Career Advice Career Doctor

Fresh graduate looking for a job


Dear career doctor,

I am graduating from a local university in HK and trying to look for a job.

You must have received a lot of letter saying that fresh graduates are confusing about their career planning. Unfortunately I am one of them. When I was looking for a job from internet, I see thousands of types of job industries and functions. And I feel so frustrated because I don’t have much knowledge about those industries, what they usually do and what are the natures of those job functions.

I am a mainland student, and I know my strength is my language. I speak native Cantonese and Mandarin, I am also very good at English speaking skill (well, lots of people told me I speak fluent English). Now I am graduating from a master degree in finance. I asked my program director for advice about job hunting and he suggested that I should not waste the master. But I think the master degree is only an extension of the Bachelor courses. (To be honest, I majored Economics during bachelor and Finance in master, I think I am just taking a year 5. And I didn’t learn a lot from the program and I don’t think a one-year program will qualify me in the finance industry.) But I don’t really understand the finance industry and I don’t want to go with the majority and just enter the industry without knowing what it really does.

I am interested in Human Resources function and especially the recruitment part and compensation and benefit part. However, lots of people says “HR and Admin are not the post with bright future because of the simple duty they need to apply.” And “From HR you cannot earn as much money as you do finance or sales.” I am so tired of listening to these opinions and I think HR could be very interesting (maybe you would say I am too naïve).

I want to join a big international or multinational company, preferably an American based company because I really like the American culture in doing business.  I think their training would be the best for a graduate student and most important is that the people working in the bigger international companies with good employee quality.

I am also interested in doing internal finance in a big company because I think it needs lots of professional skills, maybe more than HR (this thought was always agreed by others).

So here is my question (finally). Could you provide me some advice about job hunting? Do you agree with some of my opinions that a bigger firm is better for a fresh graduate’s career path in the future? I am considering to lower my expected salary, or work as an intern before the company turn me into the regular employee, do you think it is a good idea?

Also, where can I learn more about the industries and the nature of the job functions? And I would appreciate it if you can give me some advice about entering HR and finance.

Thank you very much for reading my letter and providing me suggestions.

Best regards,
Confused fresh graduate