The HKIS alumni panel for the "How to Tell Your Story" session. They presented their personal experience to HKIS high school students during Dragon Day at HKIS. From left to right: Ivan Li '07, Sophia Ng '09, Matt Sears '02, Liz Liang '04 and Rick Johannessen '92.
Connecting current HKIS high school students to the network of interesting alumni across HK and around the world has always been a key focus area of the HK Chapter-Alumni Association, especially in the context of career exploration. a Our alumni community’s experience and array of professions is far wider than most High School students may realize. Hearing from alumni who used to sit in the same classrooms helps current students believe that they too have a whole world of options open to them.
In the 2022-23 academic year, the HK Chapter-Alumni Association partnered with the Advancement Office and the HS Counseling Department to create the most ambitious series of events yet, which we dubbed 'Alumni Connections'. The series expanded on the career focus to include university as well, because there too, the experiences of real alumni who’ve been through the same things current students are grappling with is all the more valuable than generic info. Over the course of the year, we ran three different events, covering the journey from High School to University, to internships and career-building.
Chef and social media sensation Jonathan Kung '02.
In the fall, we held a virtual event for 30+ students, connecting HKIS alums at Stanford, Columbia, Wellesley, etc. for a panel discussion moderated by student leader Nicholas Yee ’23, instrumental in organizing the Alumni Connections series.
In February, we brought together a Hollywood screenwriter, a dermatologist, an insurance executive, and a chef with hundreds of thousands of social media followers for a talk on career paths, highlighting how unexpected and windy most people’s paths are (not doctors’, though, as it turns out). Finally, in April, we held a talk on campus focused on internships, where we were joined by alumni from biotech, executive search, fintech, and education.
Liz Liang '04 shares with a small group of HKIS students during the "How to Tell Your Story" Dragon Day session in April 2023.
There’s nothing like hearing from someone who’s stood in your shoes, and that’s why these Alumni Connections are so valuable. No matter how good a career talk you may get from a more generic source, speaking to someone who knows where you’re coming from can make all the difference. We’re excited to create lots more Alumni Connections this year as we leverage the HKISAlumni.org platform to connect thousands more alumni from around the world. Stay tuned!
Shared by Matt Sears' 02
HK Chapter-Alumni Association Board Member
Derek Kwik '86 with students from the HKIS Entrepreneur Club.
For many years now, Derek has been instrumental in driving start-up internships with HKIS students. In November, he came to the High School and met with the students in the HKIS Entrepreneur Club. After his inspirational sharing of his own entrepreneurship journey, he had the idea to bring a few HKIS High School students to Hong Kong’s biggest tech conference, Hong Kong FinTech Week, so they could experience the energy, enthusiasm and absorb domain knowledge from start-up founders, corporates and InvestHK. The students had the opportunity to hear the HK Chief Executive John Lee give the keynote address and tour the exhibition halls as Derek introduced them to the people who make things happen. Derek quotes Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Shared by Derek Kwik '86
Bob Christian Alumnus of the Year Award 2023
Derek Kwik '86 with HKIS High School students at Fin Tech Week in Hong Kong.