Newsletter No. 237

Insights from Amway's CEO M s. Ev a Cheng , senio r v i c e - p r e s i d e nt o f A mw a y Co r p o r a t i o n an d r eg i onal CE O o f Amw a y Greater China , wa s th e gues t of the 29t h Februar y episod e o f 'Talkin g t o CEOs : CE O i n t h e N e w C e n t u r y ' programme, coorgnize d b y R T H K a n d t h e E M B A Programme o f the University's Facult y o f Business Administration . Ms. Cheng , a successfu l businesswoma n wh o ha s bee n developing a direct sellin g empir e i n Hong Kong , mainland China , and Taiwan for over two decades, talked about her crisis managemen t strategies an d the step s she took t o reach the top i n her career . Sh e also share d w i t h th e audienc e th e secre t o f maintainin g a famil y and he r thought s abou t th e importanc e o f participatin g i n socia l services an d developing one' s interests . Ms. Chen g wa s appointe d b y Amwa y i n th e earl y 1990 s t o initiate a direct sellin g marke t i n mainlan d China . Jus t whe n th e business wa s beginnin g t o flourish , th e Chines e governmen t suddenly prohibited , i n 1998 , direct selling , due to the great numbe r of frau d cases related to thi s sellin g method. B y tha t time, Amwa y had invested heavily i n China. Ms. Cheng still remembered the fears she had then and how sh e and her company survive d the turmoil b y staying calm . The ingredient s fo r Ms . Cheng' s succes s ar e meticulousnes s and conscientiousness. A fe w years after graduating from university , she decided to leav e he r governmen t job t o become a secretary i n Amway's Hon g Kong office . Her choic e to star t from the bottom o f the ladde r i s an excellent exampl e fo r youn g people startin g ou t i n their careers . Business Plan Compet i t i on Ident i f ies Future Entrepreneurs S ix team s o f graduat e student s f r o m th e University competed against each other in the 2004 Ne w Ventur e Busines s Pla n Competition , held by th e Facult y o f Busines s Administration , on 17t h January a t the MB A Tow n Centr e o f th e University. Th e teams , shortliste d f r o m th e original nine , wer e eac h give n 1 5 minute s t o present their plans to a panel of judges comprisin g professional investor s i n new venture s wh o the n examined the plans mor e closel y i n a 20-minut e Q& A session . The w i n n i n g pla n wa s a ' M I D S Mous e Terminator I V ' , a plan for replacin g the standar d computer mous e wit h a wireless, motion sensin g ring. Th e winnin g tea m receive d HK$5,00 0 i n prize mone y an d w i ll represen t th e Universit y a t the Moo t Cor p Competitio n t o b e hel d a t th e McCombs Schoo l o f Business , Universit y o f Texas a t Austin fro m 5t h t o 8t h Ma y 2004 . Th e team member s wer e Alan La m (Ph.D . candidat e in engineering) , Vincen t Wan g Don g (full-tim e M B A student) , Sharo n Yan Ping (M.Phil, studen t in compute r engineering) , an d Rockso n Zhan g (full-time M B A student) . I n secon d plac e wer e p a r t - t i m e M B A candidate A l a n T o an d M. Sc . ( i n f o rma t i o n technology) studen t Dann y Pon g with thei r pla n Traceasy, a cheap portable tracing device that ca n be wo r n b y children , seniors , an d pets , an d attached to expensive items such as cars to prevent them fro m bein g stolen . Th e du o walke d awa y with HK$3,00 0 an d the opportunit y t o represen t the U n i v e r s i t y a t th e A s i a n M o o t Co r p Competition, t o b e hel d i n Hawai i fro m 16t h t o 18th March 2004 . The judges wer e Mr . Vincen t Chan , hea d o f North Asia , JAFC O Investmen t ( HK ) Ltd. , Mr . S .W. Ch e u n g , v i c e - p r e s i d e n t ( bu s i ne s s development an d technology support , Hong Kon g Science an d Technology Park s Corporation , Mr . A l an Ho , senio r manage r (technopreneuria l f u n d i n g ) , I n n o v a t i o n an d T e c h n o l o g y Commission, an d Ms. Josephin e Price, managin g director, CLS A Privat e Equit y Ltd . From left : Prof . Hug h Thoma s o f the Departmen t o f Finance , Ms. Josephine Price , and the winning tea m CUHK Student Wins Speech Contest in Shantou A student o f the University , Wend y Choy , bea t 1 1 other candidate s fro m Hong Kon g an d mainlan d universities t o w i n firs t plac e a t th e Intercollegiat e Speech Contest of Shantou University. Wendy, a Year 1 translation majo r an d a former studen t o f Diocesa n Girls' School , walked away with a certificate, 500 RMB in prize money, and a very memorabl e experience . Th e second prize went to Zhongshan University and the third prize t o Shanto u University . The Speec h Contest, which ra n from 19t h to 21s t December 2003 , wa s par t o f Shanto u University' s English Festival. Contestant s came from CUHK, Hon g Kong Polytechni c University , Xiame n University , Zhongshan University , an d Shanto u University . Th e other programmes o f the festival included a game fair , talent quest , an d the Intercollegiat e Singin g Contest . This wa s th e firs t tim e tha t th e Englis h Festiva l ha d participation fro m Hong Kong institutions . Wendy ( r i gh t ) and the other CUHK representative, Year 1 English major Sophi a Lee (left), said they wer e encouraged by the instructors o f the English Languag e Teaching Unit to take part in the contest. The girls wer e given an informal interview by Mr . Aubrey Welsh , ELT U instructor , who went on to train them in speech writing and delivery ever y week fo r a month right up to the contest. Mr . Welsh also arranged for some ELTU staff to attend rehearsals and give the girls feedback . The contes t comprise d tw o sections. I n the first section , student s had to delive r a prepared speech lasting no mor e tha n five minutes o n the topic o f 'Yout h and Freedom'. Th e candidate was then asked one question to which he/she was required to give a cogent, organized answer withi n a minute. In the second section, each student was give n a topic an d allowed 1 0 minutes t o prepare a two-minute speech which he or sh e would then deliver. Thi s was followed by anothe r question . Wendy's imprompt u speec h topic wa s whethe r on e ca n gai n more fro m experienc e tha n fro m books, and Sophia's was whethe r information technolog y wa s a blessing o r a curse. T h e i r s p e e c h e s w e r e evaluated i n term s o f content , delivery , an d language. The judging panel consisted of six members , five representin g eac h o f th e f i v e i ns t i t u t i on s participating in the festival, and a sixth impartial judge from a non-participatin g university . Th e Chines e University's representativ e wa s Mr . Aubrey Welsh . 'The ELT U wa s prou d t o hav e bee n invite d t o represent CUH K a t th e competitio n an d w i l l i n al l likelihood, do so again at end of 2004,' sai d Mr. Welsh . 'I believe that oratory skill s ar e becoming increasingl y in deman d i n th e "rea l world " an d CUHK i s helpin g students t o prepar e fo r thes e demand s b y facilitatin g opportunities fo r the m t o gai n experience. ' Th e firs t CUHK Speec h Competition wa s held on 11t h March . English w i l l continu e t o pla y a n importan t rol e in Wendy' s an d Sophia' s futur e caree r i t seems . Sophia has plans to venture int o political studies . An d We n d y i n t e n d s t o f u r t h e r he r s t u d i e s i n communication oversea s o r become a n interpreter o r translates Toppin g he r agend a righ t now , however , is brushing u p he r Chinese . Piera Chen 2 No. 237 19th March 2004