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For university students excited by the challenge of developing creative ways to market products and services, planning marketing campaigns and studying consumer behaviour, the Classified Post Young Marketer of Tomorrow competition provides an ideal opportunity to showcase creative skills along with technical capabilities and business acumen.

Organised by Classified Post in association with Tap & Go, a mobile payment subsidiary of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service, a briefing session will take place at today’s Career Forum outlining the key details of the Young Marketer of Tomorrow contest. The Contest is open to teams consisting of two to four university students from any academic discipline or field of study to work to a brief that calls for marketing solutions that cover entrepreneurship and financial management. Participating teams have until 25 March to submit their outline plans ahead of the live presentations, final rounds of judging and prize presentations, which will take place on 31 March. Presentations can be delivered in either Cantonese or English. Winning teams and runners-up will receive cash cheques, trophy’s and certificates.

Each team’s marketing plan will be assessed on different factors, including its operational and technological viability, the effectiveness and business-results driven nature of the plan, the team’s creativity and innovation, and the attractiveness of the marketing opportunity. In addition, the judges will pay attention to each team’s market sense and insight, their ability to visualise concepts, and their ability to articulate a focused strategy and the persuasiveness of the marketing pitch.

HKT believes participating in the Young Marketer of Tomorrow competition will enable aspiring young marketers to gain a hands-on feel for the fast-growing marketing industry and encourage them to explore possible career options. The contest not only provides an opportunity to gain exposure to the real-life world marketing, but also a chance to pick up practical marketing lessons from the judges and senior marketing professionals. During pre-competition briefing sessions, Tap & Go executives will provide participants with details about the emerging finance, payment and technology trends shaping the mobile payment industry.

Within the considerations of the brief, Tap & Go has set Young Marketer of Tomorrow contestants the challenge of identifying a new and unique value proposition that differentiates the company from its competitors in local mobile payment market. What the company is looking for are ideas that go beyond generic marketing or promotion plans, and participants who come up with actual deliverables, concrete and feasible ideas that can help Tap & Go stand out from the stiff competition. Instead of focusing on “gimmicks”, the marketing campaign plan needs to be actionable and cost-effective. As a new HKT business unit, Tap & Go embraces the creativity and agility of Hong Kong’s younger generation. As a user-centric mobile wallet company that targets the younger segment of the market, Tap & Go believes that co-organising the Young Marketer of Tomorrow contest will enable the company’s managers to interact directly with university students to better understand their expectations and user behaviour relating to digital financial products. From this real-life business case competition, the company can gain some fresh ideas and insights that can contribute to our future business development plans.

As mobile payments become increasingly integrated into daily life, Tap & Go is committed to bring financial inclusion across all Hong Kong people demographics through continuous innovation and service excellence. At the same time, the mantra that “change is a constant” is a statement tailor-made for the marketing profession, where fast evolving digital technologies and shifts in the needs and motivations of customers put marketers at the epicentre of leveraging creativity, data and business insights to engage with customers and drive business growth. Digital marketing is constantly evolving, trends, tactics and technology change quickly, and as marketers, we need to change with them. Marketers should never stop acquiring new ideas.

Young marketers, like any young professionals will inevitably want to make an immediate impact in their workplace. In fact, most marketers learn while on the job, and continue to learn new skills and upgrade existing skills throughout their career. Examples can include enhancing foundation skills such as writing proficiency, improving spoken languages, expanding business intelligence and staying current with data analytics skills. Staying up to date with social media trends and embracing new technologies is also important. Great marketers look beyond today’s to-do list, so they can envision where the brand or product should be in the near and far future.

Marketers need to be compelling story tellers. With the marketing profession engaging with numerous stakeholders, colleagues and the public, strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential. A typical marketer spends a lot of time collaborating with graphic and web designers, market researchers, event coordinators and various service providers. It is also typical for marketing professionals to manage multiple projects while taking on the role of project manager and financial planner — often working to tight deadlines. The ability to multi-task, prioritise and remain calm under pressure is paramount.

When it comes to recruiting marketing talent, in addition to academic performance, Tap & Go looks for individuals who are curious and eager to absorb new knowledge, particularly in the areas of fintech and the mobile payment industry. Fresh graduates, just setting out on their career path and lacking workplace experience, can make a strong impression with their extra circular achievements, including experience gained through internships, team activities and service in the community activities. As a fast-growing business unit in a competitive business environment, the company is keen to recruit talent that can deliver meaningful contributions to the company. They look for candidates that not only have textbook knowledge, but also practical skill sets and an entrepreneurial mindset. A flexible mindset, adaptability matched with critical thinking and the drive to explore the unknown are also desirable traits. They look for self-motivated achievers with the capacity to be good listeners, team players as well as strong communicators, and most importantly, inexhaustible appetite for learning.


Getting ahead in the pharmaceutical world

Headquartered in Hong Kong, APT Pharma focuses on the manufacturing, fabricating or processing of drugs in pharmaceutical preparations for human or veterinary use.

In order to support the expansion of the company, it will be attending the Career Forum to find high calibre candidates to fill the roles of quality control technician, laboratory assistant, quality assurance officer, quality assurance assistant and part-time QC technician, says assistant human resources officer Kaven Yam. She adds that recent graduates are encouraged to apply for these roles, and not just those with experience.

While working in the pharmaceutical industry is not without its challenges, it can also be rewarding. The pharmaceutical landscape is constantly changing thanks to advancements in health technology, and graduates get the chance to apply their knowledge and skills directly in this industry, says Yam.

Asked to elaborate on current trends within the pharmaceutical industry, she says biosimilars (copycat drugs made using an innovator’s research data) and biologics (drugs manufactured using living micro-organisms, plants or animal cells) both represent a major opportunity in the future. “With rising cost pressures in the healthcare system for the treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases alike, there will be a growing demand for high quality and clinically substantiated alternatives.”

Successful candidates in any of the aforementioned positions will receive on-the-job training and will be required to go on training courses related to their position to ensure a smooth entry into working at APT Pharma. “On-the-job training helps [new recruits] familiarise themselves with their duties and correlates their knowledge, skills and abilities with the duties,” says Yam.

Internal and external training courses are offered to successful applicants. “For internal courses, we make sure our employees fully understand and follow the safety guidelines when they are working in the production area.” If employees are keen to pursue specific knowledge within the pharmaceutical industry, APT Pharma will sponsor them to take courses provided by professional associations.

In terms of skills, applicants interested in working for APT Pharma will be in a strong position if they have knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. A good command of written and spoken in English and Chinese is also required, while candidates with a higher diploma or above in chemistry, food technology, pharmaceutical studies or related discipline are preferred.

Those thinking of their long-term job prospects at APT Pharma should note that the company places great importance on the career development of all of its employees, says Yam. “We will review and promote an employee where there is evidence of potential to undertake increased responsibilities and where circumstances permit. They can be promoted from entry level to senior level, and then from senior level to managerial level,” she says.

Yam says APT Pharma is always looking for candidates who are willing to learn and grow with the company, and to this end it offers a lucrative package to employees. “We offer competitive fringe benefits including medical insurance, a five-day work week, overtime pay, performance bonus and annual leave starting from 12 days.”


Grooming Future Leaders at Dachser

Looking to get ahead in logistics? Then consider approaching Dachser at the career forum, a family-owned multinational German company that is always on the look-out for talented candidates to join its management trainee programme in Asia Pacific. Successful recruits will be equipped with the necessary training and mentoring to assume their role as future business leaders, according June Chung, head of human resources and administration, Dachser Air and Sea Logistics Asia Pacific.

Demanding yet effective training is part of the corporate culture at Dachser, and the international management trainee programme in Asia Pacific delivers an attractive proposition for future logistics leaders. The scheme not only offers a two-year trainee education but also incorporates permanent employment thereafter.

While logistics is often below the radar of young professionals and potentials, it’s actually the city’s biggest industry, contributing more than 20 per cent to Hong Kong’s GDP. As Hong Kong’s largest industry, it is of course a major employer and offers a wide range of job options for graduates, and the handling of global supply chains provides numerous jobs in sales, air and sea freight, HR and marketing.

As with many industries, the digitalisation of processes is constantly driving the logistics industry, and Dachser needs dedicated and well-educated IT and business processes experts to support its in-house developed IT systems and business processes. Some worry that digitalisation will have a negative effect on employment, but Chung stresses that people are essential to successfully design processes and apply technologies in everyday life.

Understanding trends within worldwide supply chains, and giving advice to customers when external factors like severe weather conditions, political decisions or trade tariffs between countries which disrupt or change the flow of goods is a key task for the Dachser sales crew, she adds.

To fast track them on the path to management success, graduate trainees receive executive coaching and guidance from department heads and managers, attend internal and external classroom training — and get the chance to demonstrate their potential via projects and delivering presentations.

All activities aim to provide management trainees with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills and experience to establish a solid foundation for a successful career within Dachser. “We prepare them to solve complex problems, manage projects, to learn networking skills and meet the continuous challenges in our industry,” she says. The programme covers technical knowledge and soft skills and sees trainees rotating through the major business functions across Dachser Asia Pacific countries for on-the-job training, spending three months in each department.

The company welcomes Bachelor or Master degree holders from any discipline who are keen on building a career in the logistics and shipping industry. Those hoping to impress at interview should note that the company is looking for excellent presentation and interpersonal skills, and candidates that are independent, self-motivated, confident and mature. On a more practical note, they should possess excellent numeric sense and good analytical skills. Flexible, eager to face challenges and able to work under pressure, successful candidates must be willing to travel for extended periods and have a good command of written and spoken English; an additional second language is preferred.

Today’s graduates expect to know what’s in store for them if they reward a company with their loyalty, and graduate trainees will gain well-rounded experience, knowledge and network in all the core functions of a logistics company if they get accepted onto the management trainee programme. After two years’ job rotation, trainees are placed in a department based on their strengths, job openings and individual preferences.

As a family-owned company, a strong corporate culture and profound values characterise Dachser’s daily work and interactions, and it is committed to employees’ long-term development. While Dachser is a global brand and multinational player, Chung offers assurance that it remains a very grounded company with approachable management, and new recruits are encouraged to bring in their ideas.