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Career Forum highlights: HK Electric graduate trainee programme powers people up for success Subhead:

Published on Saturday, 21 Mar 2015

Three alumni praise scheme for opening doors and broadening horizons

Peter Leung, customer installation engineer at HK Electric, said he regularly applies what he learned as a graduate trainee at the company in 1997 in his business decision-making. "What I learned all those years ago is still in my mind, helping me make good business decisions," said Leung, who now manages a team of more than 30.

"I made many friends as a graduate trainee. The camaraderie built over all these years means that if I need to solve a problem, support is just a phone call away. This is extremely valuable."

Leung was among three former HK Electric graduate trainees who shared their experiences at the Career Forum. They encouraged engineering students to consider the company's graduate programme.

Another graduate trainee, Jacqueline Chan, is now an environmental engineer. She joined in 2011 and completed three years of training. She told forum participants how job rotations in different departments vastly broadened her horizons.

"In the project division, I saw how project management is done, while in the commercial division, I learned about the preparation of a tender," she said.

"In the public affairs department, I organised outreach programmes. In the investment department, I learned how to select and evaluate overseas investment projects."

The wide exposure would not have been possible if she had simply been an engineer working only in one department, she said.

One of her most memorable experiences as a graduate trainee was attending training in Thailand with two other engineers. "We were surprised to learn that even though Thailand is a developing country, their environmental awareness is just as strong as in Hong Kong," Chan said, showing photos of her training at a power plant in Ratchaburi Province, Thailand. "The management of their power plants also met very high standards."

HK Electric's graduate trainees are put on a fast track to becoming professional engineers, said Ryan Leung, who joined the programme in 2013. Professional engineering qualifications are awarded by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). As training materials for HK Electric trainees are jointly developed with HKIE, the content has practical and direct relevance to their future jobs and responsibilities as engineers.

Leung said he gained a broad network at HK Electric and in the wider engineering profession. As part of this, he was master of ceremonies at an event held by the HK Electric Institute last year. The institute enables retired engineers and senior engineers close to retirement to share their knowledge with the company's young engineers.

HKIE also plays a key role in preparing young graduate trainees for career advancement with its President's Protégé scheme. As part of the scheme, Ryan was selected as one of nine young engineers to shadow the HKIE president at public events, seeing first-hand how he operates. Now, he looks forward to organising an exchange programme in Tokyo and community activities with other president's protégés.

The speakers said that the fun does not stop after young engineers complete the graduate trainee programme. Peter Leung said his work servicing customers remains challenging and wide-ranging.

He and his team create solutions to help SMEs launch their businesses sooner, and at higher energy efficiency. "I interface with different customers, from residential to SMEs and large corporations. My work also involves electric vehicles, smart grid, and data centres."

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