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Students fly high

Published on Saturday, 16 Aug 2014
The nine HKOBSA finalists(from row) pose with the evaluation committee and guests.
Chelsea Ma, (front, fourth from right) took first prize, followed by Nicolas Chan(front, fourth from left) and Ariel Kwan(front, third from left).
Stanley Kan

Undergraduates from nine local universities last month showcased their business acumen in the Hong Kong Outstanding Business Students Award (HKOBSA) 2014 competition, organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Business Students (HKFBS).

The award recognises the city's best business undergraduates, enhances public awareness of business education and improves students' all-round development.

The finalists received cash prizes, air tickets and internship opportunities following three rounds of assessment: an interview session, promotion challenge and the final - the youth business elite forum.

Students in the first round discussed a business-related question in a group interview, which required good communication and critical thinking. They where then given a short time to analyse and solve a business case individually, after which they presented their ideas to an evaluation committee in a six-minute talk.

Five representatives of each university were chosen to compete in the promotion challenge in mid-June. Each student had to design a poster for the awards' title sponsor Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) on the theme "Fresh+very Hong Kong". The posters were displayed on the HKFBS Facebook site and were judged on the number of "likes" they received.

The best student from each university was then chosen for the grand final on July 5. The nine finalists had to demonstrate their business and presentation skills in a case study provided by HKA.

Stanley Kan, the airlines' director of service delivery, said HKA was looking to boost the business skills of local students. "We hope to encourage youngsters to apply knowledge they have learnt in classes and train their enterprise insights," he said.

The finalists had to come up with strategies to improve HKA's business-class market share.

The winner, Chelsea Ma from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the competition taught her to establish a strong link between analysis and strategy.

"I came up with the strategy 'To customise, to harmonise, and to symbolise', suggesting HKA provide customised services to business companies and to create a unique Hong Kong flight experience for the passengers," Ma said. Her presentation was the result of research into the demands of customers as well as case studies of other airlines.

Participating in the awards helped her fine-tune some useful skills, she added. "Through listening to the presentations done by other candidates, as well as the judges' comments, I learnt how to improve my presentation skills and the content of my presentations. Their comments will help me conduct more in-depth analysis and strategies in future."

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