Hong Kong student check-in: Where are they now?

Last year, we spoke to many students about their experiences studying in Adelaide. We recently checked in with some of our Hong Kong students to see what’s changed since we last heard from them. From working on the other side of the table as a university tutor to pursuing research opportunities to working full-time in their field, our students are well on the way to building successful careers.

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International students Kitty, Puiyee and Nigel from Hong Kong SAR

Kitty: Planning to pursue a PhD

When we last spoke to Kitty (left in image), she was studying for her Master of Nutrition and Dietetics at Flinders University. She finished her degree in November 2020 and attended her graduation ceremony in May.


What are you doing now?

I’m working as a tutor in human nutrition and hoping to start a research degree soon. I really enjoy my time as a tutor. Previously, I was on the other side of the classroom, and now I know what it’s like on the tutor’s side. Now I wish I’d answered more questions when I was a student!


Last time we spoke, you said you might like a career involving research. Tell us more about your plans.

Yes. I want to study for a master’s by research. As well as being a tutor, I’m also working as a research assistant on a weight loss project.

I plan to start a master’s by research here in Adelaide by the end of June. And hopefully, I can continue to work on the same project during my research degree.

I’ve always wanted to do a PhD, but I need another 4.5 units of research study and to have more papers published. I’m hoping to transfer into a PhD once I meet the requirements.


Where do you see your career going into the future?

I think my dream job to work as a clinical dietitian and to do research as well. The roles can work quite closely together. My goal is to practice my clinical dietitian skills while pursuing my research degree. And to continue with a career pathway where I can keep doing both.

How has studying in Adelaide prepared you for your future career?

The opportunities I’ve had to practice in nutrition and do research work have shaped my dream job. All the experiences from my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree have really confirmed my career goals. I know exactly what I want to do for my future.

Studying in Adelaide gave me so many opportunities to experience clinical placements and time in the lab with research. I’ve enjoyed all the experiences I’ve had, and I’m confident this is the right career for me.

I couldn’t be more happy.

Puiyee: Working as an agency nurse

When we last spoke to Puiyee (centre in image), she was studying for her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Adelaide. She finished her degree in December 2020 and attended her graduation ceremony in May. She’s now working as a registered nurse.


What are you doing now?

I’m working full-time as an agency nurse in a graduate position. I travel to different aged care facilities to fill in for regular staff who might be on leave or sick. We can help fill the gap and care for the residents.

It’s different every day, but my agency will try to allocate me to the same or similar facilities, so I know the routine.


Tell us what it’s like to be out working in your field after graduating.

I didn’t do any aged care placements before, so I’m learning a lot about different settings and scenarios.

Because I work in new places and with new people, I need to figure out the different routines and residents at each facility. I try to go in early to get an orientation.

When you jump into the workplace, there is a lot to learn, and you have to adapt. My colleagues have been supportive and answered my questions, especially when I come across a new scenario or something I haven’t experienced before.

I’ve got a lot more experience now, and I feel much more confident about how I can contribute.


Do you think the clinical placements you did during your studies helped you to find your job?

Definitely. When I was in the interview, they asked me clinical questions. If I didn’t have that experience and understanding of the clinical context, I might not have been able to answer them.

What’s next for you?

It depends. I’d be happy to try different nursing fields to see what I like the best. I think I need a few more years to explore my options.

I’m interested in migrating to South Australia and am looking at the various options, including the Government of South Australia’s skilled migration Talent and Innovators program.

How has studying in Adelaide prepared you for your future career?

Studying in Adelaide enhanced my English language skills which are very important if you’re a nurse or a healthcare professional. It helps you see what’s happening around you and understand not just English but also local slang and what people mean.

Studying at the University of Adelaide has taught me some of the latest nursing skillsets I can use in the real world. It’s also connected me with a network of other nursing graduates. As we all get into the workforce, we continue to help and learn from each other by sharing our experiences.

Nigel: Learning all about research

When we last spoke to Nigel (right in image), he was studying for a Bachelor of Aviation (Flight) at the University of South Australia. He’s now in his final year, with one semester to go before he completes his degree.


You recently participated in a Vacation Research Scholarship project. Tell us about the work you did.

I helped to conduct research on the economic impact of the flight school at Parafield Airport and how we can add to the economic opportunities.

It was a really good way to learn the proper methodology and process of carrying out research. I got hands-on coaching to help me design and conduct the study. And I got the chance to write my first academic journal article.

We did some mixed-method research, including a survey about the spending behaviours of the flight school students and staff and interviews to understand why they have such behaviours.

Why did you apply for a Vacation Research Scholarship, and how has it helped you?

I applied because I want to get into a higher degree by research in the area of airport cities and aerotropolis. The research scholarship was exactly the same thing.

It was an excellent all-around experience for me. I learned a lot about the whole process, from ethics approval to design, theory, surveys, analysing results, writing the report and presenting findings.

And I got to work with supervisors who are world-class academics.

The best thing is, it’s helping the people and the community. It’s real data that can help solve problems and increase the economic impact in the local area.


How has studying in Adelaide prepared you for your future career?

The people I’ve met, and the networks are so important because my industry is quite niche. Next year, I’m going to do an internship in business intelligence and aviation. My learning and experience during my studies in Adelaide definitely helped me to get this internship. After that, I hope to study for a higher degree by research. I’ve made many contacts here with access to global networks, so I’m not sure where I will end up.

Interested to know more about studying in Adelaide?

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