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Life at HKU SPACE Our Stories

Don't let go of your dreamsEvent Recap

28 Apr 2021 (Wed)

Many people refuse to leave their comfort zone after being in the workplace for a while, because they are used to set patterns. However, people with dreams will continue to strive for progress, hoping to step up to another level to go longer and further. One of these examples is Red Lau, the founder of Mustard Creative and Marketing Ltd. From studying and doing part-time jobs to starting her own business and being successful, she has transformed from a student who failed the HKDSE to the boss of a diversified company. During this process, Red has experienced disappointment, unwillingness, satisfaction, happiness, persistence and concentration.

Red’s achievements today have been affirmed by the industry, but what kinds of struggles and challenges has she had behind the applause? Career SPACE invited Red to give a talk of “Unlock yourself to be a Young Leader” on 25 March, sharing stories of how she grasped her dreams and explored possibilities at different stages of her life and with curiosity, so as to gradually build up her own team and become her own boss...

Stay true to your own interests and find yourself

In 2007, Red graduated from the HKDSE (Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination) and decided to take a different path for her higher school education before the public examination results were announced. Following her own interests, she applied for the Higher Diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications programme at HKU SPACE Community College (CC). She explained, “I also liked visual arts and received an offer from another school; however, considering that my sister was studying interior design and I was quite outgoing, I chose another path for my further education.”

Some people said: in college classes, the role of teachers is no longer a knowledge provider but a learning mentor. Red fully agreed with that. She described the 3 years at the CC as a period of “real learning” and a turning point in her life. “The teachers at the CC were excellent and dedicated to teaching. In class, they guided students to think and analyse things from multiple perspectives; and after class, they often discussed and even debated issues with students in order to share different opinions. Teachers and students respected and trusted each other.” Red was very interested in Public Relations and Corporate Communications so she put a lot of effort in the course. Even if teachers did not give the assignment, she would look for suitable reference books on her own to increase her knowledge reserve.

However, life is full of changes and these changes may make us “rediscover” ourselves. During the summer vacation of her 2nd year at the CC, Red had an internship at a well-known design company and was responsible for writing real estate advertisements as the clients required. “I found that I couldn’t be passionate about the job because I enjoy creating things without any limitations but I don’t enjoy polishing words within a given framework.”

After completing the 3-year advanced diploma programme at the CC, Red obtained excellent marks and received offers from both the School of Communication of Hong Kong Baptist University and Marketing at PolyU. However, she realised that she wasn’t meant for the public relations industry nor keen on writing so she decided to enter PolyU. Given that marketing involves product promotion as well as consumer behavior and desire, she also studied psychology as a minor subject, hoping to better understand people; together with the knowledge of Public Relations and Corporate Communications taught at the CC, she definitely received comprehensive and professional training!

Stay focused and fulfill your dream

After graduated from PolyU, Red worked in an advertising company for over a year and her performance won the boss’s favor. She could have had a steady job with a peaceful life but she wanted to ​​quit and start her own business. “I was very curious and I wanted to try everything. I was only 22 years old at that time, no family burdens or financial pressures. Starting my own business was my dream, and I had nothing to lose even if I failed." As a result, Red founded Mustard Creative and Marketing Ltd in 2014 and planned to spend 3 years adventuring and testing her own abilities.

From having no business in the first few months to having her first customer and to having more through good reputation, her business became better and better. Later, the company developed different side products, such as Mustard Gift & Premium which provides gift packaging services and Mustard Consultancy which helps customers apply for government subsidies. Today, Red Lau’s company has already become very diversified and the business is very good!

“It’s true that it is easier to see the way forward when following other people’s steps whereas there is more uncertainty when walking your own path, but I believe that as long as you can keep the faith and stay focused, you will see more beautiful views.” Red chose a path she liked so even though it wasn’t easy, she felt happy and satisfied.

Please click here for the event recap.