Students explore wide range of options at Career Forum
Jobseekers impressed by variety of opportunities and quality advice
Steven Yip Tung-ho
Apart from the chance to visit prospective employers, the Career Forum gave Yip, a final-year business administration student, more understanding of his prospects in various industries. “[Linking this to] the development of companies is very important. The forum has given us a platform for future careers,” he said.
He explained that it is essential for jobseekers to offer value to their prospective companies. “We need to offer value to the company to show our performance, rather than [just expecting things] from it,” he said. “If there is good performance, one can surely stand out.”
He was particularly impressed by the advice given at the Shadow a CEO Programme counter, which was to read more to broaden his knowledge.
While his specialisation is in human resources management, he was surprised by the variety of jobs for which he could apply. “There are many choices. I only learnt at this forum that I could consider entering the quantity surveying industry, despite my background as a business student,” he said.
He found out that some of the problem-solving skills he has learnt in HR courses are applicable to other business areas, such as marketing. He was also interested in the management trainee programmes on offer. The hotel industry was one of his preferences as it is a major growth area in Hong Kong.
He discovered that, for management trainee programmes at hotels, it is necessary to work as both a front line worker and in the back office. “There is then the chance to practise different modes of operation as we shift around every few months. Our knowledge would not be just limited to our own studies.”
Shirley Tsang Oi-sz
It is important for graduates to explore the scope of career opportunities for which they are eligible, Tsang said.
A third-year student at Polytechnic University, Tsang explained she was at first attracted by the wide array of management trainee programmes at the Career Forum after her university had informed her about the event.
But after visiting the forum, she said she was surprised by the variety of opportunities available to her. For example, as she is majoring in global supply chain management, she was advised that she could apply for a licence in the security industry, even though her major was not related.
The forum not only connected Tsang with companies, but also equipped her with more job-interview skills. She made it a priority to visit the Shadow a CEO Programme counter, where she was interviewed for the scheme.
She said the interview was very informative and inspiring. “It was a very in-depth interview in which we not only talked about my previous job experience, but also social issues and ways of improving.”
Most importantly, as Tsang did not have any job experience in the logistics industry, the advisers helped her identify the skills and experience that could be transferable to future jobs. “This means that even if I do not have relevant experience in dealing with suppliers and customers, I can still try the logistics industry,” she said.
The advisers at the forum also suggested Tsang develop some cooperation skills by doing team-building training. “I learnt that many organisations are looking for candidates as team players. They value collaboration experience.”
She was pleased about expanding her network at the forum, discovering more about her prospects in various industries, and with the advice she received.
A student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Thaika enjoyed interacting with employers directly at the forum. He was also excited to receive feedback and advice about his CV, cover letter and interview performance, all in one day.
“I wanted to know what skills and acumen Hong Kong companies are asking for,” he said. “It’s also helpful to know what mistakes I have made in interviews. I often find it difficult to answer unfamiliar questions, but now I know more about how to tackle them.”
Thaika, who is from Chennai, India, is studying a one-year Master of Science programme in integrated circuit design engineering.
Although India has a strong technology sector, Thaika believes that there are more opportunities for electronic engineers in China. “Hong Kong has great opportunities, and I can gain more experience here.”
A master’s student in accounting at Hong Kong Baptist University, Li was attracted to the forum by the Shadow a CEO Programme speakers. “There are many career events in town, but the opportunity to hear directly from CEOs made this special,” she said.
Li, from China’s Jiangsu province, will graduate this year with a Master of Science in applied accounting and finance. She was eager to speak with employers in the finance industry at the forum, but she also approached employers in other industries and asked them about roles in their companies.
“This is an opportunity to learn about companies in depth,” she said. “This level of depth would not be possible if I was only researching about these companies online.”
Aaron Chung Wing-lun
Chung, a physics student from the University of Hong Kong, came to the forum mainly to attend the talk by Lau Ka Shi, MD and CEO of BCT Financial and Bank Consortium Trust.
“These are interesting companies and [Lau is] a CEO I’d like to shadow,” he said, referring to the Shadow a CEO Programme, which he hopes will help hone his leadership skills. He is keeping all options open for when he graduates in August – from joining the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur.
He says past career fairs he went to tended to be industry focused, with most companies from finance, real estate or construction. “There are fewer career fairs featuring companies that would interest a student in the sciences.”
A final-year marketing major at City University, Chung came to the Career Forum with a singular purpose – she wanted to meet potential employers in banking and finance, as she was determined to start a career in the industry after graduation.
However, once she arrived, she saw the variety of industries represented and decided to speak with as many potential employers as possible.
Her motivation partly came from the Company Tours lucky draw. To enter, jobseekers needed to collect five stamps from speaking with employers from five different companies. The winners got to enrol for company visits to either Microsoft or K11 Concepts.
“This way, students are more motivated to speak to employers,” Chung said. “It is an effective way to encourage students to broaden their horizons.”
Chung added that she had interesting conversations with real estate and surveying companies at the forum. She said this was helpful to her, even though she might not end up pursuing a career in those industries.
The Career Forum was a valuable opportunity for Tang, a Bachelor of Business Administration student with a concentration in human resources management (HRM), to gather information about his future career.
Instead of trying to impress employers at the event, the Baptist University student took the opportunity to meet and learn from HR professionals.
“HRM cuts across different industries,” Tang said. “Today I observed HR professionals in action, and I learned more about how companies structure internal training and organise trainee programmes.”
Apart from gathering information and networking, Tang looked into management trainee programmes to explore broader career options.