Career Connect: Students Network with Visit to Hong Kong
Clover Cheng | University Relations | 11 June 2012
Fifteen BYU–Hawaii students recently visited Hong Kong for a jumpstart to their professional networks, meeting with 12 different companies through the university’s Career Connect program. Career Connect, organized by BYU–Hawaii Career Services, is a program that invites students to experience a snapshot of employment by visiting companies and organizations in various parts of the world, meeting with their officials, and observing their day-to-day operations.
During the trip to Hong Kong, students met with company officials including the Vice President of Hong Kong Disney, Senior Vice President at HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.), Senior Manager of Human Resources at Deloitte Hong Kong, and Legal Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“A certificate will get you to the door, but your skills will get you to go higher,” said Jodi Chowen, Career Services director at BYU–Hawaii. “Any corporation has a technology, business, human resources, education and an anthropology side. It is not so much about your major, but what skills and knowledge you have, and the value you can bring to a company. Students are so focused on their major, but one’s major won’t guarantee a job.” She expects students to take the trip seriously, be well prepared, and make the most of the opportunity to prepare for life after graduation.
Yifen Beus, a BYU–Hawaii professor who helped on the Career Connect trip to Hong Kong, gave the following suggestions to students who are getting ready for their future career: “Polish your resume, practice interview skills, and have a vision for your career path. You need to know what you want to do and have a general idea of what you want to look for.” She invited students to be prepared for an internship and employment by keeping a portfolio and collecting presentable written works. Her advice for students about interviewing was to be active in asking and answering questions because “when your potential employer asks questions, your answer can show that you did your homework and what you might bring to the company.”
Elizabeth Wood, a senior in psychology from Texas, got two employment invitations during the Hong Kong Career Connect. “Be prepared to ask questions,” Wood advised students who want to participate in future Career Connect trips. “Asking questions makes you look like a desirable employee. Many Hong Kong companies want to hire someone who went to a university in the United States. They expect you to work hard, smart, and independently if needed. If you are from a passive culture, you need to be able to overcome your cultural preferences.”
Agreeing with Wood, Nike Chan, a junior studying Supply Chain Management from Hong Kong, also left Hong Kong with an employment invitation. “Asking questions with a happy and passionate attitude can attract an employer’s attention and opportunities will follow” said Chan. “Don’t be shy to ask for personal advice or a business card.”
All students, regardless of their major, are welcome to apply for Career Connect. Each trip visits one particular city. Besides Hong Kong, Career Connect also visits cities and countries such as Shanghai, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Samoa, and other areas across the United States. Upcoming Career Connects will be to Taiwan and Samoa in September and New York in December. Students are required to have at least a 2.0 GPA, be in their junior year or later, have a connection with the local area (citizen or served a mission there), and intend to live or to work in that area after graduation.
For more information about Career Connect, please visit career.byuh.edu.