Francis Mok MMus in Performance (London College of Music) BMus in Voice Performance (HKAPA) BSc in Chemistry (HKUST) Introduction: “Your major doesn’t define your future and you can do whatever you set your heart on”. We might have heard of this phrase numerous times. However, this statement has been overused to an extent where it becomes nothing but a cliché. Following “A Day for Failure at HKUST”, we are going to share five science alumni stories on how they live out this statement, especially on how they picked themselves up after overcoming their limitations, and then went on to accomplish what had been deemed impossible. If you are someone who has always wanted to follow your dream but never gained any traction, we hope that their stories could inspire you to search for your passions! What major did you study at HKUST? Chemistry What are you doing now? To your surprise, I am an opera singer, a classical voice teacher, a conductor and a music studio owner. When is your defining moment in your career? I joined the HKUST choir in my first year of university. Our conductor Mr Chiang inspired me to be a classical singer but I was not quite sure what to do with it. Then I worked as a Project Assistant after graduation. Just a random day while I was doing some clerical work at office, I heard my inner voice asking me: “What are you doing here?”. At that moment, I browsed the HKAPA’s website and found that the application deadline for the Degree of Music was one week away. Without a second thought, I applied and I was lucky to be one of the four students admitted. Have you ever had moments of tough times, failures or adversity in the journey of pursuing your passions? How did you handle that and move on? As a mature student surrounded by a group of young talented musicians - some had music lessons since the age of 5, I knew I had to put extra time and effort to catch up with my peers. I kept practicing daily until the school was closed, studied in the library all the time and I did not feel ashamed to ask anyone who might help me learn the things I did not know. All the efforts were paid off with a highest GPA among my fellow classmates. What advice would you give to your fellow classmates for pursuing their goals and dreams? To me, finding your dream and passion is like playing a game of hide and seek. You might have passions of something but you do not know what to do with it. My advice is to pay close attention to any opportunities you might have overlooked. Believe in yourself and follow your heart!