Sharmini Wainwright is managing director of Michael Page & Page Personnel Hong Kong. With over 13 years’ experience with PageGroup, she oversees specialist recruitment across finance, financial services, sales & marketing, legal and more.
University graduate from Canada looking for a career change
Dear Career Doctor,
I have been reading/ buying Classified Post every Saturday for almost a year :)
I just turned 27 and I feel old and thinking seriously about a career change.
I graduated with a BA in Recreation, Sports and Tourism in 2009 from a top 4 University in Canada. Half of my life were in Canada.
Recently I am working as a part time tutor at a local Hong Kong secondary school. I am deciding to become a teacher and not sure what path/ courses to study first: full time PGDE ( Postgraduate Diploma in Education) for 1 year at local 3 universities or a master major in English?
I am not sure should I apply primary or secondary route in PGDE (because of the current HK economic- less secondary students and more primary students), and if I want to teach English which universities has the best word-of-mouth program/ prospective employer likes to see)
Also, what can I really do with my first degree in Hong Kong? I appreciate for your help, thank you.
Posted Friday 21st December 2012 09:13:00 PM
Hi Sharmini Thomas, Thank you so much for your expert advice!! I have subscribed SCMP Daily print/ internet package since you replied me :) I used to buy it at a convenience store. Yes you bet- I am thinking and planning for a transition in my career and am open to different opportunities. Community working environment suits me better. I have worked in some corporate/ business setting before, and would like to ask you what the best way to deal with office politics. I do not like it at all, and I am way more "westernized" than a local HongKonger. There was a SCMP article back on December 1, 2012 Sat B4 Section Careers " Taking the Road Back Home to a New Future". I have lots of commons with "Maggie"- in the article mentioned. Yes Sharmini, I prefer primary students because they are more obedient than the secondary students, and I am able to guide them in a right direction. Also, I find that it's very hard to change an attitude, behavior & mind of the secondary students once they grow up. I took some event & volunteer management courses back in University. Would you please advise me how I can get into Events Management (sporting events) & Marketing roles with tourist attractions. I have looked up at the Disneyland, Ocean Park and some sports committees' websites before. Frankly, I am also interested in the radio/ media/ communication (reporter) field. Is it possible that I can use my BA in Recreation, Sport and Tourism to give it a try? I am looking forward to hearing from you soon, Sharmini. Thank you, Banana Girl
Posted Tuesday 20th November 2012 02:59:29 AM
Hi Career Doctors I am looking for a suitable Post Graduate programmes after M.Sc electronics from one of the top university in Canada. My preference is for Oil / Petroleum or environmental studies or something else wherein I can get admitted based on my qualification and also could be a good career option to stay in Canada for long term. Additionally would be a option for me to switch the career to a different field altogether as got 14 Years of experience in telecom field. Thanks
Sharmini Thomas - Career Doctor
Posted Tuesday 13th November 2012 08:51:00 PM
Hi Banana Girl, Thanks for your question. It appears you are evaluating the options you have to transition your career. You should know that pursuing a path into teaching and education as an experienced professional is more common that you think. Many people adopt this change for the love of getting out of corporate life and investing in something that has a community element to it. You will need to evaluate the various qualification options for what suits your needs, however clearly a Postgraduate Diploma will be more directly suitable qualification that will entitle you to teach, rather than acquiring a Masters with a major in English. Making the choice on whether to teach at secondary or primary level really depends on you as an individual and what type of audience (primary or secondary children) you feel you will be able to engage, and be engaged with, best. I would not be too worried about the impact that the economy in Hong Kong is having on the teaching profession because there will always be a need for teachers in both categories. Regarding your Bachelor degree, the most obvious way to combine this with the career path you want to take in teaching would be a transition to Physical Education or teaching sports. I have seen other individuals with a similar qualification branch out into Events Management (sporting events), Personal Training and Marketing roles with tourist attractions. Best of luck with assessing all the career opportunities within teaching that are available to you. If you have any further quires please leave a comment below. Sharmini.
Posted Sunday 11th November 2012 04:04:00 AM
Hi Oswald, Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!! You bet, I agree that education field is better than hotel/ recreation in a long run. Shifts work and promotion/career path is challenging in hotel/ recreation field. What do you think about the pros & cons teaching primary and secondary school. Ya I decide to apply for PGDE this coming December- like you said is more valuable :) I will apply for HKU, CU, BU,& HKIED ( I live in Hong Kong Island, so HKU is my first choice in terms of the school location). I definitely want to be successful in the admission interviews- Oswald, any tips/ advice on how to prepare for that interview. Again, thanks for your help! Banana Girl
Posted Sunday 11th November 2012 03:29:00 AM
Dear Sam, Thanks for your info! I have done that MBTI test when I was back in high school- you right, I should do that again to see any changes. Wow I am very surprised that lots of PhD holders teach middle school in Hong Kong! It sounds competitive to get into PGDE- any advices on how to prepare for the admission interviews, thanks :) Banana Girl
Posted Saturday 3rd November 2012 09:52:00 AM
Hi Banana Girl, I just come across your question and maybe I can share some of my experience with you. Based on my HR experience in hotel and education field, I can tell you education is definitely has better prospect in the future. If you want to develop your career in education, go for PGDE is a wise choice that it is more valuable than MA in English. Although the remuneration is not very high as a teacher, but at least it is better than hotel or recreation. If you really interested in PGDE, CU has good reputation about their PGDE program. Hope my experience can help you. Good luck! Oswald
SHAM Sai Wah
Posted Tuesday 30th October 2012 09:03:00 PM
Dear Banana Girl, Why not try MBTI (self-assessment/aptitude test for career development)before pursuing your first degree in HK? Moreover, regrettably to tell you that quite a lot of middle school teachers of HK were PhD holders and below 30 !!! BR Sam