Career Advice Job fairs and Events

Students who attended the Career Forum say it taught them about the realities of working life

Calvin Ko

Meeting and talking to representatives from different companies and organisations was one of the main highlights of the Career Forum for Calvin Ko, a third-year, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) marketing student.

Ko was particularly impressed with the range of exhibitors representing a diverse cross-section of industry sectors and professions. “It would take a long time searching the internet and looking at company websites to gain a fraction of the information it was possible to get in just a couple of hours at the Career Forum,” notes Ko.

Importantly, he said there was no replacement for hearing about what companies require from job applicants, and what they offer in terms of career prospects, first-hand at the Forum. “A question about a job offers leads on to a conversation, which means you get lot of details,” says Ko. “You don’t get that level of information when you correspond online,” he adds.

Even so, Ko expects his career journey to take him into the digital world, specifically the area of digital marketing. He has not yet decided on a career plan and said the Career Forum had given him the idea of gaining some experience with an employer before taking a job. Ko expects to become part of the “gig” economy, in which independent workers are contracted to organisations for short-term engagements.

“There is so much happening so quickly in the world of digital marketing, that the possibilities are growing all the time,” says Ko. China is a leader when it comes to the gig economy. According to AliResearch, the think tank affiliated with Alibaba Group Holdings, up to 400 million people in China could be self-employed members of the gig economy by 2036.


Ester Zhou

Ester Zhou was attracted to the Career Forum by the opportunity to take part in the Young Marketer of Tomorrow competition, and to be interviewed for a place on the Shadow a CEO Programme.  

Zhou, a first-year accounting and finance student at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), said the Career Forum provided a unique opportunity to gain experience. “Our team didn't expect to win the Young Marketer of Tomorrow competition, but we were confident we would gain useful experience from taking part,” says Zhou, who found out about the Shadow a CEO programme during a Young Marketer of Tomorrow workshop and briefing session.

The Shadow a CEO programme is designed to provide students and recent graduates with a real-life taste of what it takes to lead a company. Zhou says she was keen to discover the “characteristics” that CEOs possess that allow them to connect leadership, clear decision making, and influence. “Being zero distance from a CEO would be a wonderful opportunity to ask questions at the same time that they actually make decisions,” notes Zhou.

Zhou does not spurn the wisdom and advice she receives from career advisers and her professors. But as motivated self-starter, she has plans to use her academic know-how to join the swelling ranks of young entrepreneurs looking to shape their own careers by establishing her own businesses. This member of the “self-service” generation describes herself as an “internet savvy” member of “generation YouTube”, and has already taken her first entrepreneurial steps by posting videos of her baking and making desserts online. “I intend to explore different business possibilities,” says Zhou.


Fong Yeuk Ka

Fong Yeuk-ka, a third-year student studying marketing at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), says the Career Forum offered a prime opportunity to browse and discover, as well as obtain information, career advice and guidance.

Fong says she was interested in discovering as much as she could about different types of jobs, industry sectors and employers, while keeping an open mind about her future career options. She was surprised to find a diverse number of companies and organisations providing information at the same event. “Every business uses marketing, so it was a good opportunity to find out about the career opportunities they offer,” Fong says.

For example, she was able to learn that as a marketing trainee she could gain experience working in different   areas of a business to build up an overall picture of the organisation. That in turn would strengthen her marketing skills and knowledge. “We cover these topics at university, but they really come to life when you hear employers explaining how they use what you have learned to market their business,” notes Fong.

 Fong said the Career Forum not only provides information about the type of career opportunities available, it allows young people to explore whether they want to work in a particular industry or profession. Admitting that she regularly looks at marketing strategies with a critical eye, Fong says the time she spent browsing at the Career Forum had shown her new ways to use social media as a marketing tool. “Attending the forum has given me fresh ideas,” says Fong.

Lau Hoi Wai


It will be another three years before Lau Hoi-wai will be actively looking for a job, but the first-year marketing student at CityU still found the Career Forum provided her with valuable insights to help her consider future career possibilities.

With her broader long-term interests focused on digital marketing, Lau said it was thought-provoking to see how much, or how little, companies and organisations represented at the Career Forum use digital marketing. "Even though I am not looking for a job, it was worthwhile talking to different companies to find out what they do, what they offer, and how they operate,” Lau says. She was able to gain a better overall picture of how her university studies can be applied to different industries at the Career Forum. “I could see how theory could be turned into practice,” says Lau.

She added that joining the Young Marketer of Tomorrow competition was also a worthwhile learning experience. “Our team discovered that we have quite a bit of room for improvement. But we were able to try out some of the ideas we have developed from our studies,” Lau explains. She thinks every opportunity to learn about the reality of work is valuable, and says talking to recruitment experts about how to make a good impression with a CV led to knowledge she can use in the future.