We recently conducted a Q&A with Bill Wang (Class of 2010) – recipient of a New Colombo Scholarship and the Old Boys’ local contact for organising social events among Hong Kong based old boys.
Can you tell us more about the scholarship? (What is it, why did you apply for it, and what do you hope to get out of it?)
The New Colombo Plan Scholarship is a signature Australian Government initiative offered through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It aims to lift the knowledge of Australian undergraduate students in the Indo-Pacific region and create graduates who are ready to work in Asia. Students from all universities in Australia are eligible to apply. In 2016, 100 NCP Scholarships were awarded overall, 11 scholarship recipients were selected for Hong Kong.
I applied for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship because I have a genuine interest in the Indo-Pacific region, with the Greater China region of particular interest to me given my cultural heritage. I wanted an extended experience in Hong Kong because I wanted to form understandings and insights into the region that only comes from living, studying and working here. I wanted a chance to immerse myself in the Hong Kong lifestyle and explore the plausibility of working here on a long-term basis.
What are you studying and why?
I am currently studying law as an exchange student at the City University of Hong Kong. I am a final year student at the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia. I will graduate with a combined degree of Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business (Finance Major).
My interest for a career in the legal profession first arose during high school when I studied Legal Studies in my senior years. I pursued this interest by enrolling in a combined degree of law and business at UTS. During my time at university, I have found the topics of discussion and the contents learned in law classes intellectually stimulating. My involvement in various law competitions has made me truly understand the adversarial nature of the common law legal system. I am competitive in nature and being a lawyer would provide a work environment where I am continuously challenged.
What benefits do you see coming from the scholarship?
The New Colombo Plan Scholarship provides you with unique networking opportunities, ranging from government officials to influential individuals from the private sector. The NCP Scholarship program also has official partners who are willing to offer NCP Scholars with internship opportunities. I wish to undertake a few legal internships during my time in Hong Kong, particularly with King & Wood Mallesons and Herbert Smith Freehills. I hope the fact that both of these firms are program partners will assist in the arrangement of an internship.
Would you encourage other SHSOBU members to apply and why?
I would encourage all SHSOBU members, who have an interest in studying and working in the Indo-Pacific region, to apply for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship. The NCP Scholarship is a very prestigious scholarship that will be beneficial to both your personal and professional development. It’ll offer you a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience an extended stay overseas and it’ll be a launching pad for your professional career.
Since you left school what have you been doing?
Since leaving the School, I have been balancing my academic pursuits at university with travelling, employment, volunteering and sporting commitments.
During my university breaks, I like to travel overseas. Over the last 5 years, I have visited all inhabited continents with extensive backpacking experiences through Asia, Central & South America, and Western Europe. I used my last semester break to undertake an internship at a commercial law firm in Shanghai, China.
I operated my own personal training business for the last two years as a means to support myself through university. I have also undertaken internships that relate to my university studies. My favourite one was a 3-month internship in the Finance Team at THE ICONIC, Australia’s number one online fashion retailer.
I was involved with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience at UTS in 2011 and 2012. I volunteered as a mentor to help develop competencies and skills of disadvantaged Indigenous high school students in an extensive 15-week program. The AIME program was actually established by an Old Boy (from Class of 2002), Jack Manning Bancroft.
I represented UTS at the Australian University Games through their Rugby 7s team and we had the privilege of winning a gold medal. I also intend on playing Rugby for the City University of Hong Kong during my time on exchange. I have also kept myself involved at the School through sport, coaching rugby in winter and assisting with the weights room all year round.
What activities did you undertake while you were at SBHS and what are your fondest memories?
During my time at SBHS, I participated in various extra-curricular activities. These activities included but were not limited to: participating in volunteer work and charity days, playing sport with rugby being my main focus, playing the tuba in various music ensembles with the annual ANZAC Day Marching Band being my favourite.
My fondest memories were formed on the rugby field – the rugby field is also where I formed my strongest friendships at school.
To find out more about scocial events for Hong Kong based Sydney Boys High School Old Boys please complete the contact form
27 January, 2016.