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Ms Wendy Man Hing Luk holds a BA (2014) from the University of Hong Kong. She completed a double major in Japanese Studies and Psychology. Wendy now works for a major bank in Japan as Vice President in Strategy Research (Global Corporate and Investment Banking Program).


Memories of Japanese Studies and HKU

Tracing memories back to my time at HKU makes me think about the lifetime relationships with my friends, mentors, and especially with my professors. I am really thankful to my professors who guided me at key moments in my degree when I was not that sure about myself. They offered advice when I was trying to decide which Japanese university to choose for exchange, and which job offer to accept. They shared their own experiences, told me the pros and cons to think about, and the things I need to consider and value when making significant life-changing decisions.

Seven years after graduation, I can still recall the melody that plays at the Main Library’s closing time. The training and lectures that the Department of Japanese Studies offered were challenging. It offered a comprehensive selection of courses to improve linguistic skills, and lectures to learn how to critically analyse the culture through history, literature, and even popular culture. In order to excel in presentations, essays, papers, and exams, I spent most of my time in the library doing research and having discussions with team mates.

Exchange, Internship & Capstone Experiences

I went to Kyoto University for a one-year exchange program, from October 2012 until August 2013. During my exchange I studied Japanese traditional arts. After class, I could visit a temple or a shrine to witness in person what professors showed in the PowerPoint. Being able to actually visit a place and view the real art objects enabled me to better understand the sense of transience, the impermanence, and the beauty of Japanese culture.

In 2012, I completed a six-week summer internship at MUFG Hong Kong branch. The program gave me an opportunity to experience working in a Japanese bank, and in various departments through job rotation. Both the local staff and Japanese expatriates shared their working content with us, and all of the interns were asked to present a case study at the end of the training. I learned so much. Having actual experiences in Japanese society as a student prepared me to work in Japan and successfully immerse myself in its culture as a graduate.

Another highlight of my undergraduate degree was the two-week experiential learning program, the HKU-U Tokyo Joint Summer Program which I joined in August 2013. Teaming up with four students and graduates from the University of Tokyo was one of the best group work experiences I ever had. We conducted fieldwork and interviews on topics of interest with leading entrepreneurs and individuals in Hong Kong. We utilized our cultural differences well to analyze things from different perspectives and put our thoughts together in a well-organized presentation. Even to this day, our friendships with the visiting T┼Źdai students continue and we still organize gatherings in Japan. Most of all, I found my life companion at the program. He inspired me in many ways eight years ago, and today, he still motivates me. We are open-minded about our cultural differences, and we encourage each other through difficult times at work. In study, work and private, I have never stopped learning about Japan, and strive to contribute to Sino-Japanese relationships.

Life beyond HKU

I have been with the same company after graduation for six and a half years. Due to the internal transfer system in a Japanese corporation, employees are reassigned to a different division after two to three years to gain new experiences and skills in different areas. My current job is to propose corporate strategies for listed companies in Japan and overseas. I work with clients from multiple industries to help them review their global business strategies and business portfolios, providing analysis and insights on the latest global macroeconomic and industry trends. I could not be where I am today without my education and experiences at HKU. Working in a bank without a business or economics degree is challenging, however what HKU taught me was ways of learning, helping me to cultivate a curiosity for knowledge. Learning continues after graduation, and today I still need to broaden my skill set and enhance my knowledge from various perspectives. HKU taught me how to grow in my career and in life.

Ten years ago, I chose Japanese Studies because I was very interested in Sino-Japanese relationships. It was my dream to contribute to cultural ties and mutual understanding between the two countries.. Studying at the Department of Japanese Studies at HKU made that dream come true, and it has positively shaped and characterized my life.

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