Kyle Chan is from Hong Kong and is currently doing a PhD in Political Science. He completed his undergraduate degree in Hong Kong, then an MSc at the Leiden University (in the Netherlands) before coming here coming to UNC.
What made you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I was quite involved in Hong Kong’s various social movements. Once the umbrella movement was over in 2014, many of us were wondering what to do from there. Some of my friends and I decided to pursue a more academic career to contribute to a better public discussion about Hong Kong’s political future, so here I am, working on a Political Science PhD.
What’s the thing you love most about Chapel Hill?
Location. As a person who’s spent pretty much his entire life in a city, living in Chapel Hill is a great break from that busy city life! However, since Chapel Hill is close enough to Durham and Raleigh, I can just go there when I miss the conveniences of living in a city.
If you had any advice for someone thinking about pursuing a graduate degree, what would it be?
Make sure your reason of going to grad school is crystal clear. It’s a huge investment in terms of time (also money if it’s a master’s degree), so without a clear goal it’s very easy to break down once you are hit by the workload and time pressure in grad school.
What is your dream career after you’ve completed your studies?
A tenure-track job somewhere (preferably back in Hong Kong, but it also depends on the academic freedom there by the time I’m on the market)