Careers Service

Kaho Cheung: Lecturer

  • PhD in Music (2011)
  • Home country: Hong Kong
  • Now working: Thailand
  • My role: Lecturer in music technology at the College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand

My story

After leaving Manchester, I assumed part-time lecturer positions in Hong Kong and Macau. During that time I taught some graduate students. Since our age groups are very closed, we eventually formed a network and supported each other.

Then I started working from the bottom in a digital broadcasting company, luckily I got promoted to a better position within a year. It was my fortune to work with many top DJs, artists, talents and adventurers in the city. I enjoyed very much working in that company but an unprecedented turbulence halted the business and all of us were laid off.

After a few months of freelancing, I got an interview in Thailand and was appointed to my current position. Now my duties include graduate teaching, research, faculty administration and technical works related to sound recordings and audio post-productions.

My time in Manchester

The time I spent in Manchester was very exciting. I witnessed the launch of the NOVARS Research Centre, meeting with a lot of interesting people from different countries, and having hand-on experiences in some top technologies.

There were also many chances to travel across continental Europe, which allowed me to interact with many different peer groups related to my field. The contacts, experiences and insights are still very useful for my work now. The academic freedom and the vision of the research community at the University of Manchester are among the best I have ever experienced.

Suggestions for other students

  • Manchester is a gateway to continental Europe. For Asian art/music students who spend most of their graduate years in English-speaking countries, it would be good to expose ourselves to European art culture. This may change the way we see art and education.
  • The bottleneck period upon graduation can be very challenging. It may last longer than expected, especially for doctoral students in art and humanities. It is the moment of dawn that most of us must go through. But don’t lose your confidence, and don’t isolate yourself. The sun will rise.
  • Just as many alumni point out, networking is vital for survival. But please allow me to add one more point: Networking is not just about quantity but quality. Cultivating partnerships that share same value and vision may be better than making acquaintances that share nothing in common. Similar to property and stock, network can be an investment too.
  • The world looks very big but human circles are small. Changing a job can mean jumping from one circle to another, but it can also mean wandering within the same circle. It is good to jump from circle to circle when we are still young, and see which one suits best for our career development. There is no need to spend decades in one circle as long as we acquire transferable skills. The ‘old’ circles will still be valid as long as we keep in touch with them.
  • Insider information about a company/organization helps a lot in job-hunting. Whether we are successful or not in a job application, there are always variables beyond our control. That is why we need insiders. It would be good to stay curious with people around you, even if they have nothing to do with your field. You will be surprised!
  • There is no way we can be insulated from the political and economical situations of the region we’re living in. They can have direct impact on our work and life without mercy. The worst-case scenarios can come at anytime even if we stay in comfort at this moment. Admittedly, job security ceases to exist in our generation. Economical data and political news can provide us some insights in this regard.
  • Try to work with people with different cultural backgrounds. They help us understand the world and ourselves better, no matter we accept or reject their cultural practices. The economy is being globalized, but people are not. We are all bound by our cultural traits and have to stay alert, as we may end up having a senior/boss/colleagues whose cultural backgrounds are way different from us.
Networking is not just about quantity but quality. Cultivating partnerships that share same value and vision may be better than making acquaintances that share nothing in common.Kaho Cheung, 2011 graduate