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Life Buddies

"Be a Government Official for a Day" Programme

[Attention: The “Be a Government Official for a Day” programme 2018 was successfully concluded on 16 August. The programme received a positive response in its first year with 1 163 applications in total from 323 secondary schools. Thirty-four senior secondary students were selected to shadow the 3 Secretaries and 13 Bureau Directors of the Government for a day. The Government will continue to implement the programme in 2019 with an extended scale to cover more senior officials to enable more secondary students to gain hands-on experience of the officials’ work and directly interact with them. The information below is for reference only.]

The “Life Buddies” Mentoring Scheme launches the first-ever “Be a Government Official for a Day” programme.  The programme, to be held this July and August, will offer the opportunity for selected students to shadow a Principal Official on the job for a day to gain hands-on experience of a Principal Official’s work and a better understanding of the Government’s operation.  It also aims at providing Principal Officials with a chance to share with students their working experience while learning about students’ goals and listening to their views and suggestions on different policy issues and Hong Kong’s future development.  The job shadowing process will also help inspire students to develop positive values, adopt multi-perspective thinking, strive to realise their potential in full and seize opportunities for upward mobility.   The three Secretaries of Departments and 13 Directors of Bureaux of this term of Government will participate in the programme.  Application is now open to secondary 4 or 5 students in the 2017/18 academic year.  The details of the programme are as follows:

What does the programme offer?

Participating students will have a tailor-made experience, composing of the following 4 sessions:

1. Orientation Session – mid July 2018

The Quality Mentorship Network has been engaged to organise orientation for selected students prior to the job shadowing to understand their expectations on the programme and help them make suitable preparations for the job shadowing.

2. Job Shadowing – a day between 16 and 27 July 2018

Students will personally shadow a Principal Official for a Day, and seize the invaluable opportunity to interact with Principal Officials.  Principal Officials may on one hand share career stories and aspirations with students, and on the other hand share views with students on their ideas and goals for their future development.  Such personal interactions would encourage students to develop positive values and attitudes as well as to think about life planning from different perspectives, inspiring students to aim high when setting goals for their future and to strive at achieving such goals with perseverance and determination.

3. Debriefing Session – early August 2018

A debriefing session will be held on students’ experience and takeaways after the job shadowing.  Students shadowing different Principal Officials may also have the chance to share their different experiences and feedback.

4. Follow-up Session – end August 2018

Lastly, a follow-up session will be held to guide students in reflecting on any inspirations gained from the programme and think about their future career goals and objectives in a holistic manner.  The session will also assist students in formulating an early plan on their development pathways to make early preparations for achieving their goals, further consolidating their takeaways from the programme.

Who should join?

If you are a secondary 4 or 5 student in the 2017/18 academic year who possess the following qualities, then the programme is ideal for you –

  • Motivation and career aspiration
  • Interest in public service
  • Analytical and communication skills

How to apply?

Application forms can be downloaded below. On an individual basis, applicants should complete the form, explaining their reason for application and including a recommendation for their school principal or teacher, and email it to lifebuddies@cso.gov.hk (Re: “Be a Government Official for a Day” Programme) on or before 11 May, 2018 (Friday).

Application Form

Selected applicants will be invited to an interview held in May or June.  A separate notification will be made by email or phone on the relevant arrangement. 

Want to know more?

Email: lifebuddies@cso.gov.hk

Tel.: 3655 4891

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who are eligible to apply?

A1. Application is open to secondary four or five students in the 2017/18 academic year.


Q2. What is the maximum number of recommendations that can be made per school?

A2. Interested students should apply on an individual basis.  There is no restriction on the number of recommendations made by each school.  Schools may decide on the number of recommendations to make based on the school' s and students' situation.


Q3. Do applicants have to attend an interview?

A3. Suitable applicants who passed the initial screening will be invited to an interview held in May or June.


Q4. Who is responsible for the selection process?

A4. The Quality Mentorship Network has been engaged to assist the Secretariat of the Commission on Poverty to handle applications and conduct selection of applicants.


Q5. What are the selection criteria?

A5. The Secretariat will evaluate applicants based on their motivation and career aspiration, interest in public service as well as analytical and communication skills.  On the application form, students also have to explain their reason of application and obtain recommendation from their school principal or teacher, these will also be taken into consideration.  The academic performance and school of the student are not part of the selection criteria.


Q6. How many places are there in the programme?

A6. Tentatively, the programme has over 30 places, each participating official will be matched with at least two students for the job shadowing.


Q7. What is the actual programme arrangement for the job shadowing?

A7. Each participating official will decide on the actual programme arrangement for the job shadowing based on their own policy portfolio and work arrangement.


Q8. Do participants only have to participate in the one-day job shadowing?

A8. No, successful applicants must undertake to attend all four activities of the programme.  Prior to the job shadowing, the Quality Mentorship Network will arrange an orientation session to prepare students for the job shadowing.  Afterwards, students will also have the chance to reflect on their experience and plan for their future studies and career through the debriefing and follow-up sessions, further consolidating their takeaways from the programme.