Melissa – Cambridge interview questions:
Tell us about yourself (Where you live, occupation, passions/interests, etc)
I have lived in the centre of Cambridge for nearly 10 years. I love this city very much; to me, it is a magical place and, whenever I cycle through the streets and parks, I feel how lucky I am to live here. I am an educator – I help both local and international students to make important decisions about their studies. When I’m not running my business, I enjoy gardening, photography, travel, cycling, trampolining, and swimming. I like to visit the city’s restaurants, art galleries and museums and particularly enjoy being part of the University community.
What are you doing with your time at the moment? (an opportunity to share a link to your website, a cause you feel passionately about, etc.)
After I completed my Masters in Education at Hughes Hall, friends persuaded me to make use of my in-depth knowledge to help their children with their study choices. I launched UK Education Garden https://www.ukedugarden.com/ which, I’m happy to say, grew significantly just through word of mouth. Building my business has been a great experience but now I’d like to find a better work/ life balance. I am also a Governor of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, assisting Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust to raise funds for a new children’s hospital. I’m proud that my company is helping to pay for the hospital’s vital green spaces.
What is your connection to Cambridge?
I used to live in Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. The trains from Liverpool St run through the town and I always intended to visit because ‘Cambridge’ was the name on the front of the trains. In the summer of 2003, I had an unexpected opportunity to travel to Cambridge on a very early coach from London, Victoria. When I arrived that morning, it was one those indescribably beautiful moments which I’ll always remember. I was totally smitten; it was love at first sight and I just knew that I had to come and study here!
What is your best memory of Cambridge?
I have so many! Formal dinners at colleges with my friends were very special, memorable occasions – but I also have a very soft spot for the University Library. I love its unique architecture - and the peaceful atmosphere I always find there. It has a wonderfully calming effect and, whenever I’m there, I feel thankful for the opportunity to be part of the city and the University.
Who would you like to share a punt with and why?
My first choice for sharing a punt would be my family and my delightful 90-year-old neighbour. She is such a special lady who has been a constant source of support since we first moved in next door. I’ve hugely appreciated her wisdom and her helpful advice and insights into British culture (which can sometimes be difficult to understand!) She’s an amazing woman and the kids adore her. Nowadays she may focus on her garden and her knitting, but she’s super smart and has had a fascinating career and extraordinary life.
What is your favourite place to visit in Cambridge and why?
Different parts of Cambridge have different charms. For example, I’m always attracted to the market square because it’s such a stimulating area. I enjoy the bustle and all different cultures sharing the same space there. In contrast, I love to visit the Paradise Nature Reserve just behind Lammas Land in the south of the city centre. It’s incredible to find such peace and tranquility so close to the city centre.
Was there anything you discovered about Cambridge that surprised you?
I was surprised to find so much generosity here. The philanthropic support for education is very striking; it’s phenomenal that individuals who may have studied here years ago still care about the University and support it financially. Others, like alumni I have met in Hong Kong, maintain contact with the University despite the distance and remain interested in the world-class, world-changing work that it does.
What is the one thing in Cambridge that everyone visiting should do?
Of course, I do think visitors should see the amazing sites such as King’s College Chapel, but I would also suggest that they take time out to enjoy the peaceful environment and just relax. It’s a city that you take in slowly – you don’t need to rush around ticking everything off a list.
Why should someone visit Cambridge?
In my opinion, life is simply not complete without a visit to Cambridge! What else can I say!
In Dr. Lau's words
We see our clients as family units while seeing their children as our services' core. Helping the children with their education and career aspiration is very important. Supporting the whole family to grow along with the children and find their happiness is our ultimate goal. A happy family is a blossom in our education garden. We love to be that garden for that blossom.