The BUddy Post – HKBU Alumni Affairs Office

December 2023
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Focus・The GBA

HKBU has nurtured over 148,000 graduates since its inception in 1956 and many have made their mark in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). In this section, we are pleased to feature alumni who have been thriving in the GBA and to share their experience on how they capture business and career opportunities there.

Sharing by Alumna Emily Chou Mei-ian, Vice Deputy General of Macau Youth Federation

On Promoting Macau Youth Development

Alumna Emily Chou Mei-ian, Vice Deputy General of Macau Youth Federation and President of the Fiscal Committee of Macau Youth Summit

Following her first degree in International Relations in Durham University, England, alumna Emily Chou Mei-ian (Communication) furthered her studies at HKBU in Master of Arts in Communication. A graduate of Communication of HKBU, Emily was popular among employers; while working in two investor relations companies in Hong Kong, namely Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Christensen, she had gained fruitful developments on her career. Meanwhile, belonging to the young generation in Macau, Emily hoped to contribute to Macau’s development. During her studies, Emily established the Macau Youth Summit (MYS) with her acquaintances. Later on, she joined the Macau Youth Federation (MYF).  Currently in the capacity of Vice Deputy General of MYF and President of the Fiscal Committee of MYS, Emily actively participates in youth activities organised by the Macao SAR Government, acting as the communication bridge between the Government and the youth, with a view to supporting the development of Macau youth, especially facilitating them to grasp the opportunities in the Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai which is close to Macau. In addition to Macau youth development, Emily is also maintaining a close connection with her alma mater, as she is currently serving as the Board of Directors, Director General of HKBU Alumni Association of Macau.

Emily represents MYF to deliver a speech at United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office of China.

1. Why did you choose to return to Macau to further develop your career and to work in the area of youth development? How could your exposure gained in both England and Hong Kong facilitate your work now?

From my journeys in both England and Hong Kong, I have learnt the importance of youth development for a city’s future. Thus, I started to engage in the field of youth development when I went back to Macau for holidays, hoping to share the exposure and experiences I gained from England and Hong Kong with young people in Macau. As time went by, I realised that I wanted to fully serve and to contribute more to the Macau society. Thus, after working in Hong Kong for two years, I decided to return to Macau and have worked as a PR in different corporate and governmental sectors since then.

For my exposure in both England and Hong Kong, language is the most significant skill I gained that still facilitates my work now. Besides, I am particularly thankful for the corporate PR skills I have learned in the courses of M.A. in Communication of HKBU, such as crisis management and press release writing skills. These courses are essential to my career as a professional PR.

Emily (back row, second from left) takes a group photo with the committee members of MYF at a meeting with The National People’s Congress Macao SAR Basic Law Committee.

2. Please briefly describe your work in Macau Youth Federation and Macau Youth Summit. In what ways can the two organisations help the young generation of Macau explore the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA)?

Macau Youth Summit (MYS) was established in 2014 by me and a group of friends who also studied overseas. We share job vacancies and the latest information of Macao SAR Government with the students studying aboard in order to facilitate their career planning and to encourage them to return to Macau. Besides, we organise roundtables and forums where professionals, government officials and legislators are invited to give their views.  Young people are also welcome to express their opinions. All the opinions will be compiled in a final written report which will be shared with the related governmental departments. By doing so, we believe that MYS would serve as a communication bridge between the government and the young generation.

Macau Youth Federation (MYF) is an association which includes members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, members of the Executive Council, members of the Legislative Council, relevant government personnel, professionals, business circles and other outstanding young representatives from the society. Therefore, the Macau Youth Federation is a representative association, gathering young people‘s thoughts, demands and aspirations, and offering suggestions to the government. Another important component of MYF is the Macau regional committee members of the national, provincial and municipal youth federations. We also work closely with the provincial and municipal youth federations to promote the establishment of associations for promoting youth exchange between the two cities and jointly organise a number of large-scale activities to encourage more interaction and collaboration between young people in Macau and Mainland China. I have also recently led a new International Affairs Programme for the younger generation in MYF, and the programme aims to enhance young people’s knowledge and understanding of international affairs.

Following the Chinese Central Government’s development policies, both MYS and MYF work closely with the Macao SAR Government to encourage development in the GBA, especially assisting the young generation to start their career in the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. We arrange occasional visits to the GBA for our members to understand the latest development in certain cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen. We believe that by taking members to the cities for direct experience, they will get to know whether they would like to start their career in those cities. In MYF, we do provide start-up enquiry services to our members so as to help them go through all legal procedures more smoothly.

On the other hand, we select outstanding members in MYS to take part in the Alibaba Internship Programme supported by the Macao SAR Labour Affairs Bureau. Through these internship programmes, young people are able to experience the work environment of some international corporations, and to have the opportunities to work with people from different cities in China.

Emily (second from right) attends a meeting between MYS and the Macao SAR Labour Affairs Bureau.

3. In your view, what are the differences among the young generation in Macau, Hong Kong and Mainland China? What advice would you give to the Macau youth if they decide to develop their career/business in the GBA?

Hong Kong’s youth are known for their strong emphasis on academic excellence, driven by competitive education systems. Macau, combining Chinese and Western approaches, encourages creativity and adaptability in the young generation. Moreover, Macau is a small community where everyone can be connected. Therefore, most of the young people focus more on relationship-building while working. Mainland China places significant importance on rigorous education, instilling a strong work ethic and discipline in its young individuals.

Although the differences among young people in Macau, Hong Kong and Mainland China can be influenced by cultural backgrounds, languages, education systems, social values and technological advancements, I believe that embracing this diversity can lead to a deeper understanding of the complexities within each region and foster stronger ties among the young generation across these areas.

There are two pieces of advice for Macau youths who decide to develop their career in the GBA. First, they should equip themselves with a diverse skillset which could fit the requirements of the region’s emerging industries. Acquiring expertise in areas such as technology, finance, entrepreneurship or digital marketing can significantly enhance your career prospects. Stay updated with the latest trends and innovations within your field of interest, and also enrol in internships or certificate programmes to gain practical experience. Employers in the GBA value individuals who can adapt to the rapidly changing business landscape. Second, always embrace social awareness with good language skills. Although the GBA is socially diverse, understanding cultural awareness with language proficiency especially in Mandarin and Cantonese can significantly enhance communication and facilitate meaningful interactions with colleagues, clients and working partners. Understanding the nuances of Chinese business etiquette and traditions can also help young people build strong professional relationships.