Career Forum Apr 2016 highlights: Hong Kong’s budding engineers treated to industry-related exhibitors, seminars and events
From trainee programmes and seminars to networking sessions and a chance to join the Shadow a CEO Programme, the Career Forum offered engineering students a plethora of opportunities to further their ambitions.
Among the attendees was a large contingent from the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), who were keen to take advantage of such opportunities.
“Today’s forum has provided a superb platform for us to interact, face-to-face, with engineering professionals and potential employers,” said King Chan, a fourth-year civil engineering student. “We can learn first-hand how they operate, and ask questions that are given immediate feedback. This is much better than just trying to find information on our own by surfing the net.”
Chan and his classmates, who are graduating this summer, seized the opportunity to learn about their long-term career prospects. “It is crucial to learn about potential career paths and market needs as soon as possible, so that we may plan ahead,” he said.
Following a networking session for engineering students and graduates and a presentation on the profession by The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers [HKIE], Chan and his fellow students talked at length to HKIE’s representatives on how to qualify for membership.
“We learned that we can get a head start with certain employers, who provide a three-year training scheme and a one-year internship, and who keep track record of our progress, since these all count towards our qualifications for membership,” Chan said.
Ginny Keung, a civil engineering student, said she now feels more prepared for her career.
“Civil engineers usually take the path of either a contractor or a consultant. As a woman, I understand the challenges of taking the contractor path, which requires frequent visits to construction sites. After attending the forum, I have learned more about the contractor path and have become all the more determined to go for it and meet the challenges with confidence.”
The students also found the non-engineering parts of the forum a great help. “The session on etiquette and short self-introduction by Desmond So gave me a new perspective on what it means to be presentable,” said Chris Chan, who is studying an environmental engineering and management course. “Greetings, pitch, eye contact and image are all significant.”
Civil engineering student Leo Lai learned how to fine-tune his résumé. “From the CV Doctors, I learned that we have to read and brush up our own CVs – not from our own perspective, but from those of future employers. There are things to be put in the forefront and at the back; some details should be deleted altogether.”
THEi encourages students to actively engage in continuing professional development (CPD), which is required for their graduation and is crucial to fulfilling the corporate membership training prerequisites of HKIE. Through attending the forum, students earned two hours of CPD time to go towards their overall target of six hours to graduate.
The feedback from other THEi students converged on similar themes. They found the forum to be informative, substantial and practical, with the main take-away lesson being to continue upgrading their skills through networking sessions, career talks and professional exams.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Engineers in their element.