UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE
Student Stories

Chloe Chan
Class of 2020

Post HKU: Property Development Surveyor, MTR Corporation

“I had the pleasure to meet students from a dozen different nationalities with diverse professional background through the programme. By engaging myself in different group projects, I managed to build up a professional network around the globe.”

Being determined and passionate to set my career in the real estate industry, the MSc in Real Estate programme at the University of Hong Kong has equipped me with the knowledge, skill sets as well as hands-on experience in property planning and development.  The courses cover a wide range of topics and nature: from town planning to land matters, from valuation to redevelopment and from construction to property management.  These learning experiences have enhanced my understanding towards the different stages of the property development cycle.

The lecturers are passionate and dedicated to their teaching and are willing to share their knowledge and experience with us.  They conduct teaching both inside and outside classroom and I particularly enjoyed the company visits which allow me to delve into the daily operation of developers.  Besides, I had the pleasure to meet students from a dozen different nationalities with diverse professional background through the programme. By engaging myself in different group projects, I managed to build up a professional network around the globe.

The MSc(RE) programme is definitely the right choice for me as it equips me with planning and real estate skills set and most importantly, analytical power and global vision.


Florence Tam
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Marketing Officer, Swire Properties Limited

“Interest and curiosity, these are essential elements for one to strive for success in the knowledge exploration process.”

Over the years, although I have no background of real estate studies, I have a strong interest in exercising expertise in the field.

It has never been easy for an art student to possess the skills and knowledge of real estate but HKU provides the unique and only opportunity to realise my dream.

Lecturers are zealous and are willing to share their experience altruistically to enrich students with practical knowledge. This is particularly useful, especially for students who do not have a comprehensive knowledge and exposure in the industry.

Having an unfailing enthusiasm for the real estate field like me? You will probably get the right answer by beginning your journey here.


Jeffrey Sun
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Research Analyst, JLL

“Given that property technology goes viral in the industry, it is essential to stay connected with other industry players and keep up with the latest real estate trends. In this respect, the programme has introduced up-to-date technologies and knowledge of the industry and offered an invaluable platform for students to further their career development.”

The MSc(RE) programme is designed to equip students with both academic knowledge and professional exposure in the real estate industry. The comprehensive curriculum not only enriches my understanding on various real estate-related subjects, but also provides opportunities for me to put my learning into practice through real-life case studies. Majoring in real estate investment and finance, I have acquired a diverse range of practical skills, such as real estate valuation and investment analysis, and gained insights of the real estate private equity industry.

As a part-time student working at a real estate consultancy, the programme also enables me to expand my professional network by meeting students and guest lecturers from different parts of the real estate industry. Given that property technology is goes viral in the industry, it is essential to stay connected with other industry players and keep up with the latest real estate trends. In this respect, the programme has introduced up-to-date technologies and knowledge of the industry and offered an invaluable platform for students to further their career development.


Catherine Chan
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Assistant Project Marketing Manager, Wheelock Properties (Hong Kong) Limited

“At the end, the experience at HKU truly exceeded my expectations.”

Before joining Msc(RE), I had been working in real estate field for more than 10 years. I had always wanted to advance my skills and gain an insight of the industry and move forward in my career, therefore I decided to join an academic programme which would be conducive to my career. At the end, the experience at HKU truly exceeded my expectations. The curriculum is designed with a great combination of academic theories and real-world case studies, which provides students not only the theoretical knowledge, but also the industry know-how and practical skills. In addition, the lectures are very interactive that students were encouraged to share their perspectives, allowing me to share my own experience and learn from my classmates’ as well. Most importantly, throughout the programme, I got tremendous opportunities to meet many great minds in the industry including the professors and classmates who have profound academic or career background from different parts of the world, not to mention the guest speakers who are reputable leaders in the field.

The programme is a challenging one but also an eye-opening experience for me. I highly recommend it to those who want to pursue a professional career in the real estate industry.


Fiona Ching
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Senior Project Manager, Wheelock Properties Limited

“Last summer I participated in Asian Cities programme in which we had the opportunity to meet various consultants and developers in 6 Asia cities within a month. We made friends with students around the globe and it was a fruitful experience once in a lifetime!”

 Being an alumna of the Faculty of Architecture, I am excited and enthusiastic that I can sit at the lecture room in Knowles Building again. It was a sweet and refreshing experience for me after years of practice as an architect.

The programme of MSc(RE) offers a wide range of courses which inspired me from different perspectives. The curriculum includes theoretical courses which enables us to explore the economic principles and fundamental determinants of the real estate market. Whereas from technical and practical point of view, students can learn different business and management principles, valuation methods, land administrative system and conclude with a capstone project. I wish to integrate my technical skillset to enhance values, not only from business and economic point of view, but also to shape a sensible and harmonious society.

Students are highly encouraged to have interactions and participate actively by doing group projects and presentations. Practitioners are also invited to share their knowledge and experiences through seminars and lectures. Since the students and professors are from different backgrounds and countries, it adds diversity in the programme and allows us to expand our international and professional network.

MSc(RE)’s teaching is conducted within and beyond classroom. Last summer I participated in Asian Cities programme in which we had the opportunity to meet various consultants and developers in 6 Asia cities within a month. We made friends with students around the globe and it was a fruitful experience once in a lifetime!


Amiee Lo
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Assistant Manager, PRC Property, Shun Tak Holdings

“Coming from a business background in my undergraduate programme, I found my interest lies in real estate through work. The curriculum helped me to comprehend my real estate world and to find those “missing pieces” which I hardly have the opportunity to explore at work.”

The MSc Real Estate programme is a well-structured programme to equip students with technical knowledge in areas such as property valuation, land laws, planning and building controls, investment returns and so on, depending on your focus area. I personally enjoyed a lot in the sharing sessions from experienced industry practitioners in various courses as it offers great opportunities to learn outside classrooms and be able to gain valuable advice in an interactive way.

Coming from a business background in my undergraduate programme, I found my interest lies in real estate through work. The curriculum helped me to comprehend my real estate world and to find those “missing pieces” which I hardly have the opportunity to explore at work.

On a social level, through the MSc(RE) network, I am able to make connections with people sharing the same passion in real estate. The alumni network/ our class has a good combination of industry practitioners from various real estate related roles. The time you are going to spend in team projects and presentations is going to be part of the memorable postgrad life.


Katherine Ng
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Assistant Project Manager, Chinachem Group

“Having been working as an architect for years and involved in several major projects, I used to think I know the real estate industry well. Yet, after attending the introduction briefing prior to my application, I realized I was wrong!”

I was first introduced to HKU’s MSc(Real Estate) programme a couple of years ago while I was struggling with my career path in the future. Having been working as an architect for years and involved in several major projects, I used to think I know the real estate industry well. Yet, after attending the introduction briefing prior to my application, I realized I was wrong!

And indeed the syllabus and the teaching methods here had inspired me. I particularly appreciate the good balance between theory and practice, as well as the broad spectrum of real estate that it touches on. The real-life experience sharing by top management in the industry and field trips to visit regional businesses arranged by the department are even icing on the cake.

To me, returning to the campus for a part-time study is rather refreshing. Not only do I get to make new acquaintances from all walks of life who have a thirst for the real estate business, but it also helps elevate my problem-solving skills to meet with the needs and expectation for a new era.

Now, as I have finally completed my study here in HKU, I have become more confident and much well prepared for my road ahead in the real estate sector.


Marco Wong
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Associate Director, KPMG Advisory (Hong Kong) Limited

“Once again I would like to thank every staff in HKU and in particular those in this programme for providing such superb learning experience to me in the past two years.”

The MSc(RE) programme in HKU is one of the most well-recognized postgraduate programmes in Hong Kong for people who would like to develop their profession in the real estate sector and I am very glad and lucky to be admitted in this programme.

During this two-year (part-time) programme, the most enjoyable experience to me is meeting with and learning from classmates with different professions and background such as real estate developers, banking, financial service, accounting, construction and engineering, etc. We shared our experiences, knowledges and a lot of laughter within these two years.

Besides, all the professors and lecturers are top tier professionals in the real estate industry in Hong Kong. Apart from the well qualified and experienced professors and lecturers, there are also a number of part-time lecturers/guest speakers who are senior executives in various real estate developers and investment fund companies. Through their coaching and sharing, I have acquired very valuable knowledge and experience in this area.

Last but not least, thank you for the agility and resilience of the management and staff in HKU in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we were able to continue our study smoothly without major disruption during this period which avoided any possible delay or extension of our study.

Once again I would like to thank every staff in HKU and in particular those in this programme for providing such superb learning experience to me in the past two years.


Gao Yunzhi
Class of 2020

Post-HKU: Deputy Project Manager, Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited

“It was never easy to strike balance between a fast-paced working environment and a demanding academic study at the same time. However, when I came over all those challenges with diligence, family, and teamwork, I found myself evolved. I became well prepared to undertake more complicated and challenging tasks.”

Why MSc(RE) programme in HKU?

Upon completion of my undergraduate study majoring in Surveying, I joint the Project Management Department in one of the largest developers in Hong Kong. While undertaking an on-job training in handling large-scale comprehensive developments, I obtained my professional certification as a member of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Continuous improvement is one of the core values of my company which motivates me to keep abreast of the market intelligence. Therefore, I decided to pursue postgraduate study in real estate. Thanks to HKU, I had a wonderful learning experience in MSc(RE) programme for the past two years!

What I have learnt from the Programme?

The programme equipped me with a broad and in-depth knowledge in real estate industry not only in Hong Kong, but also in the Greater Bay Area, Asia and the world. The syllabus covers economics, finance, city planning, law, and every important aspect in the industry.

To me, the most impressive course was Development Project. Though we did not have the chance to visit landmark projects developed by leading industry players due to the pandemic, the presentation via Zoom delivered by experienced management allowed me to have a glimpse into the rule of game in the real world and even life stories of those seniors. After the meeting, I got a clearer picture and goals for my future career development.

Who I met during the fascinating journey?

It was an amazing opportunity to meet outstanding classmates and talented faculty members, building business networks that is beneficial to my personal growth and career development. I truly treasure the mentorship offered by professors, as well as the friendship built with classmates from around the globe!

How the programme benefits my future career?

It was never easy to strike balance between a fast-paced working environment and a demanding academic study at the same time. However, when I came over all those challenges with diligence, family, and teamwork, I found myself evolved. I became well prepared to undertake more complicated and challenging tasks.

Now I am applying the knowledge gained from the MSc(RE) programme to strive improvement in daily works, especially in strategic decision making. The academic and practical knowledge gained from the programme enables me to take up more managerial responsibilities.


Nino Paulus
Class of 2020

Post HKU: Doctoral Candidate, IRE|BS International Real Estate Business School, University of Regensburg

“Studying at HKU has shown a bunch of new perspectives on real estate to me and improved my abilities to work in multinational teams”

In a very early stage in my live, I developed a major interest in architecture. Nevertheless, over the time my interest in business and finance started to prevail and before graduating from high-school I decided to make my way in business. Throughout my academic career, I realized that the real estate industry provides the perfect opportunity to combine my interest in both disciplines, while being able to contribute my capabilities in finance and entrepreneurship.

Coming to HKU was part of my double MSc(RE) degree programme. The programme, which has an economic perspective towards real estate markets, was a perfect supplement to the business and finance-based approach in Germany. Therefore, studying at HKU was a great opportunity to acquire a holistic view on the industry.

Last but not least: The people! Studying at a leading university gives you the chance to meet inspiring people. The programme is designed to foster discussion among students and with professors or professionals and make contact with them. This opens a lot of opportunities for your career and to create a precious network around the globe.

To sum things up – There will be challenges to overcome, but at the end the effort will be worth it!


Alma Fong
Class of 2020

“…the extensive use of real-world case studies and project works, it allowed collaborations between students with diverse educational background to apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of settings.”

 The MSc(RE) programme has equipped me with the skills to be a professional to practise in the field of real estate. Coming from a background in architectural conservation at HKU, I had become interested in the urban development aspect of real estate during my studies.

The programme, structured with both practical and academic elements, enabled me to acquire an in-depth understanding of the real estate development cycle, practices and the relationship of market and planning policies in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific. Moreover, with the extensive use of real-world case studies and project works, it allowed collaborations between students with diverse educational background to apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of settings. This programme not only enabled me to develop the necessary skills and aptitude which improved my competencies, but also allowed me to gain more exposure in order to pursue a career in the field.


Magali Esche Rozendaal
Class of 2019

Post-HKU: Trainee, NSI

This was a good start to what turned out to be an amazing year full of academic challenges, fun and personal growth.

Looking back on my experience during the MSc in Real Estate programme at the University of Hong Kong, I am very glad with all the opportunities that the university has offered me. Coming to Hong Kong from the Netherlands, I didn’t know anybody, but during the introduction day for the programme, I already met some of my classmates and professors. This was a good start to what turned out to be an amazing year full of academic challenges, fun and personal growth.

New friends
Our class consisted of a highly diverse range of nationalities, varying from Europe to the United States to Asia. We quickly formed a close group of friends, who shared their passion for real estate, mixed with exploring Hong Kong’s lively culture, nightlife and traveling.

RE Club
Quickly after the programme started, some classmates and I founded the Real Estate Club, where the purpose was to connect students with each other and with the professional network during (in)formal events, host informative guest lectures and organise fun trips.

Internship Colliers
Besides studying at HKU, I also did an internship at the Valuation & Advisory Services department at Colliers International. This was a great addition to the curriculum offered by the university, where I got to put the skills I learned during the courses into practice.

Current Job
Currently, I am doing a traineeship at NSI, which is a listed Dutch commercial real estate investment company focused on offices. During the traineeship I will rotate across three departments; asset management, transactions and investor relations & treasury. These all suit well with the curriculum of the MSc in Real Estate.


Jefferson To
Class of 2019

Pre-HKU: Assistant Leasing Manager, Henderson Land Development Company (Hong Kong)
AT HKU: Co-founder of the Real Estate Club, Member of Hornell Hall
Post-HKU: Leasing Manager, ATL Logistics Centre

“HKU has offered me unparalleled opportunities to further develop my career in accordance with my interests.”

The real estate master programme at HKU has offered me unparalleled opportunities to further develop my career in accordance with my interests. I chose double-majoring in both real estate finance as well as urban development to cultivate my well-rounded understanding to real estate including but not limited to my tangible skills on real estate valuation and intangible knowledge on real estate development regulations.

During my study in the real estate master programme at HKU, I was able to meet students from all walks of life with different nationality and education background. I co-founded the real estate club at HKU with other students. With joint effort, we were able to invite real estate professionals to share their experience with us. In 2019, we were glad to have Sr. Robert Wong, CEO of the HongKong Land to host a lecture for us on Real Estate Development in China.


Kuan-lin Liu
Class of 2019

Post-HKU: Senior Analyst, CBRE Hong Kong

“The MSc in Real Estate programme at the University of Hong Kong was a platform for me to pivot as a professional.”

The MSc in Real Estate programme at the University of Hong Kong was a platform for me to pivot as a professional. I came to the programme with an undergraduate degree in the social sciences and humanities from the U.S. and work experience as a journalist. I had become interested in the real estate industry while covering the real estate beat, so I was determined to enrol back in school in order to set my foot in the industry.

During my study, I took courses that were structured around the real estate industry in Hong Kong and Asia, and it was these practical elements of the curriculum that allowed me to understand about real estate as a professional. I learned about decentralization, plans for the Greater Bay Area and other new trends impacting real estate. Furthermore, being a student of the programme offered me front-row seats to seminars given by experienced and highly regarded practitioners.

The programme has equipped me with the skills that I need for my role as a Senior Analyst at CBRE Hong Kong’s Consulting Team. Looking back, I knew I made the right choice in choosing MSc(RE).


Viola Yeh
Class of 2019

Post-HKU: Assistant Property Planning Manager, MTR Corporation

“Lecturers were passionate in their teaching and willingly shared their experience with us. Studying with classmates from diverse academic background and career experience has also enriched my learning.”

Having strong interest in property planning and development, the MSc in Real Estate programme has provided me with comprehensive and holistic exposure to understand property development cycle and development appraisal. Lecturers were passionate in their teaching and willingly shared their experience with us. Studying with classmates from diverse academic background and career experience has also enriched my learning.

Beyond lectures, seminars and corporate visits were exclusively arranged for us to gain deeper knowledge about the property industry. As the programme is accredited by both the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, it has broadened the possibilities of my future endeavours in professional development.


Jürgen Deppner
Class of 2019

 Post-HKU: Analyst, UBS Real Estate & Private Markets

“After having devoted my entire academic and professional career to real estate, I have turned my perspective around 180 degrees in just a matter of months – all while still remaining in the real estate industry. How come?”

Being interested in finance, but at the same time fascinated about architecture and structural engineering I had somewhat of a split decision to make after graduating from high school. After a lot of back and forth, it was my parents who eventually helped me to decide for the engineering path, as this was the safe choice to go for a German after all. Although being proud of having acquired an engineering degree, I noticed that my interests tilted increasingly towards the financial aspects of real estate during the end of my studies and I wanted to get more exposure to this field. I soon realised that it was essential to acquire further academic and professional knowledge if I wanted to pursue a career in finance. At the same time, I wanted to seize the opportunity of doing my master’s to attain a better international perspective and improve my intercultural competencies.

It wasn’t easy to get out of my comfort zone in the first place, but looking back, the MSc(RE) programme was the ideal choice for my needs. The programme enabled me to acquire a profound and in-depth financial and economic background knowledge while at the same covering a broad and interdisciplinary spectrum of state-of-the-art investment decision-making practices – all while being surrounded by Hong Kong’s unique and vibrant environment and a campus full of students coming from all over the world.

Although studying at one of Asia’s leading academic institutions was quite challenging, the programme provided a very stimulating and fruitful experience alongside with a strong network of real estate professionals. The small class size ensured a good mentoring at all times and enabled a teaching style that doesn’t just preach information but gives food for thought and fosters students to discover the rest themselves. Moreover, the programme is designed in a way that facilitates exclusive first-hand insights into the world’s probably most outstanding real estate market.

To cut a long story short – when pursuing a professional career in real estate, you might as well do it the right way!

 

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