It was such a privilege to be able to sit down with Professor Roger Levermore, who recently joined the CUHK Business School, for a chat and understand a bit more about him. Professor Levermore will be teaching strategic management courses and Scenario Planning, a new course aims to help students develop a forward-thinking mindset to think and plan 5-10 years ahead. He will also be teaching ethics courses for MiM and Undergraduate programmes. Through his position as Associate Director of the MBA Programmes, Professor Levermore is commissioned to help students cultivate different soft skills, etiquettes of meeting people and how to make better connections in order to advance their career network.
It was quite intriguing when we learnt that it was not entirely smooth sailing for him in his early years when he got rejected by 29 out of 30 universities in the UK due to his poor A Levels results. At the end of the day, he got accepted by one university and it was the place where he met 3 inspirational professors who saw skills and traits in him that he was unaware of – combined, they changed his life in different ways and prompted him to move to teaching. The first one was a history professor who praised him for excellence in “research, structure and presenting”. The 2nd professor was “firm but fair” and showed him the benefit of hard work whilst the 3rd professor was a philosopher who inspired him to realise the fact that education should not be only about educating people, it would mean a lot more by making a difference in people’s life.
His first job was with an insurance company inputting claims; he realised this was not a job he wanted to be in for a long time and it acted as a strong motivator to strive for a better career by getting a university education. Then he started teaching in 1998 whilst doing his PhD.
As one of the shyer students in class with nickname “Litmus”, he said his face would turn red every time he started talking in front of people. Hence, one cannot imagine how he can stay on top of teaching and coaching. He said a lot of preparation to get things in shape, as well as his beliefs in pushing out of his comfort zone, has landed him with 2 teaching prizes whilst he was at HKUST. He knew he has to try things out on a trial and error basis and one can always get better and stronger.
He likes the education system in Hong Kong when compared with that of the UK which is often seen as more inward-looking at the historical and heritage side of things rather than going beyond to see the other side of the world. What he likes about CUHK is its awareness of looking outside of the local borders and a lot of respects are given to the teachers.
Professor Levermore came to Hong Kong 6 years ago. When asked why he chose Hong Kong, he said it is the energy, vibes and buzz in this city that attracts him. He was also proud to share with us how he managed to communicate with taxi drivers using his version of “Cantonese” !
Last but not least….. His advice to students
And finally….Get off campus as much as possible and meet people!!