Careers and Camaraderie for Hong Kong Hoyas

Susie O'Hare (C'10)

Caroline Kwok and Susie O’Hare offer a glimpse at living and working in Hong Kong as young Georgetown alumnae.

After enrolling in a course on International Relations at Georgetown, Susie O’Hare (C’10) became interested in China’s development and decided the best way to continue exploring this topic would be to learn Mandarin and travel to China. She went on to study Mandarin in addition to her government studies and even spent a semester abroad in Beijing.

With the help of a Georgetown alumnus based in Hong Kong, she found a position in investment banking and moved there directly after graduation in the fall of 2010, despite never having visited.

She’s been there for over five years, now working in the corporate sector, focusing on new business strategy for corporate sales at the Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts.

“Hong Kong is an extremely cosmopolitan city with many different sides,” says O’Hare, emphasizing the city’s diversity. “Even after living here and exploring the city over the last five years, I am at amazed at the new areas, cultures and opportunities I continue to discover.”

Caroline Kwok (F’03)

Caroline Kwok (F'03)

Members of the Club of Hong Kong go for a hike in 2013

Members of the Club of Hong Kong go for a hike in 2013. (Courtesy of Club of Hong Kong Facebook)

Caroline Kwok (F’03) has been living and working in Hong Kong for about 30 years. She had spent most of her career in communications before deciding to switch fields.

After studying International Politics and Foreign Policy at the School of Foreign Service, finding her current job in Strategic Business Development at AIA Pension and Trustee Co. Ltd. afforded her the opportunity to work in a completely unfamiliar industry. “To this day I am still very grateful to the people who took the time to discuss this move with me and pushed me to challenge myself with this job. One of these amazing people is a Georgetown alum,” she said.

Kwok also enjoys the diversity of her colleagues and clients in Hong Kong.  “Our business is very local,” she says. “The industry I work in exists because of the particular pension system here, but I still get to meet clients from other parts of Asia and even from the U.S.”

Kwok finds the Hong Kong alumni scene to be very close-knit and supportive.

We are not a very big group compared to other U.S. universities' alumni networks in Hong Kong.  However, because there are not so many of us, I think we are particularly excited when we run into other Hoyas,” she says.

O’Hare feels similarly embraced by the Hoyas in Hong Kong, saying, “I was immediately welcomed into the Georgetown Hong Kong community and I have met many great friends through the Georgetown Club.  I am also an alumni interviewer in Hong Kong and through this experience, I have enjoyed getting to know some wonderful future Georgetown alumni!”

Kwok has also witnessed the love alumni have for the younger generation. “They allow new graduates seeking jobs in Hong Kong stay with them, they arrange internships/office tours for Georgetown students at local businesses, seek out and hire Georgetown grads, etc.,” she says.

O’Hare’s favorite Hong Kong hangouts include the Flower and Bird Markets in Kowloon, the dried seafood markets in Sheung Wan and the wet market in Soho, while Kwok recommends the awesome night view of the city at Cafe Grey at the Upper House.

Both alumna are excited to attend the upcoming International Alumni Weekend in Hong Kong taking place Nov. 5-8. Since O’Hare works for the weekend’s host hotel, the Shangri-La, she is especially excited to have a part in welcoming her fellow Hoyas from around the world.

For more information on this exciting weekend of engagement, visit the International Alumni Weekend 2015 Hong Kong website.