Global startup platforms may have been surprised when an "under-the-radar" startup calledStudent.comraised $60 million USD from a number of high-profile investors earlier this month. Well, we weren’t in the slightest. Student.com is a leading global platform that connects international students with overseas accommodation. But long before the company even acquired its illustrious domain, it was better known to us as Overseas Student Living, a QRC Garager. And heading operations in Hong Kong was none other than Veronica Tam. A bit of re-branding and a hop from QRC to DVR Garage later, she’s now the Operations Manager of a company that globally facilitated $110 million in bookings in 2015. But to us, she’s Veronica – one of the most genuinely kind people we know, and that’s a euphemism. Read on as she shares her personal experience with student accommodation, and what she sees for the industry and company's future.
Can you share a bit about your role at Student.com? In Hong Kong, this overseas private accommodation sector is still quite new. Most of the students and parents are only aware of university housing and homestays, which means they’re really missing out! As Hong Kong’s Operations Manager, I mainly help with the building of brand awareness through introducing our services to educators, education agencies and, of course, students and parents themselves via education fairs. Apart from that, I also help with the smooth running of the office. The role is quite diverse and challenging, one of the reasons why love what I do. How did your own university perspective inform the way you perceive your current position? What I've experienced with university accommodation is actually one of the reasons why I joined this company. Students do need a hand in sorting out accommodations because what they’ve been allocated might not always be what they expect. Mine for example, fell far from my expectations. What are some of your thoughts about higher education? From a macro or micro perspective. Whatever subject you study higher education does not define your future career. It’s the process of learning, which helps you build your foundation and growth in the long run. It’s the interactions with people, juggling between assignments, and leisure that adds to your character and mentality for the future. What do you see for the future of the private student accommodation sector in Hong Kong? As mentioned before, the private student accommodation sector is still relatively new to Hong Kong, but there is definitely demand for it. The number of students hoping to studying abroad is at a healthy rate even though the number of final year high school students in the city is slowing down due to the demographic change. On the other hand, the students and parents have higher standards, and they have more choice when it comes to student accommodation, so it's the right time for the private sector to occupy a bigger share in the market. What does entrepreneurialism mean to you? The ability to spot what’s missing in the current market, bridging that gap, and improving the situation. What are some of your future aspirations? Professional or otherwise. Visit Tibet! And I would love to learn another language, Thai or Italian, or both. What’s something that we don’t know about you already? I love the cold and dislike hot weather. Unless it’s at the beach with an ice cold drink in hand!
The mention of team-building activities is very often met with a few eye-rolls and stifled groans. Team building activities, however, are important for companies of all sizes and structures because employees are the most valuable asset of every business. While traditional team building activities often elicit embarrassment than enthusiasm, having them done right, meaning making them fun and engaging can be the most valuable investment you make for your business. Investing in team building activities will not only help employees become more engaged and happier at work, but also nurture a culture of teamwork with greater productivity that could result in the company’s success. With that in mind, we have put together 10 of the fun and exciting team building activities and games – from indoors to outdoors and from large to small scale – that your team would love and want for more!
This month, as the world continues to partake in what is now becoming the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment, we are left facing some of the greatest enemies known to mankind - procrastination, apathy, and laziness (which we are all guilty at some point in our lives) as we try to be productive in the comfort of our home.
Looking for the best dim sum in Hong Kong’s Central district? We give you exciting new lunch spots and yum cha deals you can find in the busy neighborhood.