Meet Our Students and Alumni Series - 6 Questions with Laurence Tang
1. MPH concentration and expected graduation year Concentration: Public Health Practice Expected graduation year: 2019
2. Job title and Community Outreach Works
Manager, iDendron, Technology Transfer Office, The University of Hong Kong
Responsible for running iDendron, HKU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub, to incubate HKU students and alumni early stage startups and promote innovation & entrepreneurship culture on campus
Senior Resident Tutor, University Hall, The University of Hong Kong
Taking care of the welfare and discipline of the residence and providing guidance to students
Community Work/social service:
Member, Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee, Hong Kong SAR Government
Member, Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, Hong Kong SAR Government
3. Tell us your story! How did you become interested in public health, and how does public health relate to your current line of work?
I studied Politics, Public Administration and Social Policy in my undergraduate as I have been passionate about public affairs and policies to improve well-being (that is also why I took up the position of Students’ Union President of HKU few years ago!). From my work, I learn about medical technologies which brought impact on human evolution. I find that improving one’s health is the most direct way to improve well-being. That’s why I picked public health: it’s a combination of public policies, healthcare and medical knowledge. Some of the start-ups under my purview are medical technology start-ups, gadgets or solving some unmet healthcare needs.
4. How have you applied what you have learned within the MPH program to your line of work?
The MPH program covers a wide range of topics, related to policy making, politics, medical science, statistics, research etc. The entire training is intensive and comprehensive. My work is about innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, which are not directly related to healthcare or public health sector.
However, one of the core objectives of my work is to make use of technology to create innovative solution to solve problems or fulfil unmet needs in the world. We all know that there are many bottlenecks and unmet needs in healthcare setting. The program provides my perspectives and new problem settings to let me rethink what kind of technology and innovations could help improve our well-being.
Meanwhile, the research and science training sharpen my understanding towards the emerging technologies in the world, which requires continuous learning and reading science journals.
5. What advice would you give to current MPH students who will be entering the workplace for the first time?
There is no straight path to where you are going. So be open and humble. The knowledge we have learnt from college becomes obsolete easily when the world changes so fast. Try to find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to a new challenge or task, say yes to learning something new. When you look back, you can connect the dots.
6. Any other wisdom to share with the readers?
Bruce Lee inspired me a lot and would like to share his quote below – “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friends.”
Learn to adapt to any situation. Don’t be constrained by any one system or doctrine.
Know a fellow HKU SPH student or alumni with an interesting story? Let us know! Email Ms Shereen Ayub (firstname.lastname@example.org) to nominate your MPH peer for the next 'Meet Our Students and Alumni' blog series.