Insider Tips For Landing Your Dream Job: “Grades Matter, But…”

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Insider Tips For Landing Your Dream Job: “Grades Matter, But…”

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Terry Hui, a graduate of Electronic Engineering in 2022, is now a systems engineer at Lenovo PCCW Solutions Ltd.
Terry Hui, a graduate of Electronic Engineering in 2022, is now a systems engineer at Lenovo PCCW Solutions Ltd. [Download Photo]

In today’s fiercely competitive job market, fresh graduates need to go the extra mile to stand out. HKUST recognizes this and provides numerous opportunities to support students’ career planning, offering them invaluable on-the-job exposure. In this story, a new alumnus shares useful insights into how he landed his dream job, while a leading employer who highly rates our graduates details the qualities she looks for in candidates.

Be outgoing and adaptive

Terry HUI, a 2022 graduate in Electronic Engineering, was a true “slashie”: he was a part-time lifeguard, a tutor, and an intern electrical engineer at an educational robotics start-up.

With an adventurous character, Terry said he had no firm career plans at the start of his studies. Instead, he took an exploratory approach to job seeking, spending most of his spare time during his undergraduate studies on a wide variety of real-world work experiences.

“During my robotics internship, I co-designed a STEM program for primary and secondary school students. As the company was happy with my efforts, I continued to work for them part-time.” Terry believes that the perspectives he gained as a result were very beneficial in advancing his career goals. He feels the interpersonal and leadership skills he learned at HKUST were equally important.

“My time as Chairperson of HKUST’s Electronic and Computer Engineering Students’ Society equipped me with essential leadership skills such as the ability to delegate responsibilities, manage projects, and collaborate with fellow members.” Despite his average grades, Terry’s efforts to explore different interests and the world of work paid off, as he was offered four jobs by the time he graduated.

Now a systems engineer at Lenovo PCCW Solutions Ltd, Terry credits his outgoing personality and willingness to accept new challenges as helping him get noticed in a crowded job market.

Planning ahead, Terry is looking into acquiring additional engineering qualifications to further broaden his career horizons. He encourages current students to do this before they graduate. “The more engineering certifications you have earned at university, the better your competitive edge over other jobseekers will be.”

Know what employers really want

“Terry’s cheerful character and helpful attitude have impressed us. With his experience as a student leader at HKUST, his eloquence and clarity of thought really stood out during the interview,” says Gillian CHEUNG, Lenovo PCCW Solutions Ltd’s Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources.

“We tend to select candidates with good team spirit and learning attitude like Terry instead of merely looking at academic performance. It is because we believe experience and passion are more important.”

This year alone, the company has hired 26 HKUST graduates, accounting for 18 % of their campus recruitment pool. Their positions range from consultants and developers to technical officers and business development executives.

“The HKUST graduates we have hired are all diligent and resilient individuals who have come away from summer internships with a sound understanding of our industry,” says Gillian. She emphasizes that relevant work experience is a major plus for employers deciding between potential hires. Other factors employers take into account include academic achievements, participation in competitions, awards, and leadership roles held at school and college.

Apart from possessing sought-after qualities, Gillian urges graduates seeking jobs to prepare properly for interviews by thoroughly researching hiring companies’ strengths and success stories. Good manners and confident body language will further add to potential employers’ positive impressions.

(This story was adapted from the full story “Insider tips for landing your dream job: “Grades matter, but…” by HKUST Public Affairs Office.)