A group of 26 SP’s Diploma in Human Resource Management with Psychology (DHRMP) students went on an exciting study trip to Hong Kong from 19 – 24 September 2016.
On the first day, most of us arrived at the airport at 6 am, feeling very enthusiastic about the trip. We could not wait to gain first-hand experience on the social, cultural and economic developments in Hong Kong, as well as to learn more about the human resource (HR) practices that reputable companies in Hong Kong used to engage their staff.
We arrived in Hong Kong and our first stop was at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). We had a welcome lunch and a presentation by Ms. Susan Li, Executive Officer of Wing Lung Bank International Institute for Business Development, School of Business, HKBU. After that, we had an interactive sharing session with students from HKBU. They shared with us about their experiences as HKBU students while we shared ours and, of course, there are many stark similarities between our education systems! The friendly HKBU students also guided us around the campus as we chatted joyously before we bid each other farewell at the end of the campus tour with heavy hearts.
A series of interesting seminars and corporate visits were part of our itinerary. We attended seminars on “Chinese Wisdom and Modern Management” and “Doing Business in China”. These seminars were extremely enriching and we were able to better understand the Chinese culture in relation to Business Management in Hong Kong and China. We also visited different companies which are known to have good HR practices. Some of the reputable companies that we visited are Courtyard Marriott, Towngas, Madame Tussuad Hong Kong and Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management. We gained many valuable insights on how different HR practices can help in staff retention and talent management. It was truly a wonderful learning exposure!
One of the more interesting corporate visits was Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. During the corporate sharing session, we were exposed to first-hand information on its operations and many of their engagement and retention strategies, such as the Smile Campaign. We also got to learn about the struggles that their HR department went through to create the warm culture that they have today. At the end of the session, we had the opportunity to tour around the place, imitate our favourite idols and reminisce the legacy left behind by the various influential leaders around the world.
We also visited the Hong Kong Museum of History to learn more about the history and culture of Hong Kong. One of the exhibits that sparked an interest in many of us was the one about the Japanese Occupation. We could definitely draw parallels between the lives of our ancestors in both countries as both Singapore and Hong Kong were under the rule of the Japanese during World War 2. The exhibition has given us a visual understanding of what life was like in Hong Kong in the early days.
After each day’s programme, we explored the streets and sights of Hong Kong in the evening. And of course, did what we do best - shop! Some of the sights that we got to visit were the very famous Victoria Harbour and the colonial-era Clock Tower.
Not forgetting the famous marine-life theme park in Hong Kong, we too had a corporate visit to Ocean Park. The company was very hospitable and eager to share their HR practices in engaging and retaining their manpower effectively since 2005, when their biggest competitor, Hong Kong Disneyland, entered the market. We learnt about their business culture and the kinds of HR practices adopted to compete with Hong Kong Disneyland, which were eye-openers for most of us.
We also managed to catch the different rides and visit different enclosures to look at the animals including penguins. It was also the Halloween period, so there were scary actors in the theme park walking around, and scaring people - wow, they sure did a very good job at that!
Unknowingly, 6 days flew by in a flash and the Hong Kong Study Trip drew to a close. It was a very interesting overseas learning experience - learning more about Hong Kong culture, the different HR practices and the way things are being handled in Hong Kong. It definitely broadened our insights on global HR practices and sparked an even greater passion in our HR careers! In addition, the trip helped to forge closer ties and friendships amongst DHRMP students. It was truly an unforgettable trip!
What other course mates said about the trip:
“This study trip has allowed me to gain valuable insights about the various HR functions, as well as, how the HR management system works in HK. I felt that the most impactful corporate visit was to Ocean Park where I learnt about how and why employee engagement was important to a company. I believe the knowledge gained from this trip will be applicable for my future projects.” -- Kymberly Tan (DHRMP/FT/2A/01)
“In my opinion, I felt that the study trip was very enriching and insightful. Being able to learn from HR Professionals was also a great opportunity. And what impacted me the most was how HR practices were applied into a real world setting and it really helped me broaden my views.” -- Daniel Lee (DHRMP/FT/2A/02)
“Great trip, great exposure to co-operate life in Hong Kong and their HR practices. Practical and useful tips given by the HR practitioners.” -- Daryl Lim (DHRMP/FT/2A/03)
“Overall, this study trip was a great experience and an insightful one, as I got to see how HR practices learnt during lectures, are being put to use in the different companies in HK. I had an enjoyable time with my friends as we eat and shop together during our free time in the evening.” -- Aloysius Goh (DHRMP/FT/2A/03)
“The HK study trip is a very insightful and enriching experience for DHRMP students as we are able to learn more about HR practices outside Singapore, as well as, the HR challenges and trends the companies in HK face, giving us a greater and different perspective on the HR topic.” -- Jarrel Ng (DHRMP/FT/3A/01)
“This study trip has certainly allowed me to gain a deeper insight of not just Hong Kong but general Human Resource Management. I was able to learn new interesting HR policies and initiatives that have been adopted by companies. Furthermore, the culture I've experienced and the friends I've made during this journey have helped made this trip really educational, exciting as well as memorable.” – Bon Zhai Kun (DHRMP/FT/3A/02)
“Through this Hong Kong study trip, we're able to learn the real life situations that companies face, as well as, the solutions that were used, and the reasoning behind why they were effective. It is very enriching for us as future HR practitioners. Singapore and Hong Kong are rather similar so what we experienced in Hong Kong can be put into good use in Singapore.” – Hum Hehying (DHRMP/FT/3A/03)
“This trip is very well planned. We were able to visit various corporations where they shared their valuable HR practices and experiences with us. This is extremely useful since it actually shows how those policies that we have learnt during lessons can be applied in real life. We also got a chance to experience the culture of Hong Kong during our free time. As someone who has never been to Hong Kong before, this trip is definitely educational and an eye opener for me!” -- Josephine Lee (DHRMP/FT/3A/04)