With strong support from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Cornelius Gilbert – a recipient of the prestigious Belt and Road Scholarship – continues to unleash his full potential as he inches closer towards his goals of becoming the next high-flier in the financial sector and eventually a change agent in his motherland Indonesia.
Cornelius’s parents were deprived of the opportunity to obtain higher education, so the value of top-notch education was a strong point of emphasis throughout his upbringing. Therefore, when the opportunity to study at the top-ranked CUHK came knocking on his door, he jumped at it.
“The top-ranked CUHK provides me with numerous opportunities to grow and move closer to my goals. The level of support received throughout the application process was also unrivalled. The location of CUHK in the international financial centre of Hong Kong was a factor too given my interest in pursuing a career in the financial sector,” Cornelius explained.
Well-recognized internationally for its academic strength spanning across diverse disciplines, CUHK – ranked 38th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2023 – offers more than 70 undergraduates programmes from eight faculties. Home to recipients of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal and Veblen Prize, CUHK features distinguished scholars eager to inspire through high quality teaching and research.
CUHK recognizes academic rigor is only part of the equation so well-rounded support is provided to assist students develop into the best version of themselves.
“The university puts a lot of effort in making us feel comfortable. A game-changer for me and other international students is the guaranteed accommodation. It’s comfy and most importantly inexpensive, especially when you compare it to how much it costs to rent a place in the city,” Cornelius said.
Currently a third-year student of the Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science Programme at CUHK, Cornelius is enjoying his fruitful learning experience which has helped him build a strong foundation instrumental to his goal pursuits.
“The courses are really well-designed while the professors are extremely approachable and helpful. I receive email responses to questions even on off days,” he said.
“Most importantly, there are a plethora of learning opportunities outside the classroom such as workshops, mentorship programmes, case competitions, and internship opportunities and exchange opportunities as well. Financial technology is an area that intrigues me as I wish to start a company providing financial technology solutions in Indonesia at a later stage of my career and I’ve been given numerous opportunities to explore this here.”
“I’ve learned a great deal from joining these events. Workshops conducted by seasoned executives have offered me insights into learning more about the stakeholders in different industries and other events have enlightened me in terms of career development,” Cornelius said, adding that his two internships matched through CUHK were eye-opening since he was able to apply theoretical knowledge to real life situations across sectors and reaffirm finance as his preferred career choice.
A worthwhile once-in-a-lifetime journey
He remains as hungry to learn as ever while his growth mindset developed at CUHK has made him become more resilient when facing setbacks.
“I used to get mad in high school whenever I came second. However, in CUHK, you’re surrounded by brilliant students who are a lot smarter than you and this really forces you to think of ways to up your game such as becoming more efficient,” he said.
“My experience here has certainly helped me develop. Regardless of what the future holds, I will forever reminisce on it as one that has unquestionably helped transform my life