Stepping into CW CPA’s Hong Kong office as an undergraduate student in Psychology, I was essentially a blank slate diving into the business world characterized by intricate complexity. I was bombarded with mixed feelings on my first day of work: fear, because of uncertainties and self-doubt in whether I can fulfill my responsibilities to the fullest; excitement, because it was my first day as a business development intern; and immense gratitude, for Mr. Thomas Wong, Partner of CW CPA, has invested much in developing youngsters and took me in despite the difficult pandemic circumstances that got a lot of internships cancelled.
In an increasingly globalized world, multiculturalism has become the norm. I was allocated to the Latin Department, a signature department showcasing CW CPA’s key strengths and unprecedented breakthroughs. Having understood the diverse backgrounds of my Spanish and Portuguese-speaking colleagues, I was determined to excel and contribute in a multicultural setting. Sitting right between Latin American colleagues and Chinese colleagues, the unique work dynamics were surprisingly reminiscent of my time as a student in University College London, for everyone was friendly and so welcoming that we even established an eat-out lunch routine!
My first impression of Mr. Wong was that he is an amazing, all-rounded role model. As the leader of this company, he is not only a respectful, forward-thinking businessman who firmly commits himself to do business in the spirit of friendship, but also an amazing athlete who runs to freshen up the mind every morning. Upon my arrival with other interns on the first day, he showed us to his room and gave us a life lesson: to navigate the business world or any other field, it is pivotal to have patience and always prioritize health and family no matter the circumstances. To me, he is not only the “boss” that hundreds and thousands of staff and clients rely on, but also a mentor in life with great depth in character.
Contrary to preconceived notions, I found myself especially engaged and reflective during company meetings. This is partially due to the fast-paced and transregional nature of the meetings, which are essentially virtual conferences between colleagues in Hong Kong, mainland China, Spain, the US, and more. The division of labour, technological expertise and level of international cooperation taken to expand client’s’ businesses, enabled by advanced technological systems, truly transcends geographical boundaries. On top of this, during the course of discussion, Mr. Wong would always convey substantial take-home messages as a penny for thought, adding a splash of colour to a typical day at the firm.
During my stay at the firm, I was intellectually stimulated and continuously challenged. Not only have I gained holistic insight into the firm’s operation, I also had the opportunity to oversee and engage in specific advisory, consultancy and implementation processes involved in assisting clients from Latin America and Spain to expand their businesses to Greater China. Additionally, I polished my existing skill sets and learned about diversified strategies crucial for an effective multimedia marketing approach, as was given a chance to develop the firm’s newsletter content and webinar materials.
CW CPA is not just my stepping-stone. Working in a multicultural, people-oriented environment has fostered a global perspective and an open mind in me, as I have experienced firsthand how cultures prepared to listen, to see, to dialogue, and accept each other with great appreciation and sensitivity. It also served as an important reminder which I shall apply on my future endeavours: Under the ever-changing global landscape, businesses are no longer just about the numbers or the money. Instead, it is fundamentally based on a culture of collective respect, which relies on our inherent capacity for human trust, relationships, and even more, connections.
Written by Eugenia Kam (worked as an intern in June 2020), CW CPA