Sharing of Scholarship Recipients - Rex Chan
CHAN Wang Ka, Rex (Government and International Studies)
Recipient of UNIQLO Hong Kong Scholarship 2019
I feel deeply honoured to receive the scholarship from UNIQLO, the world renowned fashion retailing brand, as this is an extremely competitive scholarship awarded to outstanding students with an international vision and strong leadership. Frankly speaking, back then when I first applied for the scholarship I was not so confident about it. Nervous and uncertain of success, I simply wanted to challenge myself and prove my ability by trying something different. Although I was not trained in the business school, I believed that, as an International Relations student, global horizon, agile mind and interdisciplinary knowledge would always be our strengths. I told myself that nothing was really impossible and I would just do my best. Indeed, soon it proved that the panel cared more about your personality and commitment to the society instead of your discipline.
Overall, there were four stages of selection which assessed candidates from different aspects, such as: self-presentation, peer evaluation, leadership skills, business acumen and global vision. As I went through the process, I gradually found that it was not as tough as I imagined. In retrospect, I would rather see it as a journey of knowing yourself and the development story of UNIQLO than a mere competition for scholarship. During the interviews, we were often asked to reflect upon ourselves, from which I was given ample opportunity to ponder my dreams and career as well as many possibilities of new changes through relating personal growth to the general development of the entire business and industry.
Different from its kind, this scholarship not just provided me with financial support, but it also offered me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit UNIQLO’s main offices located in the heart of Tokyo. While the Akasaka Office had demonstrated a high degree of efficiency and strong vitality, the UNIQLO City Tokyo in Ariake had amazed me with its unlimited potential and creativity.
Throughout the five-day trip in the vibrant capital city of Japan, I was delighted to have the privilege to meet with Mr. Yanai, the Founder and President of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd, as well as other top management members and directors of the world-renowned apparel company, which allowed me to gain further insight into the business models and strategies of UNIQLO and have a better understanding of the challenges the entire global supply chain was facing today. It was also a great pleasure to listen to the presentations given by store managers of UNIQLO and GU, another famous fashion brand under the umbrella of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd, as we visited the flagship stores located at Ginza and Shinjuku-Nishiguchi.
The essence of scholarship is never just about money. The rewarding experience has prompted me to rethink how we could work together with our different expertise to help businesses overcome the potential obstacles and benefit the society at large by unleashing the power of knowledge and innovation.
As an apparel brand, UNIQLO has never ceased to thrive and grow. Neither has it confined itself to the clothing industry only. Well-known for being courageous, progressive and forward-looking, it has always been the ground-breaking pioneer among its rivals that keeps making new attempts to change for the better. In particular, I was impressed by UNIQLO’s ‘Vision 2020’ to become the world number-one apparel retailer. It embodied the company’s can-do spirit and has inspired me to dream big and work hard. No matter where I work in the future, UNIQLO’s recipe for success will surely remain in my mind.
Once again, I am truly grateful for being awarded the UNIQLO scholarship and, without doubt, it means more than just a scholarship to me.