Classified Post Career Forum highlights: Former Hong Kong Electric graduate trainees shared their early career experiences
Right after he finished his electrical engineering degree at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2011, Billy Choy Tsz-chun joined Hong Kong Electric (HKE) as a graduate trainee.
Now an engineer II in the company’s transmission and distribution division, Choy told the forum he was impressed with the effort HKE put into furthering the development of its young employees.
“During the two-year training programme, I got to work in various divisions within the company,” he said. “Every trainee is well-supported with a mentor who will help him or her fit in with the company and keep track of their learning progress. My mentor gave me useful advice on how to develop my career.”
He said that he was recently given the opportunity to rotate from his current department – construction and maintenance – to operations. “The experience helped me learn a great deal about the various fields in engineering. At the end of the year, I will be given another chance to widen my horizons – a three-week trip to UK Power Networks, a sister company of HKE.”
Jacqueline Chan Yee-tak, environmental engineer III in the corporate development division, has also had overseas experience at HKE. She worked for a month at a power plant in Thailand and was inspired by the experience.
“It is great to be immersed in a management culture that is completely different from Hong Kong, even though it is the same industry.”
Chan said is it a common misconception that engineers are all about numbers and technical work. She spends time on environmental assessment reports, but at the same time, she also does plenty of presentations and runs exhibitions promoting green energy.
She advised graduate trainees to keep an open mind. “You will be moving to different departments and meeting a lot of people – it is important to listen to different people with different perspectives. Be an active learner and ask lots of questions.”
HKE’s general manager of human resources, Dennis Wu, explained that the company is not just looking for engineers.
“We are keen to hire arts and business graduates for departments like customer service and public relations, and offer various roles for graduates,” he said.
Choy added that when he first joined the company, he was amazed some of his colleagues had been there 30 or 40 years. He said he soon found out that HKE offers a lot of different experiences for engineers so they will never get bored doing the same all the time. He also pointed out that HKE wants its staff to have a good work-life balance and organises interest groups for them. The offices are equipped with recreational facilities, including a badminton court, gym and karaoke room to let staff blow off steam. Staff are also encouraged to do volunteer work.