Career Advice Job fairs and Events

Career Forum October 2019

Demonstrating Classified Post’s continuous commitment to helping students and fresh graduates explore their horizons and build a brighter career future, the Career Forum is highly regarded by businesses and jobseekers alike.

With over 20 premium employers offering more than 3,000 top-notch jobs, the 12th Classified Post Career Forum will be held today at the Conference Hall, Hong Kong Productivity Council, Kowloon Tong from 11am-5pm.

With a wide range of industries represented, jobseekers can explore where career paths might lead to at different firms and get details about trainee programmes and internships. Even for those still in education, learning about the latest job market trends directly from employers undoubtedly provides valuable information for future career planning. Among those firms attending the Career Forum are the world’s leading airline catering company, Gate Gourmet, and information services firm AlphaSights, both of which will deliver unique industry insights and details of job opportunities offered for fresh graduates.

The Career Forum may take place in a relaxed, informal setting but it’s actually a great opportunity to practice speaking with human resources teams and find out what they are looking for before rushing off that job application. By engaging in informal discussions with company representatives, job seekers can showcase what they have to offer as potential future employees. Much more than an information gathering exercise, this is the chance to sell yourself to potential employers, so be prepared to ask some thought-provoking questions, have some copies of your CV to hand and dress to impress.

Another reason that look your best is that Forum attendees can enjoy a free portrait photo taking service at the event once they have completed an online registration. With many firms requiring such photos for internships and training programmes, they are always useful for prospective job seekers. Another feature on the busy Career Forum agenda is a briefing session outlining the key details of the Classified Post Hackathon contest, a 24-hour competition held over 18 & 19 October that provides a high-profile platform for students and recent graduates to showcase what they can create by brainstorming ideas with teammates.

Organised by Classified Post in association with premium partner Tap & Go, the mobile payment subsidiary of HKT, the Classified Post Hackathon contest enables participants to demonstrate to the judges how well they can work under pressure, along with their technical capabilities and business sense. Teams consisting of three to five university students will be battling it out for a place in the final round, with final presentations, judging and prize presentations, taking place on 19 October.

The event will be held at the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park’s (HKSTP), which will provide a secure and experimental environment with open datasets acting as the trusted data gateway for developers and business partners to accelerate innovation, according to Peter Yeung, head of electronics & ICT clusters, Smart City Platform. Through events like hackathons, HKSTP helps nurture a new generation of innovators such as startups and SMEs to thrive in a data-driven economy and deliver a genuine opportunity for self-growth and skill development, he says.

Another institution supporting the Classified Post Hackathon is Faculty of Business, PolyU, which says participants shouldn’t simply focus on winning but also enjoy the experience of taking part and make the most of the learning process. Participants may be surprised at what they can achieve within a limited time-frame as they brainstorm with fellow team members before delivering the final prototype.

Mastering the Knowledge Game with AlphaSights

Those keen to get the first foot on the ladder of the global research industry should take note that information services firm AlphaSights will be sharing details of its client service associate role at the upcoming career forum. With nine offices around the world, its clients are decision makers at major corporations, investment funds, strategy consultancies and non-profits. “We are part of the information service industry and provide knowledge search to our clients. The whole market continues to grow rapidly as clients’ demand for fast access for knowledge is increasing,” says regional recruitment manager Joanne Lee.

With a focus on delivering premium client service, new AlphaSights employees go through a one-week onboarding training programme, AlphaCamp, which covers different sessions including project management, research and compliance training. New recruits are additionally assigned to a trainer, who will show them best practices and support their on-the job-training before they begin their new role, says Lee.

Students from all disciplines and degrees are welcome to apply for positions at AlphaSights, she says. In terms of the skills and experience that the firm is keen to see in prospective employees, Lee says, “We are looking for ambitious, driven individuals who want to work in a fast-paced international environment. We are also looking for people who possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, research and commercial acumen, project management and prioritisation skills.”

Ambitious graduates should take note that there are some promising potential career paths for graduates at the firm. “We have a fast career track at AlphaSights. Associates will have a steep learning curve in their role, and they will be eligible to apply for the manager role after two years upon successful completion of the programme.” It takes between three and five years to become eligible for the vice president elevation, she adds.

As a fast-growing company, the firm is constantly taking on new recruits, with intake across the year in January, March, May, July and September. “The application process for our 2020 intake has already kicked off, and we are hiring on a rolling-basis. The whole interview process consists of three rounds — a first round with the recruitment team; second round with the client service team, which we refer to as the project & behavioural round, and a final round with the leadership team,” says Lee.

Gate Gourmet Caters to Keen Graduates

The heady heights of airline catering offers plenty of opportunities for driven, hard-working graduates, says human resources manager Nic Tang, who elaborates that it will be sharing information about its Operations Graduate Program alongside office & operations vacancies that may interest fresh graduates and young job seekers at the upcoming Career Forum.

Those looking to work for an industry leader should take note that Gate Gourmet is the largest airline catering company globally, says Tang. “Graduates will be provided with a golden opportunity for their personal growth and career development under a fast-moving but well-established environment.”

Indeed, the company is quick to embrace new trends such as passengers’ demands for more diversified meal choices. “As passengers have different requests about the in-flight meal, we offer more choices and special meals for airline companies to cater to their needs.”

Another big trend is addressing customers’ high expectations around hygiene. “Due to the weather in Hong Kong and the threat of food contamination, we need to modify and update our hygiene standards from time to time and conduct regular training to educate our staff so as to maintain our hygiene standard,” he says.

Upon their joining date, all new employees will go through a full-day of orientation that covers an introduction to the company and its human resources policy, its policies on hygiene, a unit tour, and a module covering safety & security. After that, the employees will take part in on-the-job training conducted by departmental mentors, Tang elaborates.

For some administrative positions, Gate Gourmet prefers to take on fresh graduates with related disciplines like Business Administration and Accountancy. For other operational positions, it welcomes students from all disciplines to apply, he confirms.

In terms of the skills and experience required from applicants interested in working for Gate Gourmet, Tang says it is looking for applicants equipped with excellent communication skills and an outgoing personality, particularly those applying for operational positions such as Operations Graduate Trainees and Shift Leaders in packing departments. Applicants with internship or part-time experience for at least half year before graduation would be preferable, he says.

Graduates completing the Operations Graduate Program will be offered supervisory-grading positions if the employees meet the company’s expectation. For other administrative and operational positions, it offers opportunities for promotion every year based on performance.

Gate Gourmet is looking for candidates who are self-motivated and open-minded with a “can-do” attitude, characters who are prepared to roll up their sleeves, says Tang. “Airline catering is a unique and dynamic industry. We are looking forward to seeing new and energetic graduates join us.”