Dear students and friends, On behalf of the career center, I am glad to pronounce the success of our annual forum

for the year 2006. This year, the theme of our forum was ‘break and burn’. Break and burn what? We aimed to break down the traditional conception of a fixed relationship between your first degree and your future career and the importance of first degree, and burn away your worries by providing valuable reference on work in an area unrelated to their first degree. In the past, students often thought that their first degree was very important, in that it determined their future career. In the 21st Century, however, more and more fresh graduate are working in areas unrelated to their first degree, save for some professions such as lawyers, doctors and accountants which require professional qualification. Surveys show that nearly 90% of fresh graduates have applied or planned to apply for jobs that are unrelated to your degree although the majority of students still believe that their first degree is important or relevant to their future career. As to whether students think that it is difficult to find a job that is unrelated to their first degree, the result is that around 50% of the students think that it is not difficult to find such a job and have confidence in finding one, while the remaining 50% of the students are neutral or of the view that it is not easy to find one and are not that confident in finding one. Similarly, approximately 50% of the students think that employers are willing to employ a fresh graduate who did not study the discipline related to the job while the remaining 50% are neutral or of the contrary view.

In face of increasing competition and ever-changing market condition, what do you think are the main concerns for fresh graduates who may or may not embark on a career unrelated to their first degree? Four common obstacles have been identified as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. Bread or “Life”? Social norms: Peer & family pressure Passion Vs. Career Lack of knowledge or expertise in the field

In this year forum, we invited past graduates and experienced consultant to share with us their experience and to advise on how to tackle these obstacles in their pursuit of success. I am indebted to all our guest speakers- Breadianna, Fammy, Shun and Miss Mo- and I also thank you all for supporting and contributing to the great success of this year forum.

Irene Chan
Careers Centre Consultant

DETALIED SURVEY REPORT: 1. Did you apply or plan to apply for jobs that are unrelated to your degree? Nearly 90% of fresh graduates have applied or planned to apply for jobs that are unrelated to your degree - Yes: 46% - May be: 40% - No: 14% 2. Do you think it’s very difficult to find a job that’s unrelated to your degree? Around 50% of the students think that it is not difficult to find a job unrelated to their first degree while the remaining 50% of the students are neutral or of the view that it is not easy to find a job that is unrelated to their first degree - No: 50% - Neutral: 25% - Yes: 25%

3. Do you think employers are willing to employ a fresh graduate who did not study the discipline related to the job? Approximately 50% of the students think that employers are willing to employ a fresh graduate who did not study the discipline related to the job while the remaining 50% are neutral or of the contrary view - No: 27.5% - Neutral: 26.25% - Yes: 46.25% 4. Do you think the first degree is important / relevant to one’s future career? The majority of students still believe that their first degree is important or relevant to their future career - No: 29.1% - Neutral: 35:45% - Yes: 35.45% 5. Are you confident that you can find a job unrelated to your degree? Around 50% of students have confidence in finding a job unrelated to their first degree while the remaining 50% are not that confidence or of a neutral view - No: 23.75% - Neutral: 27.5% - Yes: 48.75% 6. What do you think are the main concerns for fresh graduates who may or may not embark on a career unrelated to their first degree? Top four obstacles: 1. Bread or “Life”? 2. Social norms: social status, peer and family pressure 3. Passion Vs. Career 4. Lack of knowledge or expertise in the field

“Bread” or “Life”?
Ms. Breadianna, also known as Breadie Queen, was our first distinguished guest speaker. She graduated from our university in 1995 and it only took her 10 years to become the CEO of Dreamy Breadie. Before sharing with us her wonderful insights about career and life, we even got to taste some of her cakes. They were so delicious! Our Breadie Queen started off by asking us the following question: Should we choose a well-paid job that we have no interest in or should we do something that we really enjoy? This is certainly not an easy decision to make. She then carried on with her talk about “Bread or Life”. First, she introduced us about Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Earnestly, she asked us not to be that money-minded. We should not let money and all those lower-order needs block our way. As a human being, we need to satisfy some of the higher-order needs, e.g. self-actualization and true happiness, in order to live a life. She was very enthusiastic throughout her speech. Upon her request, the attentive audiences shouted out loudly with her, “I am born to live but not to eat”, so as to reinforce the central theme of her speech that day.

Another question probed us, “Do you know what you want to do?” She told us that every one of us should have known what we wanted. Very often, we lack confidence in ourselves and deny our wants. We should have faith in our abilities. Lastly, she encouraged us to take a good grasp of our youth and start dreaming. “Think Big!” she exclaimed. In order to be a true dreamer, just by dreaming alone is not enough. We have to act it out. Her example about Dr. Lee Lok Sze, Rebecca struck us. Dr. Lee had been engaging in different types of occupations before being a polar scientist. “As long as our goals are meaningful and we have the guts to try out, we have already accomplished something,” Breadianna ended her speech by asking us not to be too mindful about what we could get in the end, “When you follow your own course, there are struggles and sacrifices, but you will not have to wait until you succeed to be happy. You are happy for you have lived!” The audiences were very thankful to Breadianna for giving us such a good reflection on our lives.

You are born to LIVE, not just to EAT!

Family Pressure!

Our second guest speaker of the day was Fammy, the current Chairlady of the Hong Kong Award for Young People, a non-governmental organization. She called herself Fammy because she loved her family. We are not sure if that is just a joke, but it was clear from her presentation that her family did have a big influence on her.

To start off, she recalled the days when she was a fresh graduate and her mom would scold her by not meeting the family expectations. Those expectations include mainly:

- The prestige that comes with a high income level - The need to continue family business - The expectation to carry on the family tradition - Other expectations that stem from the Chinese culture

To show that this is a common phenomenon, Fammy cited another example – Natalie, who again, is a victim of family pressure. Although her student card labelled her as a 2006 law graduate, Natalie actually preferred to become a jewelry designer where her interest and talent lie. But instead of choosing for herself, her family has made up her mind for her. She simply had no choice.

To ease her worries, Fammy told Natalie a story about a young man who wanted to become a musician, but was pressured by his family to become an accountant. Who was he? Elton John. Yes, the Elton John. There was an uproar from the audience when Fammy said his name! It seems that many people were surprised or filled with disbelief by the fact that Elton John almost became an accountant!

Further, to help Natalie gain family support, Fammy gave her 5 big tips to follow, which are also useful advice for fresh graduates who intend to pursue a career unrelated to their first degree. They are: 1) To have a track record of making sound decisions for yourself (a) If you are a short-term enthusiast, erase this impression from your parents. (b) Build your resume by joining student organizations, volunteer and part-time work. (c) Take part in competitions to show off your talents.) 2) To have a clear plan (a) Do research in the area of your interest. (b) Carefully prepared list of courses and sound financial projections. (c) Purpose is to minimize doubts of parents and to show that you have thought through problems. 3) To be determined (a) Have faith & confidence. (b) Stand firm when you are doubted. (c) Always a key to success in job hunting. 4) To be flexible (a) Be prepared to change course. (b) Look out for reality concerns. (c) Take a minor degree if possible 5) To try to be self-sufficient (a) Remove impression as a “child”. (b) Have more freedom and strength of your own. (c) Accomplish more.

Even if you think that it’s too late to remedy your track record or to make a clear plan, Fammy advised the audience that we should all be ready to step into society alone and be responsible for what we choose. She also emphasized that there is no need to worry about doing without family support, because one could always look to the community for help and encouragement.

In concluding her talk, Fammy clearly summarizes the 3 essences for breaking through family pressure:

• •


a good plan realistic goals

Passion VS Career

The third guest speaker was Ah Shun, who shared with us finding passion in our career. She wore a red t-shirt on that day and all audience could feel how passionate she was. Ah Shun was a drama instructor teaching at the Academy for Performing Arts (APA). She was being a director, actor, and playwright at the same time. We could say that ‘her life is full of drama’. Even her friends questioned her whether she would feel bored with drama. Surprisingly, Ah Shun admitted that drama is her life and she could not live without of drama. The audience could not expect Ah Shun had once studied dentistry and quitted it to study performing arts at the APA. The audience could feel that her life was dedicated to drama. Ah shun then further shared the story of her friend, Cheung Bo Wah, with us. The audience was influenced by Ah Shun and convinced that passion and career could co-exist.

Ah Shun pointed out that employers were looking for passionate candidates. She quoted an example of a college graduate, Rick Kryzinski, demonstrating a person lacked passion might not be able to sustain a job. Ah Shun held her fists very tight and stared at all audience to emphasize the importance of passion. Finally, Ah Shun advised the audience to find a job that meets their interests and to go for their dreams. Ah Shun then asked the audience to promise her not to give themselves any excuses. I could feel that the audience was moved by Ah Shun’s passion and inspired by her wonderful sharing.

Lack of knowledge / expertise in the field

The last guest speaker invited by Ms. Irene Chan was Miss Mo. She was the graduate of HKU in Chemistry in 1997. Training manager of McDonald’s was her job since graduation instead of any jobs related to Chemistry. She was called Expert Mo as she knows everything about the Catering Industry.

Today the speech on how to find a job unrelated to your first degree was delivered by her. Miss Mo was invited as the guest speaker as she was a good example who had a lack of knowledge in catering at the time she graduated.

Just when Ms. Chan introduced Miss Mo, Miss Mo was asked why she was still employed as a management trainee in McDonald’s after graduation despite having no knowledge in catering. The tension in the Career Forum was eased by Expert Mo’s sense-of-humor. She answered by asking the audiences did they think that she was recruited as a MT because of her beauty. This made all audiences laughed and then the truth was told by Expert Mo with her professional tone that she was employed just because she had all the qualities desired by McDonald’s.

This generated another question that made all the attendants of the Career Forum to think deeply. Impatience for Expert Mo’s answer on the desirable qualities that university graduates should have was shown by all participants after a brief discussion with their peers. Then all the common qualities desired by employers in Hong Kong today was listed especially transferable skills such as communication skills, leadership skills, problem solving skills, etc and personalities that suit the company culture such as values teamwork, being open, innovative and adaptive to changing environment, etc. After quoting the advices from two successful people in Hong Kong, the participants of the Career Forum was told by Expert Mo that two of her colleagues were invited to give advices to them. Then the audiences were once again amused by the hilarious Miss Mo as they were told by Miss Mo that although her two colleagues also had an irrelevant degree to catering, their career were not as successful as Expert Mo’s. The suggestions and advices given by Miss Mo’s colleagues were practical and useful such as join graduates sharing session for more updated information of the company and industry, do detailed research before applying the job and interview, participate in ECAs and find summer internships to equip you with knowledge and transferable skills, etc.

The speech delivered by Expert Mo was ended with a memorable quote:

“Don’t let your voice of self-diminishment haunts you! Don’t fear about not being good enough! Express yourself!”
The audiences, mostly final year students were deeply impressed by Miss Mo’s speech and notes were jotted by the participants during the delivery of speech. Finally, a big round of applause was given by the students as an appreciation to Miss Mo’s lively performance.

Summary by Ms Irene Chan, CEPC Consultant

Due to the overwhelming response, Ms. Irene Chan agreed to take some time to answer questions from the forum. The first question was:

Is first degree important for one’s future career?
Irene’s answer to this is that it is important that you have a degree, but the kind of degree is not so important. Be proud of the degree you have received and believe it has prepared you for successful work in any field. She told students not to worry about whether or not your degree exactly matches the description of the job that interests you, because you learn about your job by being a part of things. school. For instance, Irene learned everything she knows about business in CEPC, not in “Either you learn or you’re gone.”

Further, she fully agreed with Breadianna that, coming out of university, you are still fairly young, and that’s the best time to try new things. Don’t limit yourself and don’t let people limit you. Look at your skills, no matter what they are, and try to see how they could apply to different types of jobs. If your first few jobs are not your ideals, treat them as the opportunities for you to get real experience, to build up your profile and to explore what you really want. Even if you do not get the best at the start of your career, you at least get something out of it and that is better than an empty page in your life.

Moving on to the second question:

What does university education give us?
Irene briefly reminded the audience of the valuable tips given by Ms Mo on what employers are looking for from fresh graduates. So if employers are not looking for what degree you have, what, one may ask, does university education give us? Are we producing qualities in our graduates that will enable them to take on responsibility and solve problems that we cannot foresee; or, are we just training knowledgeable people who will become good technicians and analysts who lack the capacity to lead or address broader concerns? In Irene’s view, the whole object of education is, or should be, to develop the mind. learn. At university, you are learning how to University education is not going to give you a job.

All it does is to give you a set of attitudes and a set of ideas about work, about how information is used. A degree is not what makes you marketable. Employers won’t care what degree you have if you can do the job. The bottom line is – can you get the job done?

Lastly, Irene advised the students about the ‘Three Don’t’:

1. Don’t’ settle job for security:
Go for a situation that takes real advantage of your talents, not just one that happens to be readily available. This means you must enter the land of risk, look at different options, perhaps wait a bit longer, and suffer some anxiety. It’s worth the trouble.

2. Don’t take a job that under nourishes your spirit:
Look for a job where you feel the work is important, and makes a difference to someone- the kind of job you can talk about with pride when asked what you do. Long after you have established yourself in the job market, it is your spiritual bank account that will matter the most.

3. Don’t take a job for status alone:
Signing with a household name corporation or entering a “respectable” profession may be nice to talk about to your friends and family, but it doesn’t last if you chose that career largely for reason of identity. Look a little bit closer. Does the job fit who you are as a person? Are you challenged, maybe even inspired, by what goes on there, or is it just a place to hang your hat?

And that ends the 2006 Annual Careers Forum.

Please note: The above is a highlight of the 2006 Annual Careers Forum and is not meant to cover every detail mentioned during the talk. For a full coverage, students are encouraged to refer to the powerpoint file which is stored on the CD-rom in this package.

The personal sharings below are made by volunteers of the Careers Center who aided in the preparation of the 2006 Annual Careers Forum.

Vienne Luk
The career forum was successfully held on 10th May 2006. Honestly, we did not expect the forum could be that successful. Hard work really pays off. At first, it was really hard to “thematize” the talk. We had interviewed various people about their views on careers but it was difficult to link their stories together. Luckily, after further brainstorming, we ended up with our theme, to break and burn all those misconceptions about careers. The survey results are quite positive. Students nowadays are prepared to take on new challenges. They are ready to engage in jobs that are unrelated to their first degrees. In a way, it is the trend these days. University education is not providing us with any vocational training. We are just learning how to learn. It is more important for us to try out new challenges and learn from our own experience. Looking back in my three-year university life, I have no regrets. I am now fully prepared for any obstacles ahead. By doing research on the 4 obstacles, I took the chance to reflect on my own life. Making career choices is not easy, very often we will be carried away by many different circumstances in life, e.g. money, family pressure, and anything you name it. After preparing for the career forum, I have learnt how to be more focused on myself, to know what I really want. Things will not always turn out the way we want it to, we should strike a balance between our wants and the reality.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of my fellow group mates. I enjoy working with them, especially the “painful” brainstorming experience. We exchanged our own ideas, rebutted others and built our own on top of the ideas other had. It is a wonderful learning experience for me. Luckily, we did not argue. Also, I really appreciate the help Career Centre offered us. If you would like to seek career advice, go and have an appointment with Ms. Irene Chan. She is very laid-back and it is very comfortable talking to her. Another big thank you to Professor Yeung as well, thanks for suggesting the topic. We do not learn anything substantial, e.g. any particular career or any potential business, however, we have got a chance to stop and think about our lives. University is a place for us to get to know more about ourselves. After stepping out of the university, we will not have time to think. Finally, I get to talk to myself!

LAI Hiu Yeung, Ryanne
Introduction As part of the team at this year’s Annual Careers Forum, my tasks included making the powerpoint presentations, throwing out “crazy” ideas, as well as contacting and interviewing guests. I must thank my team members for bearing with me, and for being fun and productive at the same time!

The Major Challenges The biggest problem we faced during preparation was to decide on how to present our materials. We wanted students to enjoy the talk. After very many meeting sessions, and after crossing out a dozen plans, we have came up with our current presentation method which is interactive while not sacrificing the “meat” of the talk. The Most Memorable Moments However, the fruitfulness of this talk does not lie in what the audience sees – instead, it is what happens behind the scenes that us, as volunteers, got the most out of. Let me recount the two most memorable instances: Interview with the CEO of the HK Award for Young People Mr. Lai Pui Wing is the Chief Executive Officer of AYP Hong Kong division. He amazed me by his passion of serving in this NGO by constantly defining higher goals for himself. Among his spare time, he would dream about how to break world records, such as organizing the first ever canoeing competition which starts in HK and ends in Cheung Shar, Mainland. It became a reality in August 2000 upon the organization’s 40th anniversary. Moreover, he shared valuable experiences with us on what he looks for in a fresh graduate. He gave us an example which I cannot forget – during a job interview, a fresh grad suddenly fleshed out some posters made by herself about HKAYP. Although her art degree has nothing to do with the job, Mr. Lai was moved by her passion and gladly accepted her as an employee. Interview with Irene Chan Secondly, the interview with Ms. Irene Chan from the Careers Centre was especially unforgettable. At a point, she mentioned how she wanted to help the poor children in rural China. I also told her how I felt exactly the same when I went to Gansu in north-west China three years ago, and about my plan of giving up my career as a lawyer to pursue this ultimate goal of helping poor children in China in the future. It was a rare occasion where I really felt emotionally “connected” with someone on this topic. The tears that filled her eyes also filled up mine.

On the other hand, when we asked for Irene’s views on pursuing a career unrelated to one’s first degree, she did not reply but asked us in return: “What do you think a university should give its students?” After much discussion, we came to an agreement: “A university is only successful if its students know what they want to do in their lives after graduation.” This statement reminds me of what 粱文道 once said (sorry it is in Chinese): 放縱也是一種博雅教育 「古希臘晚期和羅馬帝國的時候就有 Liberal Education 的觀念。這種「原型博雅教育」在斯多葛派的影響下, 注意的不是學生「必須」獲取什麼,而是怎樣「解放」 學生。這裏所謂的「解放」 ,指的是把學生從凡俗的定 見之中解放出來,從一時一地的習尚之中解放出來, 從束縛著自己的常識之中解放出來。」 「我的出身,我在大學裏的生活方式,應該讓我更清 讓我更清 楚自己欠這個社會什麼。而這種反省的起點就是我離 楚自己欠這個社會什麼 開大學校門的那一刻,畢竟博雅教育的目的是培養有 一個自省能力的人。不是嗎?」 Indeed, this is what we lack in HK universities. Perhaps this is why many fresh graduates are unable to identify their goals in life. Perhaps those so-called university traditions or hall cultures are not helpful (or even damaging) to a student’s character-building. The 17th anniversary of the June-Fourth Tiananmen Massacre is around the corner. I wonder how many university students still care about it? Conclusion I am in debt to my wonderful colleagues and the many people whom I have interviewed for giving me this unforgettable experience. I would especially want to thank Natalie for letting me display her lovely jewelry designs on our powerpoint. More importantly, I would need to thank my great buddie – Bonnie Wong, who is a great team player and took up her duties responsibly (she’s always the fastest worker with a lot to contribute), despite the fact that she just had an operation in hospital and had not fully recovered yet! Thank you.

Jacqueline Fong
I have gained a lot through organizing and participating in the forum. My group mates and I encountered many obstacles during our preparation work. At first, we spent a lot of time on formulating the forum title. We had changed the forum title for a few times. Our objective was to hold a forum that could relate to matters that students were most concerned with. The most direct method to know their worries was to talk to them. After collecting their feedbacks, we set Break and Burn as our forum title. Then, we started to find the things we need to break and the ways to burn them. Questionnaires were made to ask the respondents to rank their top obstacles to their future career. Most of my group mates were from the Faculty of Law. It was difficult to distribute the questionnaires to students from the non-professional faculties in the beginning. We then solved this problem by giving out the questionnaires to students taking the course, Career Skills Training. The respondent base is broadened and we could make a better analysis. Besides friends, students taking the same courses as us can be one of our respondents. The second step was to discover the ways to solve the obstacles students encountered in making their career choice. We have done a lot of literature review, including Chinese and English publications. The cases happened in foreign countries were applicable to Hong Kong cases as well. They gave us a lot of valuable and helpful information. We should value the findings made by foreign countries in doing our research later.

Interview is another means to get the solutions to the obstacles. It provides a chance for us to ask follow-up questions and to get an answer that is directly related to our question. The CEPC consultant, Irene Chan, was very helpful in answering our queries. We got a lot of useful solutions and inspirations from her. I know there are many students who have a misconception that CEPC is just a place to provide job information. They do not know there are consultants stationed in the CEPC. Through organizing this forum, I can get to know more about the valuable resources of the CEPC and share them with my friends and classmates. Before the surveys and interviews were conducted, I always thought that first degree was very important and related to my future career. I would pursue my career in the financial industry and become a competent player in the field is my goal. I have seldom considered choices other than the financial industry. To my surprise, many respondents believed first degree was of little important to their future careers. The interviewees told us first degree was sometimes even unrelated to future career. They shared with us that what the meaning of career is. I am greatly inspired by the interviewees and I start to think about my career and future again. In order to lead a happy life, I would go for my dreams and consider a job that I have passion and interests in it. The forum was such a great success! I enjoy a lot throughout the whole process of the forum. Not only do me benefit from organizing the forum, participants gain a lot through attending the forum.

WONG Tin Wai Bonnie
As the volunteer helper of “Break and Burn – Annual Career Forum 2006”, I was responsible for gathering opinions from final year science students of HKU on obstacles in finding a career unrelated to their first degree by delivering questionnaires to them. The feedback given by my peers was that they were very excited about this coming career forum and they were glad that Career Centre could provide them with practical guidelines and advices on how to search for a job irrelevant to the first degree. As a final year Chemistry with Management student, I experienced the same kinds of difficulties as my friends --- since it is not easy to find a job related to science nowadays in Hong Kong, which is a city well known as a financial centre stresses on making money through business, how can I stand out from those who have knowledge in jobs such as financial consultant, management trainee of a logistics company, etc. directly related to their first degree? Besides giving out questionnaires to my friends in the Faculty of Science, I also interviewed two of the colleagues of my part-time job in Form 5, who were the Human Resources Manager and the First Assistant Manager of McDonald’s, Ms. Cindy Ma and Mr. Kenny Sun respectively. Both of them gave practical and useful suggestions for final year students which helped them well prepare for pacing their road to their desired career. They also told me that it was a good idea for HKU Career Centre to organize such a career forum because when they are studying their first degree, nobody gave them guidance on how to prepare themselves before start searching for jobs. This kind of forum undoubtedly was a useful aid to all final year students like me to equip themselves with qualities desired by employers before graduation, which in turn raised the chance of us being recruited by companies in Hong Kong as soon as we graduated from universities.

Through cooperation with other volunteers, which I learnt the value of teamwork and the importance of active interaction with teammates, “Break and Burn – Annual Career Forum 2006” was run perfectly on May 10, 2006 afternoon. Around three hundred final year students waited impatiently for the start of the forum and then, during their active participation, anxiety shown on their faces meant that they were very worried about not being able to find their desired career after graduation. Luckily, all of them left the Meng Wah Centre with satisfaction and relief on their faces at the end of forum. This showed that the effort of mine and others who participated in preparing the forum was appreciated by the audiences. I was delighted that the audiences and I gained a lot from the forum and being a helper, I acquired a lot of transferable skills such as communication skills, problem solving skills and organization skills. I also realized that being open to others’ ideas and innovative are very important to get a desirable job. Last but not least, the opinions written by the students on the evaluation sheet gave a solid evidence of the success of “Break and Burn – Annual Career Forum 2006”. I hoped that HKU Career Centre can organize this forum in the future to help students who are now in their junior year to find their desired lifelong career after graduation.

KUNG Shun Fong
In this increasingly competitive world, I found myself lost in the maze of the job market. Which job should I choose? How should I choose my career? Ideally, what job do I want to do? Realistically, what job can I do? There are loads of questions swirling in my mind and my greatest fear is that I will begin my career at the wrong starting point which leads my astray.

Fortunately, I found the guiding light in this year’s annual forum organized by the career center. I am enlightened by the new definition of career: career is a lifelong series of experiences, skills, learning, transitions, and identity changes. I love the idea that career development is a self-directed continuous learning but not formal training. In the past, I was afraid that my career would be largely determined by my initial choice of occupation. Now, I look at my career path as the sum total of every choice I make on an ongoing basis. This helps alleviate my fear and worries in that career choices are no longer one big choice or a once-in-a-lifetime choice. Rather, I am making career choices everyday in the form of continuous learning decisions. I do have choices and there are ample opportunities for those who are well equipped. I also discovered the root of my quandary- I do not know myself! How can I make my choice of career if I do not even know what I need and what I want? I do have my dream and now I believe that a person’s life dream is one’s driving force in pursuit of lifelong learning. Form a practical perspective, the annual forum has also given me invaluable guidance on how to pursue my career in a step-by-step process. Following the guest speaker’s advice, I have now drawn up a plan and I would like to share it with all of you: 1. Set a goal 2. Be determined to pursue to goal 3. Pursue the goal step by step: grasp every opportunity to build up your profile and relevant experience 4. Be ready for new challenges 5. Excel at what I work and I can make a difference to the world

Ten tips on finding your desired job

Attend Career Talks &
Job Fairs

Find summer internship
& Part-time jobs

Build an Impressive
Resume & Cover letter

Go on searching until you find one Have Confidence in

Consult Professionals &

Do Detailed Research
of the company & the industry

Interact with HR
Professionals of the company

Expand your social
network to raise your chance

Join Graduates Sharing

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ---Eleanor Roosevelt

"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." ---Winston Churchill

“All you have to do is know where you're going. The answers will come to you of their own accord.” ---Earl Nightingale

"I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." ---Thomas Edison

“Think BIG! You are going to be thinking anyway, so think BIG!” --- Donald Trump

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." ---Winston Churchill

“People with goals succeed because they know where they're going.”---Earl Nightingale

Find out the following words in the box above and delete them. Then you will find the ANSWER! The first one has been done for you, VIP. You try the rest!

action; bread; break; burn; cepc; dreams; expertise faith; family support; first degree; free; goal; interests; learn; live; mind; passion; research; risk; safe; social norms; talent; transferable skills; vip

To see the answer, turn this page up-side-down (don’t cheat)!

Cannot proceed to next round of interview due to lack of preparation: Move 2 steps backward

Join Graduates Sharing Session & keep in touch with Alumni: Another chance to throw your dice!

Have Strong confidence in yourself & Persist to find a job: Move 1 step forward


You have found your desired career!

Consult professionals in CEPC to improve interview skills: Move 1 step forward Congratulations! Invitation to interview! Another chance to throw your dice!

Did detailed research of the company & industry: Move 2 steps forward

Attend career talk & job fair: Move 1 step forward

Participate in ECAs & Volunteer Services to acquire transferable skills: Move 2 steps forward Did not tailor-make your cover letter to impress employers with qualities they desire: Move 3 steps backward

Start writing your resume & cover letter: move 1 step forward

BOOKS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Laurence G. Boldt, How to Find the Work You Love Douglas T. Hall, Careers In and Out of Organizations Howard Figler, Liberal Education And Careers Today Robert B. Maddux, Quality Interviewing (Third Edition) Jon Warner, Conducting a Recruitment/Selection Interview Jon Warner, Effective Performance at a Recruitment/Selection Interview

WEBSITES: 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13.

We would like to thank the following generous persons who helped, contributed or supported our annual forum: Dr. Yeung Ka Ching Ms Irene Chan, Consultant at CEPC, HKU Miss Breadianna Luk Miss Fammy Lai Miss Shun Fong Miss Mo Mr.陳祖澤, CEO of KMB Mr. Lai Pui Wing, CEO of Hong Kong Award for Young People Ms. Quince Chong (莊偉茵), Director Service Delivery of Cathay Pacific Airways Ms. Cindy Ma, Human Resources Manager of McDonald’s Mr. Kenny Sun, first assistant manager of McDonald’s Mr. Alex Cheung, APA drama tutor

This forum would not have been a success without your unfailing guidance and support. Thank you!

Below is the summary / transcript of the recording:

Transcript of our Interview with Irene Chan, Consultant of CEPC Background Irene Chen has been working as a human resource manager till 2002. Her job is not related to what she read in the university; she just grasped the opportunity. She quitted the job because of the extremely long hours continuously (usually 8:30am-11:00/12:00pm) which left her with no life besides office life. Irene reflected: ‘I should control my life and my time’. She cautioned: ‘Don’t let others control your time and your life- I don’t want to spend my remaining working life in the office.’ After quitting the job, Irene went to train teachers in the poor rural areas in China. At first she wanted to be a teacher herself to teach the poor students but was persuaded to be a trainer of the teacher. Eventually, she realized that there are many ways to help people; so she went back to HKU career center as a career consultant. Looking back at her career path, she said she had no regrets and was very satisfied with her current career. Relationship between first degree and future career From her experience as a career consultant Irene noted that not every student chooses a job that relates to his first degree. The reality is that not every student gets into the discipline that is his first choice and the main concern is that students do not know what they really want (especially BA). It is sad that HK students often had no passion and no career goal. From an employer’s perspective, Irene said that employers usually recruit employees from different discipline save for certain professions such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. Instead of looking at what kind of degree a candidate has, employers are looking for certain qualities in fresh graduates: (1) willingness to work hard (long working hours nowadays); (2) Flexible and active; (3) Clear career goal. Irene pointed out that critical thinking skills is what most fresh gradates lack; To stand out from the crowd, show your critical thinking skills through logical and fluent presentation during interviews. Knowing yourself is equally important as knowing what the employers want. Irene remarked that sometimes the problem is not the candidate but the external environment- is it the right time and the right place? What do you expect to learn in the university? Taking a broader perspective, Irene considered that career is a continuous life-long learning. At the university, you are learning how to learn. She advised students to leave some space to learn about the world but not only knowledge on the book. Students should also make use of the resources (e.g. mentor, tutor) available in the university to explore life. She regarded university as the support and guidance in students’ exploration about their future. Irene encouraged students to step outside the classroom to explore what they really want: ‘When you are young, take the chance to explore more so as to have a better knowledge of what you really want. Ask yourself- why did you choose your first degree?’

Irene insisted that everyone should know what he wants- set a goal in career and in life. In respect of the dilemma between dream and reality, Irene said that: ‘If you know what you want and the possible conflict between your dream and the reality constraints, you still have a choice. You can make an assessment and decide what you want to pursue your dream first or to make a living first and then pursue your dream. Even if you choose a career that is totally different from your dream, it does not mean that you have given up your dream so long as you have a clear path to achieve the goal step by step.’ Irene believed that passion and work are not mutually exclusive and can be co-existent. Sometimes the problem is that people do not really have a passion. On the one hand, if a person knows that his hobbies can be turned into his career, that’s fine because he knows what he wants. On the other hand, if a person is in doubt in choosing what to do, it is easier to think about what you really want to do. If you are doing what you like, you will enjoy it and excel at it. Irene emphasized that the very first step is to know yourself well- what do you want? Then, set a goal and follow the path to pursue your goal. Never mind what is your first few jobs- at least you get an experience of the real life in the workplace and a touch of the business world. Irene also advised students not to take a second degree immediately after the first degree as one ends up at the same starting point as fresh grad in the business world; she said that students better wait till they know what you want to pursue before taking another degree. Irene believed that the important thing to do is to build up your profile step by step: ‘Don’t let yourself stuck!!! It is waste of time not to acquire actual experience.’ In the business world, attitude (are you willing to work?), mentality (are you ready for the job?), and experience are what matter. The circle of working network is very small, work hard and people will know and appreciate your effort (i.e. good referral). To be prepared for job interviews, Irene advised students to do a research about the field of work and the company so as to be well acquainted with the industry and job nature. Candidates should also perform a self-check so as to ascertain whether the work suits you. Irene gave several examples to illustrate that first degree is not a constraint but one can be equally competitive without a degree in the relevant field. One example is a student studying economics and finance at the university but end up working in a different field as much depends on the job nature. Many companies such as Cathay Pacific provided training to new employees. In fact, most employers hiring fresh graduates know that they lack actual experience (if they have the skill and experience that is of course an advantage) and thus training will usually be provided.

Recalling cases where students failed to find a job, Irene said that it is mostly the result of a lack of self-check and ‘wrong matching’. But for the student’s own personal problems (i.e. stubborn character, unrealistic expectations), Irene noted that usually a fresh graduate can find a job within three months. In contrast, all the good examples concern students who know clearly what he wants and pursue the goal step by step. She gave the following practical advice: (1) Set a goal (2) Determined to pursue to goal (3) Pursue the goal step by step: grasp every opportunity to build up your profile and relevant experience (4) Be ready for the challenge!!! (5) Excel at what you work and you may make a difference to the world (you may pursue your dreams through many different ways) Example 1: A student who wanted to set up his own business since a child- started running the software business while studying in the university- the business worth 3 million upon his graduation Example 2: A boy who discovered that he wanted a job that is different from his first degree; so he comes to the career center to find out what his weakness is and how to equip himself to match the requirements of the job he wants to do. Irene’s last piece of advice is: ‘Don’t be too picky for your first job! If the first few jobs are not your ideals, treat it as an opportunity to get real experience, to build up your profile and to explore what you really want. Even if you did not get the best at the start of your career, you at least get something out of it and that is better than an empty page in your life.’ Remember- job picks you and you pick job. Look not only at the material reward but also the job satisfaction so that at the end you can say that you have no regrets.

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