The world of work is ever more competitive, but Burton Lam Pak-chuen intends to be fully prepared for the challenges ahead. The PolyU honours student is in the fourth year of a double degree, twinning a bachelor's of business administration (BBA) in management with a bachelor of science (BSc) in computing, and has found ways to handle the average workload of 18.75 credits per semester.
"A programme that combines engineering or science with business is a good choice for all-round learning and development," says Lam, who has plans to go into commercial banking or consulting after graduation. "It shows you extra dimensions in terms of problem solving and analytical capabilities. There is innovation and technology on the one hand, and then how to apply it in the real world."
Wanting to test himself, Lam has made a point of entering high-profile contests such as the business plan-focused PolyU Global Student Challenge, the HSBC/McKinsey case competition, and the Hong Kong RFID Awards. Simply taking part in such events provided valuable insights about process and preparation, as well as his own strengths, Lam says. "This kind of experience helped me to join the dots, make use of what I learned in class, and realise how things happen in an actual business," he adds.
Lam also interned with HSBC, accountancy firm PwC, and a start-up in Shanghai. Under PolyU's exchange programme, he spent time in New Mexico and did a joint research project at Cambridge University, England.
"The assignments opened my eyes to different things and will shape me as a professional," Lam says.