Lessons in prioritizing others — Dinner with Prof. Timothy W. Tong, President of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

1d0k8TeFKT9h On7faWS4Vg scaled
Dinner with Prof. Tong has raised 70 volunteer hours

Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality behind their ventures.

Graduated from Oregon State University and furthering his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Timothy W. Tong is the President of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Being an expert in the field of heat transfer, he is also part of a number of academic societies including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Prof. Tong doesn’t just devote himself to academics, he actively participates in public affairs, serves on several organizations, including the Citizens Advisory Committee on Community Relations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Public Service Commission of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, just to name a few.

Over dinner, Prof. Tong shared with us what led him down the path of education and what drives him forward.

15Ct6pYu5D4A4dCwx8m8 aA scaled
13Fxg2oVonxJACDHxY0b8KA scaled
1bMhFcuw6bmr4UU1YicgfVQ scaled

Is there a life motto you live by?

I wouldn’t say a motto but I do have a rule that I live by. I think it’s something that should apply to everyone. There are many ways which you can make a living. Choose the one that bears meaning for you. For me, that turned out to be education, for you, it would probably be something else. No matter what you decide to do in the end,

do it with the intention to help other people.

Don’t just think about getting ahead of others. Instead, pull people along with you.

1glbF2Cwaq6THCXBTw 5oA scaled
19 30ARR5qevMWXfjpixPrQ scaled

What is one habit that significantly improved your life?

One habit that does seem to be helping me out quite a bit is my decision to make myself available to others, no matter how busy I am.

When people knock on my door, I try to make myself available.

In the past 9 years or so, I have had 17 university students assigned as my mentees, and they all came from different universities. Considering my career and the number of mentees I have to cater for, it is rather time consuming but still I try my best to make time for them.

1jQIaRuJWmDysqiogxhhkmQ scaled
1nhs228v4DLhH89J4fTLslw scaled
1F mdp365e9siVgP9 KMBzA scaled

If you are to teach one thing, what would it be?

Ethics. No doubt about that. I have actually given multiple lectures on this subject since becoming a university president.

Being smart is not enough, you also have to have a high ethical standard.

Else it would lead you down the wrong path and sooner or later you would get yourself into heaps of trouble.

1IYzw7zc4QhqajGwpkfAMlA scaled

Thank you Prof. Tong for donating dinner and raising 70 volunteer hours to People Service Center, HK +Acumen, Opportunity Festival, We Club and more!

These awesome photos are brought to you by Henry Chan from KaChick — a marketplace where you can book a photographer anywhere, anytime, for anything!

For more amazing opportunities, visit Time Auction to volunteer and meet inspiring mentors!

This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium: https://timeauction.medium.com/lessons-in-prioritizing-others-dinner-with-prof-39b10625f738

Updated on 8 April, 2021
Share on

Volunteer Your Skills for Worthy Causes

Ever thought you could volunteer with your skills?

Discover volunteer projects where you can use your skills to support causes – all while building your resume, gaining references and making a difference!
Discover Projects
【2024義工活動】點樣加入義工行列?5大義工服務種類推介
你對「做義工」嘅認識有幾多?好多人都未必熟悉除咗賣旗籌款同探訪老人院之外,仲有咩其他類型嘅義工服務。究竟坊間有邊啲做義工嘅途徑,可以搵到適合自己嘅義工機會呢? 其實香港大大小小嘅慈善團體或非牟利機構  (NGO) 都會招募義工,而非牟利機構嘅義工服務範疇亦非常多元化,包括技能義工 (Skilled-volunteers),善用義工嘅個人技能同專長服務社會。你可以根據唔同嘅服務種類,或者按自己嘅喜好、關心嘅社會議題選擇義工機會。以下係5種常見嘅義工服務範疇同機構簡介畀你參考: 目錄 (一):動物福利 (二):長者服務 (三):青年發展 (四):環境保護 (五):社區服務 技能義工配對平台推介 常見嘅義工服務範疇(一):動物福利 如果你係狗奴、貓奴,或者鍾意動物,不妨考慮做動物義工!除咗有機會親身接觸毛孩之外,仲可以利用自己嘅一技之長,支援NGO嘅日常運作。雖然根據政府公佈的數據,動物棄養嘅數量有持續下降趨勢,但因近年的移民潮影響,保護動物慈善協會表示棄養寵物個案兩年升近三倍。因此,很多關注動物福利的團體都十分需要義工加入服務行列。 義工服務性質:清潔籠舍、照顧動物、活動推廣等 香港動物基金 Hong Kong Paws Foundation 香港動物基金係一間完全依靠慈善捐款同義工支持嘅動物福祉組織,希望拯救被虐待、遺棄同走失嘅動物。 香港愛護動物協會 SPCA (HK) 香港愛護動物協會係本港首間兼顧動物福利各方面嘅慈善團體,提倡善待動物,同時打擊同防止虐待動物。 Bring Me Home (Suppaw) Bring Me Home (Suppaw) 係一個寵物社交網站,亦係香港首個無償動物領養平台。 嘉道理農場暨植物園 Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden 嘉道理農場暨植物園為需要支持的農民提供農業援助,幫助他們過上獨立嘅生活; 並為公眾提供休閒同教育體驗。  Team for Animals in Lantau South (TAILS) 南大嶼山動物保護隊為有需要的貓狗提供救援、醫療、絕育、養育、庇護、寄養同領養服務,包括那些 流浪、被遺棄、受傷、虐待同忽視既貓狗,大力提倡動物福利,相信教育可以創造有利於香港動物嘅變革。 立即發掘更多! 常見嘅義工服務範疇(二):長者服務 隨著香港長者人口上升,越來越多關注老人家嘅機構都招募緊義工,希望為老友記送上更多關懷。 義工服務性質:家居維修、網頁設計、文字翻譯等 […]
On Futuristic World View, Gut Feeling & Our Place in the World — Dinner with Prof. Tony Chan, President of HKUST
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality behind their ventures. Professor Tony Chan became the President of Hong Kong University of Science […]
How Jenny Upgraded Her Volunteering Journey Through Her 1st Mentoring Experience | Time Auction Impact Highlights
Meet Jenny! Jenny founded Anorak, a brand of travel accessories and lifestyle products, that encourages individuality and positive thinking. Apart from hard skills like product design, Jenny has also strengthened her skillsets with abundant entrepreneurial experiences throughout the years, such as team management and business operation. By recommendation of a friend, she decided to embark […]
There Is No Failure — Dinner with June Leung, Founder and Chairperson of Beacon Group
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their lives and career. “There’s no failure, only delayed success.” Change our mindset and our life changes. Thoughts have an incredible influence on our everyday life, ranging […]
Meeting with Jennifer, Founder of ARCH Education
The 2-hour session with Jennifer was definitely the most useful crash course for these education-minded volunteers, covering everything essential from interview skills to how one can help change education for the better! This meeting has raised over 60 volunteer hours to Hands On, Service Civil International, Mission to New Arrivals and more.
Joe Chiu, VP of EF Education First, on Understanding Yourself to Finding the Right Job
“It’s important to know yourself, to know what you are good at and what drives you.” Joe Chiu is passionate about empowering youth through education and is currently serving as Vice President of EF Education First — a world leader in international education. Yet, his career journey into education is not straightforward. Joe carries an […]
Run Free, Pay It Forward — Dinner with Diana David, Serial Investor, Educator and Writer
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality and attitude behind their ventures and stories. Most of us dream only of landing a […]
Top