Mr. James S. Tsien gives career advice from multiple perspectives23 Feb, 2016
Having a 17-year long proven track record in mentoring, Mr. Tsien suggested that students should compile a list of industries and companies that they are interested in for job hunting, then study these targets thoroughly. The first quarter of the year is normally a peak season for job seeking, and he advised young graduates that only early birds win. Without the need to wait for a particular recruitment advert to appear, young job seekers can apply proactively. Students should also seize every summer job opportunity in order to enrich their experience.
Company size does count, and Mr. Tsien tipped young graduates off about the merit of joining large companies. Currently an Independent Non-Executive Director of Bank of Shanghai (Hong Kong) Limited, and the former Senior Advisor and Group Executive Director of Hutchison Port Holdings Limited, Mr. Tsien acknowledged that operational procedures in big corporations are more structured. These help youngsters to learn to do things right at their early career stage.
Mr. Tsien also taught participants some approaches to handling job interviews at multinational companies. He cited Citibank and Chase as examples, where there would be rounds and rounds of interviews. Interviewers scrutinize every single detail of the candidates, from body language, presentation, dialects used when in dialogue, and even ways to greet and groom.
Apart from avoiding the use of “Honglish”, a bad habit that some Hongkongers cannot easily quit, Mr. Tsien reminded participants that personality traits like being a team player, humble and emotionally stable are what employers are really looking at.
Being the first Executive Trainee who graduated from the then Hong Kong Baptist College (former name of HKBU) in Citibank’s history, Mr. Tsien was among the youngest banker elites in the early 1970s. Mr. Tsien’s professional credentials exemplify Hong Kong Baptist University’s whole-person education. His being the first in Hong Kong reflects that the real bargain at work is not the title of your alma mater, but one’s career aspiration.
This career planning seminar was organised by the Career Services Section of our School.