Andy Jin: Keep learning in pursuit of the truth
22 Jun 2017
Andy, whose native place is Jiangsu, has aspired to gain knowledge and been passionate about new challenges since childhood. To pursue his dream, he gave up a steady job and took up the position of laboratory researcher, notwithstanding a drastic drop in income from a few thousand to several hundred renminbi. He says resolutely, “I believe that we shouldn’t live simply for money, but should lead a more valuable and meaningful life. Since I was interested in environmental science, I found my work at the laboratory very fruitful as I could acquire knowledge as well as exchange ideas with professors and PhD students.”
Subsequently he came to Hong Kong to undertake an MSc programme in Environmental and Public Health Management at HKBU. Because he’s always up for a challenge, he chose to study Research and Environmental Monitoring Methodology and Integrated Waste Management, a discipline recognised to be difficult and usually avoided by students. He even took the initiative to engage his teachers in discussions after class. All this because he firmly believed that the subject was closely related to daily life.
His proactive attitude gained him an internship at the World Health Organization (WHO). He shares: “At the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, I was given the opportunity to take part in compiling a manual entitled ‘Food Safety after a Radiation Emergency: Handbook for Health Risk Communication’. Since I didn’t know much about the topic, I equipped myself by reading up on the subject before embarking on my new job. Upon starting at WHO, I kept my eyes open and didn’t hesitate to ask questions when communicating with my supervisor and colleagues. Gradually I gained a better understanding of the subject.” Without fear of the language barrier, Andy proactively participated in various seminars and discussions, broadening his horizons as well as acquiring the skills of communicating and getting along with others in culturally diverse environments.
After three months of hard work, the handbook was largely completed. The only Chinese member of the team, Andy takes great pride in it. “I feel like I have accomplished something good for the world. I believe it is most important to work out an effective way to disseminate new knowledge to the public so that people can make their own judgements without hesitation or fear caused by ignorance.”
With this conviction, Andy is planning to do a PhD with a view to uncovering new knowledge as well as serving as a bridge between academia and the public.