2020 started off with a heavy dose of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s an increased need to respond to changing circumstances and uncertainty. How to turn challenges and unknowns into opportunities for growth? How to get better prepared for your future career?
The Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) International Office organized a New Year Alumni Forum for current students on December 12, inviting three international alumni to share their experience of being a student at PHBS and how they have navigated the job market since earning their degree.
Marius Miginis, class of 2014, talked about his career experience and shared his insights into how to get prepared for entering the job market. Marius is currently working as an Account Manager for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Game Tech Division in the UK. Immediately after finishing his studies, he found a job in a Chinese video game company in Shenzhen where he became exposed to a mobile gaming market from marketing and operations perspective. After exploring many opportunities in this industry, he was able to find a job at AWS thanks to the skills he had acquired at his previous job.
He suggested students start looking for opportunities in companies everyone would like to work in. Once you have some insights and experience, it can be a platform for figuring out where to go from there. Reflecting on his time in Shenzhen and PHBS, he said he had numerous positive experiences. Dealing with a diversity of people and cultures was important for his personal development and increased his managerial skills. As many students study in China, to stand out, it was very important for him to connect with the local community. One way he did this was through sports activities and interacting more with the off-campus community. But, he cautioned, it is also very important to find the right balance between the various activities and one’s future goals.
Marwa Mejdoub, class of 2014, spoke about the importance of life-long learning, soft skills, as well as vision and how to cope with uncertainty. She has occupied the position of Trade and Investments Adviser for the UK Department for International Trade in Tunisia since 2018 where she has learned how government decisions decide the future of economies.
Marwa mentioned that when she graduated, she was initially confused about the future and as a safe choice she returned to Tunisia to work for the representative of BYD there. She highlighted the need to have both solid background experience and a clear vision for the future to succeed in today’s job market. Marwa explained that background experience is essential to help you when you are applying for jobs, but a clear vision will guide you to the sectors and positions you are best suited for. She added that if we look at the current circumstances, we can conclude that soft skills are becoming increasingly important as working from home is the new trend for businesses. Marwa also highlighted the opportunities that Covid-19 brought to economies, such as the fact that it accelerated transition to technology.
At the end, she said that uncertainty is the only certainty no matter which stage of your career you are in, but it gives hope, fosters creativity, and that’s why we need to be more resilient and capable to easily adapt our skills and follow the trend.
Zafer Yapmis, class of 2016, shared his working experience in China and how students could leverage their strengths in the Chinese market. He is currently working as an R&D Project Manager for Noa Labs in China. He first became interested in China at the end of his student exchange program in Hong Kong. He enrolled in PHBS soon after and also joined a Chinese language school to develop advanced language skills. After graduating, he found a job but soon switched to a position he was even more excited about, a Project Manager at Noa Labs.
This position combines the business skills he acquired through his master’s degree at PHBS with the skills he gained from his engineering bachelor’s degree. In his opinion, all students can have the opportunity to work in many companies in China, especially as many companies are opening up to foreigners. He noted that these opportunities could help students reach their full potential. Speaking directly to the students, he said he knows how they may face difficulties and complications at the beginning of their studies, but for him, the plentiful feedback from professors helped him improve his performance and find success.
In the Q&A session, International students raised questions about career choices, job hunting platforms as well as the working environment in China. Also, speakers shared thoughts on career development, China’s job market, skill development, networking and working opportunities for international expats in China.
Written By Lorenzo Perazzitti