Career Advice Job fairs and Events

Discover a Better Future

Before embarking on the journey to discover a better future, it is essential to lay a sound foundation by creating a personal brand. That is the core message of an innovative video marketing competition designed for tertiary-level students.

The “Discover a Better Future” competition, organised by Classified Post in conjunction with premium partner MetLife Hong Kong, challenged students to identify and showcase creative and effective ways of building a personal brand. They did this by collaborating on the production of innovative two-minute videos. The three-month event also included team-building activities and training sessions for both participants and mentors, with the final taking place in May.

Eva Wong, general manager of MetLife Hong Kong, noted that discovering a better future is something that should matter to all of us.

“We selected this core message because undergraduates will soon join the workforce,” she said. “They will go through a process of self-discovery during which they need to identify their real passion and optimise their positioning in order to unleash their full potential in their future careers.”

Doing that entails finding answers to questions about what they want and how to achieve their short- and long-term goals and aspirations. It also means finding ways to remain true to oneself while striving for success, and knowing how to attract the right kind of attention and recognition along the way.

It is often noted that members of the younger generation, particularly those born after 2000, like to be seen and to receive acknowledgement for what they have done. That applies equally when it comes to job-seeking and work, and it explains the popularity of social media among this age group.

“This also accounts for the importance we attach to personal branding in our people development programmes,” Wong said. “We believe individuals will be successful, regardless of their field or position, when they excel at personal branding. That is because, when you look for a job, the main thing is to sell yourself. For personal branding, the first step is self-discovery, after which we have to learn to convey our brand consistently and effectively.”

Wong added that the aim of the competition was to inspire and instruct young people in this respect and to encourage the exchange of ideas. This sharing of ideas is especially important because Hong Kong’s economy is experiencing a period of significant change and disruption caused by advances in technology and shifts in the city’s demographic profile.

MetLife Hong Kong is keen to understand how these changes affect the younger generation and find ways to harness their creativity, enhance collaboration, and help them to fully realise their potential.

To that end, the competition was also designed to promote interaction and collaboration between the company’s agency managers and participating students. Each team was assigned an agency leader to act as mentor over the course of three months. Each mentor offered practical guidance and highlighted the core values central to MetLife Hong Kong’s corporate culture. These include teamwork, trust, creativity, the importance placed on personal relationships, and ensuring a happy workplace.

As preparation, the agency managers attended a training session for mentors, which covered everything from the latest slang used by young people to the mindset adjustment needed to encourage students and younger colleagues to share their ideas. The mentors were also told about the importance of keeping an open mind and being ready to listen.

“They learned about cross-generational communication, which is essential in optimising collaboration, tapping into individual potential, and enhancing overall productivity,” Wong said.

The benefits of this approach were evident in the videos shortlisted for the competition’s semi-final and final stages, which were held on May 25. The six teams which made the final were also required to give a presentation and answer questions from the judges.

“The shortlisted videos were all highly entertaining,” Wong said. “I was very impressed by the way the teams used diverse styles and techniques to convey the core message about personal branding so effectively.”

The winning team was 46 (New-Yorkers), who took home a cash prize of HK$40,000. Their representative, Vivien Ng, who is studying law and legal service at City University of Hong Kong, thanked the team’s mentor who helped clarify the definition of personal branding and suggested the overall direction for their video. “She provided practical guidance and often gave instant responses through WhatsApp,” Ng said.

Fellow team member Wallence Tsoi, who studies banking and finance at Hong Kong Shue Yan University, felt the presentation workshop was particularly useful. “It took a lighthearted approach and explained the skills and techniques we needed through games,” he said.

First runner-up this year was team 82 (DABF) who received a cash prize of HK$24,000. They opted to feature an insurance agent in their video to differentiate themselves from others, according to their spokesman Gordon Wong, who studies banking and finance at the University of Hong Kong. “We used this character to articulate the main points and address the stereotypical issues,” he said. “We also suggested ways to leverage personal branding to be a good insurance agent.”

Second runner-up and winner of the “Most Liked Video” award was team 38 (Aspire), who claimed a cash prize of HK$10,000. Team member Sultan Zhutkobayev, a marketing student at The Education University of Hong Kong, said the key was learning how to work well together and let everyone use their strengths. “We arranged an effective division of labour based on individual team members’ expertise,” he said.

Reflecting on the success of the event, Eva Wong of MetLife Hong Kong said the company recognises the importance of developing skill sets and next-generation talent. “Selling is an art form that can be applied in any field and position,” she said. “It’s about influencing others’ behaviour and decision-making. It depends on effective personal branding, which is the foundation for any kind of selling.”