My biggest setback: Miss Hong Kong Louisa Mak says failure to win UK scholarship was a ‘lesson in life’

My biggest setback: Miss Hong Kong Louisa Mak says failure to win UK scholarship was a ‘lesson in life’

Louisa Mak receives her crown and sceptre. Photo: Felix Wong

Miss Hong Kong pageant winner Louisa Mak Ming-sze hopes to combine traditional virtues with the “independent character” required for a modern woman, having overcome the setback of failing to win a scholarship to study in Britain despite being a straight A student.

Mak, a Cambridge law graduate, was crowned Miss Hong Kong this year on Sunday after winning 166,000 votes of 231,000 cast by viewers.

The 23-year-old said during an interview with TVB, which organises the annual pageant, that she was fond of taking up new challenges, adding the biggest disappointment in her life was her failure to obtain a scholarship to study in Britain, before she went to Cambridge.

“If it was not my score sheets, it must have been my performance that had problems. I think this is why I am not happy with that. I feel I failed to do well in the interview. It dealt a blow to my confidence,” she said.

“Looking back it however was a good thing, a good lesson in life,” she added.
Mak flanked by first runner-up Ada Pong (left), and second runner-up Karmen Kwok. Photo: Felix Wong


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After graduation from Cambridge last year, Mak returned to Hong Kong and worked as a local newspaper reporter. She said the job allowed her to explore different issues in the city.

“I wanted to experience and know what exactly Hong Kong needs. Then I would like to see if I can have some participation,” she said. “I hope to learn more … and hope that this can encourage more attention on those topics,” she said.

Louisa Mak pictured after graduating from Cambridge University in Britain last year. Photo: Facebook

She said today’s women were expected to develop traditional inner virtues such as intelligence, conscience and elegance and at the same time be self-reliant.

“We also need to be independent. This has made it difficult for some women to develop their character,” she said.

Mak caused some buzz during the competition’s second round of interviews in June when she did not answer a question about Hong Kong’s political reform package. Mak, however, said she believed in democracy and the freedom to vote.

Louisa Mak (left) got straight As in 2009. Photo: SCMP Pictures

In 2009, the former Diocesan Girls’ School student talked to the press after she scored 10 As in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examinations (HKCEE).

Mak told reporters at the time that she would like to become a politician and even the Hong Kong chief executive one day. “I want to become an influential [person], not only for the pay,” she said at the time.

When asked again in the interview, Mak said: “[This will be] something in ‘N’ years. It is hard to know.”

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 September, 2015, 10:38am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 September, 2015, 1:39pm
Lai Ying-kit


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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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