Career Forum Apr 2016 highlights: Young jobseekers were surprised by the variety of opportunities on offer at the forum
Although attending an interview for the Shadow a CEO Programme was Yu’s primary reason for visiting the Career Forum, he found that the event offered so much more than he had expected.
After his interview, Yu, a third-year student of accounting and finance, decided to spend more time exploring the forum and gain a better idea of the industries and organisations offering opportunities for young jobseekers.
“Because of my major, I’m primarily interested in the banking, accountancy and finance sectors,” he explained. “That said, I’m open to different kinds of companies. I believe the representatives of the participating companies here will be able to give me some insight on their respective sectors.
“For example, the Kering Group should be able to give me some ideas about the luxury goods industry from a global perspective,” he said.
Yu correctly surmised that the companies in attendance had an eye on many different types of candidate. “I guess, by being at the forum, these companies want to identify and recruit talent from diverse cultural backgrounds.”
Yu also brought along a draft of his cover letter and résumé to get some practical advice from the CV Doctors at the forum – a service provided by consultants from Kelly Services.
“I want my application letters and CV to appear more professional and polished,” he said. “It would be great if they can help me improve my application letter by tailoring it specifically for prospective employers in the accountancy sector.
“I would also like to get some advice on ways to better describe my skills and list the most important information on my CV,” he added.
University of Buckingham, UK
Having spent several of her childhood years in Hong Kong, Crawford, a business and management graduate, developed a fondness for the city and is looking for job opportunities here. The forum provided the perfect opportunity, where she also attended an interview for the Shadow a CEO Programme.
“I enjoyed it very much, as the interviewer was very friendly. We had an interesting discussion about my strengths and weaknesses,” she said.
She added that she was also interviewed by representatives from DFS Group and the Kering Group, as she was interested in shadowing their respective business leaders.
“Although I’m a registered member of the Kering Group’s website and get job alerts when they have suitable job openings, I found that I can get more updated information here,” she said. “I’m glad I came here in person so that I am able to get information I cannot access online.” She also attended Kering’s presentation and learned about the company’s leadership values.
Crawford was happy to discover more about companies whose brands she was familiar with. “I love seeing Pacific Coffee here at the forum. This is a company which I was aware of, but did not know much about its business side.”
Crawford said she gained more confidence in approaching companies exhibiting at the forum after she exchanged ideas with other attendees. “I will talk to other companies, not just the ones I initially planned to approach such as the police.”
She was also interested in finding out more about cybersecurity. “I think this is the future. I want to find out more about it because it’s likely that cybersecurity will become a big industry in the next few years.”
Natalie Law Ka-wing
City University of Hong Kong
Although Law loves engineering, she was not too sure if it was the right career for her because of its reputation as a traditionally male-dominated sector.
But, after listening to a seminar by Chow Lap-man, convenor of the work group on district relations of The Hong Kong Institute of Engineers’ (HKIE) public relations committee, she was given renewed confidence that engineering is the industry for her.
“Mr Chow described engineers as curious individuals who are willing problem solvers,” Lau explained. “I think the description fits my personality. He also said women have an advantage when drawing up design plans, because we are more detail-oriented. Those words were definitely a confidence-booster for me.”
She also took note of Chow’s emphasis on the importance of soft skills for an engineer. “Today, an engineering job is not only about operations; engineers also need to know how to deal with clients,” Lau said.
Lau is in the final year of an energy and environmental engineering degree and has already begun the job-hunting process. She visited a number of engineering companies at the forum, including Analogue Group of Companies (ATAL Engineering) and Gammon Construction.
Because environmental engineering is considered a relatively new discipline in Hong Kong, she anticipated that there would not be as many job openings for her. She believes, however, that in the long-run, the opportunities for the industry will be great.
“To be honest, I am worried that my field of study will limit my career opportunities,” she said. “But I love the discipline and would love to try making what I studied at school my profession.”
University of Melbourne
Knowing that the Career Forum catered mainly for fresh graduates did not deter Kong from his plan to land a job at the event.
The accounting and finance graduate from the class of 2010 has just left his job in insurance, and is looking to switch to a role that offers a more stable income.
“I have worked for five years in Australia and Hong Kong. My family thinks it is time for me to get a job with a stable income, so here I am, looking for my next career move,” he said.
Coming from an insurance background, Kong said his top priority is to look for jobs that are related to customer service.
“I love working with people and have experience serving clients. Roles that require interaction with clients will be best for me,” he said. “I don’t like sitting in the office all day, so I want jobs that enable me to work out of the office.”
This was Kong’s first visit to the Career Forum and he welcomed the chance to meet several potential employers at the same time. In preparation, he spent time researching the various companies that interested him.
Marketing is one of the areas he is considering for his future career. “I visited the Lan Kwai Fong Group booth, and they have some marketing jobs that I am interested in,” he said.
He understood that many of the companies were offering management trainee openings which target younger graduates. “But I will still leave my résumé with them and hope I will get a call back.”
Civil service is another sector that Kong is willing to give a try. He left his résumé with the Hong Kong Police Force after visiting their booth at the forum and hearing their insight on careers in the force.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Exceeding expectations.