Management graduates provide voluntary service in Jiangxi

Michelle Leung

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Weekends are not necessarily for entertainment, as a dozen alumni from the Department of Management (MGT) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) discovered. From 11 to 13 August, they carried out a series of activity-based assessment exercises that they designed themselves to help identify the most suitable candidates in Yichun in Jiangxi Province for university scholarships offered by the Virtus Foundation Ltd.

The Virtus Foundation is a non-profit making organization in Hong Kong that helps underprivileged secondary school graduates on the mainland complete their university studies. Forty selected candidates will each receive a scholarship of RMB 6,000 annually for four years.

Despite their busy schedules, twelve graduates from the 2002 to 2005 classes of the BBA (Hons) Human Resources Management programme formed a committee and worked on designing the exercises over the last two months.

Activities-based assessments evaluate candidates’ behaviour rather than their answers to traditional interview-type questions, for which they could have prepared in advance. The team developed six activities aimed at understanding the real qualities of the candidates so as to help the selection panel, chaired by Professor (Chair) Stephen Cheung Yan-leung in the Department of Economic and Finance, to choose scholarship recipients.

Ms Cecilia Chan Tze-sum, a 2003 graduate now working at Langham Hotels International, said getting involved in the project was a pleasure. “We had the chance to develop and exercise the professional knowledge learnt at CityU as well as make a valuable contribution to the community.”

On the three-day trip, Ms Chan met mainland students from low-income families who were eager to continue their education but lacked resources. “I think it would be very tough on these students if they cannot go to university because they cannot afford tuition fees,” Ms Chan said. “Therefore, this activity is playing an important part in helping these students.”

Dr Reuben Mondejar, Acting Head of MGT, said he was pleased to see alumni devoting time to helping others with the skills and professional knowledge learnt at CityU. “We encourage our students to contribute to the community,” he said.

Mr John Lai Hon-weng, an instructor in MGT and an advisor to the committee, said he was very pleased to see the participants on the project mature and develop. ”Every time I look at graduates from CityU, I can see they are growing from students to professionals,” Mr Lai said.

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