Graduate Made Good Use of University Years to Boost Career Prospects
Fresh graduate and Engineering Student Ambassador David Or (2019 BEng in Computer Science) stepped outside his comfort zone to actively participate in activities and communicate with people of different nationalities during his university years. Such experiences equipped him with the valuable skills and attributes that enable him to embark on a promising career.
David used to be shy talking to strangers, especially foreigners. To overcome his fear of speaking in English, he proactively took part in the production of a School of Engineering microfilm with some non-local students in his first year. “I came to understand their daily conversations and commonly-used idioms through frequent contacts with them,” he proudly says. Step by step, as his vocabularies and confidence grew, so did their friendship. But he still felt more comfortable in the local and familiar environment.
The turning point came when David decided to jump out of his comfort zone and became an exchange student at the National University of Singapore for one semester in Year 3. The sparks and fresh insights generated between local and non-local students there blew him away.
That’s why he chose to be an Engineering Student Ambassador after coming back to Hong Kong, to promote the School with non-local students in different events. “All we need is to make our first move. Despite the language barrier, we always need to be open-minded and bold,” David says. Because of the change, David learned to see things from other people’s perspectives and cultures that are vital to his effective communication in his workplace comprising different nationalities today.
The job market appears to be gloomy this year due to the months-long societal events followed by the COVID-19 outbreak, but David, now a technical analyst at a European investment bank, says in whatever environment, it’s always the best to prepare yourself well. A sound foundation and a worldwide vision is a prerequisite to the success in job hunting.
“I have found that HR people are more interested in people who have stories. Make your resume shine, the things you learned and experiences accumulated at university do make a difference,” David suggests.
“A tough local job market can be a two-edged sword. Failing to find a suitable job will trigger you to jump out of your comfort zone and take on a new challenge elsewhere,” he adds.
HKUST has equipped its students with the skills and mindset required in the 21st century, nurturing them to become preferred employees in the global job market. The University was ranked No.10 in the Emerging/Trendence Global University Employability Ranking 2019 (No.1 in Greater China for seven years in a row).
(This story was adapted from the story “Becoming Career Ready” by HKUST Public Affairs Office.)