Nothing can come between a third culture kid and an education abroad. Born in India, bred in Thailand, and determined to continue her life’s exploratory theme, Muskan Shah chose to go to university in Hong Kong.
Having had a taste of various curricula throughout her secondary years, such as the IB and IGCSE, she sought a programme that would allow her to get a feel of what would be best for her before deciding.
Shah knew she had a passion for fashion and wanted to explore every facet of it. Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK PolyU) offered just the programme she was looking for. “Their course would allow me to explore every aspect of fashion design imaginable,” she says.
“There’s more to fashion design than just design. It’s about branding, marketing, collaboration, maintaining a good reputation, standing out, and of course –– sustainability.”
HK PolyU understands the growing and ever-evolving nature of various sectors and the importance of students cultivating passions in ways that are structured but not rigid. Hence, learners are never pressured to decide on a major until they are sure of their aspirations.
Shah joined HK PolyU in 2020, opting to pursue its Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Scheme in Fashion and Textiles. The programme began with comprehensive introductions to five specialisations: Design; Knitwear Design and Technology; Retail and Marketing; Intimate Apparel and Activewear; as well as Technology.
“Each course was extremely hands-on,” says Shah. “The fact that they guaranteed us experiential knowledge in every area within a year really shows how badly they wanted us to make the right decision. It wasn’t a rushed thing. By the time we had to make a decision in Year 2, we had evolved into university students with the maturity to choose wisely.”
With broadened horizons, Shah realised Retail and Marketing was the path for her. The specialisation helped her discover her interest in the fashion supply chain. Today, she’s in her third year of studies and the exploring hasn’t stopped. Recently, she’s taken on a minor in Management. In the future, she hopes to merge everything she’s learned to land a leadership position in the fashion industry.
Spurred by success stories like Shah’s, HK PolyU is now providing even more flexibility to its undergraduates. In the 2022-23 academic year, scheme-based admissions and revised programmes will be available to accommodate students who need more time to explore their interests and strengths – further exemplifying the university’s vision of “Opening Minds – Shaping the Future.”
Upon applying to a department –– the Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles; Faculty of Business; Faculty of Construction and Environment; Faculty of Humanities; Faculty of Engineering; Faculty of Health and Social Sciences; School of Hotel and Tourism Management; or the School of Design –– students will only need to undertake standard courses in their first academic year before selecting a major in their second year. Like Shah, they too will be able to specialise further down the line, throw a minor into the mix, and eventually graduate with skills and knowledge in various areas.
To prepare learners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and encourage interdisciplinary excellence, elements of AI and Data Analytics as well as Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be embedded into undergraduate programmes.
Of course, those with more specific goals in mind have a place at HK PolyU as well. Take Adeliya Makasheva’s story for instance. Growing up in Kazakhstan, lessons in advanced geography always piqued her interest, particularly when focused on logistics and the global supply chain. When it came time to pursue higher education, her home country’s lack of offerings led her to Hong Kong –– where HK PolyU’s robust Global Supply Chain Management programme was delivered.
Here, the once introverted student found her confidence. She thanks her university’s reputation as a hub of opportunity for contributing to her personal growth. In her first year, she joined several clubs, organisations and societies that grew her love for tennis, enhanced her skills for a future in entrepreneurship, and helped her get in touch with other HK PolyU students from Kazakhstan.
Today, she’s been tasked with the rewarding role of ensuring incoming students have a seamless journey to HK PolyU. She is a co-founder of the Logistics and Maritime Studies Academy. With help from her professors, she recently won the Dale Carnegie Business Competition. In classrooms, she learned the value of teamwork and found a knack in balancing a range of disciplines.
Makasheva is now working toward supply chain mastery while completing a minor in Marketing and undergoing an internship at a nearby public relations and communications company. Much like Shah, she hopes to combine everything she’s learned to soon achieve management-level success.
“HK PolyU truly did something to me,” she says. “Today, I can proudly say I have become the best version of myself. Seeing how far they’ve helped me come, I can’t wait to see what else I will accomplish in the future.”
If you are interested in learning more about undergraduate study at PolyU, please click here to check out the website.