Entering an international research university will develop me as a researcher and will help me grow as a person – this has always been my expectation, and HKUST did not fail to meet it. I decided to leave my home country, Philippines, my comfort zone and found a second home, HKUST.
As a PhD student, I see HKUST’s devotion to research. Doing research and analyzing results that are unexpected may seem difficult, because things do not go as planned, but my positive attitude allows me to work harder and discover new things. I am aware that doing research requires dedicated efforts and I am trying my best to overcome instant gratification. Before, I was afraid of making mistakes. I felt sad for quite a long time because of failures, but now, I take those failures as lessons learned. Because of this, I gain confidence in facing new challenges.
As a person, I see that HKUST is a dynamic university with diverse nationalities. I love knowing other people, which allows me to see and adapt to the uniqueness of each individual while recognizing that diversity could lead to greater developments as well (e.g. in STEM, arts, sustainable development, entrepreneurship). Interacting with different kinds of people made me a stronger and better person. I became more flexible and expressive. Going abroad also made me more open minded and my communication skills developed. Before, I was shy but now I would like to expand my horizons.