abby was greatly inspired by various startups ideas and industrial applications. She particularly appreciates how Americans respect engineering and value people’s opinions irrespective of their hierarchy.
Abby will definitely go back to Silicon Valley to pursue her dreams in robotics and meet many more great people and innovative ideas. She encourages peers and junior students not to constraint themselves in their comfort zones and be proactive to learn and speak out, you will get more than you expect.