International Old Alleynians Story: Meet DCB Alumni Kim Fong, Class of 2013

Dulwich College Beijing

What has life after Dulwich College Beijing been like for some of our graduates? In this feature, we have the pleasure of hearing from one of Dulwich College Beijing’s first students, Kim Fong. Kim graduated from DCB in 2013 and has since gone on to achieve great success in both his academic and professional pursuits. He shares with us a glimpse into his school life, his not-so-straight path to studying Economics at the University of Cambridge and what motivated him to join the Swire Group, where he has been a valued member of the company for 8 years now, to become the Head of Business Insights & Analytics at Cathay Pacific today.

Kim Fong

Kim’s DCB Life: School, Sports, and Spirit of Volunteerism

“There are so many memorable moments,” Kim nostalgically shared when asked about his days at Dulwich College Beijing, but it’s his Senior School days that stood out the most. “I played a lot of badminton and table tennis then, so my favourite moments include training and playing in ISAC and ACAMIS competitions, and winning a gold medal in the U12 ISAC table tennis.”

He also has fond memories of the annual school trips he took part in. But, like many students, we’re not surprised to hear that his most memorable moments are ones spent with friends, whether that’s on or off the school campus - especially lunches with his friends at the Piazza Café in Years 12 and 13. 

Last day of school in Year 13. Kim with other Year 12s and 13s and Mrs Caroline Taylor Last day of school in Year 13. Kim with other Year 12s and 13s and Mrs Caroline Taylor

Kim Fong joined Dulwich College Beijing right when it first opened in 2005 to students from preschool to Year 9, and would grow with the school as the school expanded to also include the rest of the Senior School years. The second to open in the Dulwich College International family of schools, Dulwich College Beijing envisioned to establish a community in Beijing with an ethos of equity, excellence and service, rooted in the 400-year-old British tradition of our founding college in London.

Old DCB campus
Kim with his brother Ben at a school photoshoot Kim with his brother Ben at a school photoshoot

Kim shared how impactful his experience leading Beacons of Hope was while he was in Year 12. Run by Dulwich College Beijing’s Interact Club, an ECA (extracurricular activity) that is still very much active today, the programme helped provide basic services to migrant children around the city. The opportunity offered him invaluable lessons that he still carries today. “The programme was initiated a year before by a fellow DCB student who noticed that a significant community of migrant school students in Beijing lacked basic health or medical check-ups. So she set out on a mission to provide these basic services to those in need.” 

Beacons of Hope with the rest of the team at the GlobalCare Women’s and Children’s Hospital Beacons of Hope with the rest of the team at the GlobalCare Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Kim was deeply moved by the mission, and so when an opportunity to lead the group arose, he didn’t think twice about volunteering. “I raised my hand and got the role. Through the support of Interact Club, a corporate sponsor as well as a hospital partner, we provided over 150 kids with free and comprehensive health checks that year. DCB students helped as volunteers at the check-up and provided the necessary support.” The project also received recognition from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and earned him and the founder the International Student Award for their leadership. Kim added, “Leading Beacons of Hope taught me the importance of working with others and careful planning. Without each of these, the project would not have started or completed successfully.” 


Following His Passion to University  

Attending the University of Cambridge wasn’t Kim’s initial choice. He originally wanted to apply to the University of Oxford, but it didn’t have the degree he had his heart set on.


University of Cambridge graduation, Kim with his family University of Cambridge graduation, Kim with his family

Attending the University of Cambridge wasn’t Kim’s initial choice. He originally wanted to apply to the University of Oxford, but it didn’t have the degree he had his heart set on.

“I shared my thoughts with my Maths teacher at the time, Mr Nolan Brook, and without any hesitation, he told me, “If you want to study more Maths, why are you choosing Oxford? Choose Cambridge!” Little did he know at the time that his comment would make me reconsider my selection. And I am glad he did! I had a wonderful time in Cambridge.”

Kim also credits his university counsellor at the time, Ms Jessica Lawrence, who took the time to read through the many drafts of his Personal Statement for UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). “She gave me very helpful comments to ensure I had all the key messages across within the word limit.”

Graduation Day. Kim with his IB Further Maths SL Class with Mr Brook Graduation Day. Kim with his IB Further Maths SL Class with Mr Brook

8 years and counting at Swire Group

Like many others, Kim did not start university with a clear idea of what he wanted to do next. ”I only knew that I wanted to solve interesting problems and I wanted to contribute,” he said. “I considered joining a management consulting firm, and for a period of time, that was my plan. But when the opportunity to join Swire in their management programme came up, I did not hesitate.”

The Swire group is a diversified conglomerate with businesses principally in Asia. Kim joined one of the operating companies, Cathay Pacific, and has been there for the past 8 years. So we asked: how did you know that Swire was right for you, and what made you stay?

Kim at Cathay Pacific Kim at Cathay Pacific

“Swire has a strong reputation in this part of the world, especially in Hong Kong. It has a collection of iconic brands with a clear purpose. I certainly felt working for a company like Swire would make for a meaningful career, and eight years in I think I have been proven right!”

Kim also stressed a key factor that increases loyalty in a company. “One thing that is often not said enough is that the people you work with matter a lot. In this regard, the Swire internship programme made a lasting impression on me.

“I joined their internship programme in my penultimate year at university and was seconded to Cathay Pacific. Through the 7 weeks, I met some of the most wonderful people at work, including my direct managers, the Leadership development team and Swire management trainees. I truly felt they genuinely wanted me to succeed and supported me to get the most out of my internship. Now, eight years in and in the management programme, I still feel the same way.”


How his experiences at DCB helped with life in university and in the workplace

In the fast-changing world we live in, having a broad set of skills and experiences is very helpful, and Kim’s experience at DCB taught him the value of breadth and trying more things. 

Kim Fong in Beijing

“At DCB, apart from the subjects that you have to study – which in itself is quite broad because you have to study at least two languages, at least one Humanities and one Science all the way through Year 13 – there are many extra-curricular activities you can get involved in. I chose to focus on sports and charity work, and that has taught me about working with others, planning, organising, and with sports, performing under pressure. 

Kim Fong

Advice for our student community

When asked what advice he would give to our students preparing for our student community, he reiterated the advice he shared when he joined us as one of our panelists at last year’s Worldwise Academy. “First, start working on your communication skills early on,” he said, emphasising how communication skills are one of the most underrated sets of skills out there. “Whether it is verbal or written, you need it in essentially every situation. It is important to know how to communicate in a clear and concise way. It is also important to know how to tell a story. Effective communication is influence. 

Kim Fong

“Second, in school, there is a tendency to be worried about grades, university choices, career choices, and the future in general. I certainly did that. But if I could go back in time I would tell myself there is really no need to worry. Always do your best, always ask for help when you need to, and everything will work out just fine.

“Also remember that empathy matters. Working in different cultural environments has taught me to understand that people have different views on everything that matters and that it is incredibly important to approach people and situations with an open mind.” 

And it’s important to never stop wanting to learn to not stop upskilling, something even a busy executive like Kim still does today. “I block off some time either in the morning or the evening to read. Read widely and read topics that you are genuinely interested in. I find podcasts to be a great way to learn on the go.”

Kim Fong's journey from Dulwich College Beijing to his current leadership position at Cathay Pacific stands as a testament to the transformative power of a well-rounded education. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Kim for generously sharing his experiences and invaluable advice for our student community. 

WAN logo

As part of the Dulwich College International network, we aim to foster lifelong relationships with our alumni, also known as International Old Alleynians (IOAs). The Worldwise Alumni Network (WAN) is a powerful professional and social community for IOAs to forge and maintain lasting bonds and a powerful professional and social platform for alumni and current students to be Together, Anywhere.

Learn more about it:  Alumni and Networking | Dulwich College Beijing