Classified Post Career Forum highlights: Student and graduate jobseekers tell how they were attracted by the variety of big name exhibitors
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Although she is currently a final year nursing student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Phoebe Ngai Ho-ting says she has decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Instead, she wants a job in marketing.
“I discovered my passion for marketing after joining AIESEC – the International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences – which is a global NGO that supports young leaders,” she said.
She hopes to start her career in a multinational corporation and was excited that there were so many of them exhibiting their job and training opportunities at the Career Forum.
“It is great to be able to meet with so many high-calibre companies at the same time. It certainly helps me find out more about the careers I can pursue. My school has hosted similar career exhibitions before, but they did not have so many big-name employers compared to this one.”
After visiting a number of booths, Ngai found the management trainee role at wine and spirits retailer Pernod Ricard Asia the most intriguing and passed her CV to the company.
Ngai said she is looking forward to working in a multicultural setting and Pernod fits in with that perfectly.
“My only worry is that my grades are not good enough. Although they do not think that coming from a nursing education background will be a problem for me, it is never easy to score high marks in a major like nursing,” she said.
Another big attraction of the forum for Ngai was to learn more about Google Ignite, a programme that helps young digital marketers kick-start their careers. With a dream to run her own fashion retail business one day, Ngai said it would be an invaluable learning experience and that she planned to sign up for the programme.
Since Hong Kong Electric (HKE) and Towngas are two of the city’s biggest employers of engineers, Chau Chi-sing had already set his sights on both companies before heading to the Career Forum.
A final-year electronic and communication engineering student at City University of Hong Kong, Chau has a clear career goal of becoming a chartered engineer. He says he wants to join the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers’ Scheme A training programme as part of his first job, on the road to becoming a certified professional.
He found the forum’s CV Doctor service very helpful because the advisers had experience helping candidates apply for jobs at both HKE and Towngas.
He also found that both companies offer graduate trainee programmes allowing him to rotate to different departments – an arrangement he considers a great training opportunity.
“I can see that both companies are committed to grooming young talent, which is excellent news for fresh graduates,” he says.
He added that HKE staff were very helpful and patiently answered all his questions. “I am a high-flyer in terms of academic performance, but the HKE staff said personality is also an important aspect that they look at. Their words boosted my confidence in applying for their management trainee post,” he said.
With the Towngas programme, Chau was particularly impressed with the ability to rotate through different departments before deciding where to start his career. “It gives young graduates who do not know what area they want to focus on yet more flexibility,” he said.
Knowing that the competition for trainee programmes is keen, Chau said he would also consider applying for a general position at Towngas.
Caritas Institute of Higher Education
After learning about the diverse range of professional opportunities available in the accounting field from the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), Suri Yeung said she is considering becoming a CPA.
“Previously, I had not thought about working in an accounting firm,” said the final year finance student from Caritas Institute of Higher Education.
“I learned from HKICPA that there are many different areas, such as commercial firms, financial institutes and banks, for accountants to develop their career. These opportunities are certainly intriguing to me.”
Yeung found it encouraging that her background in finance would exempt her from taking some of the examinations en route to becoming a CPA.
“Of course it will take at least three years before I can gain the professional qualifications, but this is definitely a plus for me,” she said.
Another job that Yeung looked into was a customer service role with Hang Seng Bank. She says the role would enable her to make use of the financial theories she has learnt at university and help her brush up on her interpersonal skills.
“I think a frontline role in a bank has good prospects too, because I will be able to communicate with and serve clients face-to-face. The people skills that I am able to gain will be useful in any career that I wish to pursue in the future.”
Yeung thought the Career Forum was informative and helpful for students and recent graduates alike. This is especially important, she adds, because the huge number of university graduates in Hong Kong in the future will cause the job market to be even more competitive, and that a generous package will be hard to come by.
Caritas Institute of Higher Education
Like many fresh graduates, Sandy Law does not yet have a clear idea of what industry or profession she wants to focus on for her career, so she was hoping to get some inspiration and answers at forum.
A final year marketing major student from the Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Law said she found a sharing session by Gary Wong Tsz-him, deputy head of project sales at Yip’s Chemical Group, to be particularly inspiring given her current situation.
“He studied many things and tried many roles before he found out what he wanted to do. I guess I have to spend some time to find my way,” she said.
Without a clear goal in mind, Law said she wouldn’t mind working in a temporary job first and then move on to other jobs in the future. She is considering joining Lane Crawford as a sales person after visiting their booth.
“I have been sending out resumes since July but have had no feedback so far. The quickest way I can land a job now is to join Lane Crawford as a sales person and keep looking,” she said.
Law thinks that that not coming from a government-funded university is going to hurt her chances of landing a top job, so she plans to continue her education. However, she said she will have to work for a couple of years first to save up the tuition fees.
One programme particularly stood out to her. “I find the management trainee programme at Towngas really attractive,” she said. “It has a well-structured learning process that provides all-round training and bright prospects, but I don’t think I have a high chance of landing the job because of my academic background. I understand that it is a highly-competitive position and priority will probably go to candidates from prestigious universities.”