USJ students gain insight into business world

Thursday, May 27, 2010
Issue 1022, Page 7
Word count: 822
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Career Day held at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) yesterday attracted a large number of its students who wished to gain insight into the corporate world in Macau.

This year 13 local and international enterprises, up from seven last year, went to set up their booths in the event, including casino and hotel operators, a fast food chain, and also insurance, telecommunications, retail, human resources, and information technology companies.

It was the second time for USJ’s Career Centre to organise the Career Day since it was established in 2009.

Altogether 75 Year 4 students of USJ licentiate programs of Business Administration, Psychology, Government Studies and Social Work will be graduating this year. They had previously engaged in a number of events with consultants arranged by the university in order to prepare themselves to meet with the corporate representatives.

Prof. Leanda Lee, coordinator of the Career Centre, said the students “understand the need to develop further skills, and we want to imbue in them a love of learning, a passion and engagement in life and a sense of excellence”.

Speaking to the Macau Daily Times in the venue, Prof. Lee said the Career Day organised by USJ was not mainly about getting jobs for the students.

“Most people focus on getting the jobs, but instead we’re offering a channel between the students and the business world. The main idea here is to get our students to start thinking about their careers, and what careers fit their own strengths and interests,” she said.

“At USJ the Career Day is part of the learning process and an inspiration for all our students that they need to start developing in their mind knowledge of where they’re going in their careers,” she added.

Hence, the Career Day welcomed not only the final-year but all of the USJ students where they could have conversations with employers.

According to Prof. Lee, without talking to employers students wouldn’t know what jobs were available out there, what functions were in the companies and what each of the industries meant.

In addition, USJ students learned to write CVs and each year they amend them because they gain skills and knowledge from doing part-time work.

“It’s an on-going lifetime project and it teachers them about continuous improvement,” Prof. Lee said. “The Career Day is all about changing the mindset, learning about yourself and how you fit into the business community.”

Apart from full-time positions, USJ is developing internships with a lot of corporations. However, Prof. Lee highlighted the problem of it since foreign students aren’t able to work in Macau and therefore can’t develop their networks here. “If they could do part-time work in Macau, it would be fantastic.”

When asked what she would advise young people to prepare before attending a job interview, Prof. Lee stressed that the most important thing was to “understand their own strengths and interests, do lots of research about companies and talk to as many people as possible, and then think about where they can use their strengths and what companies or industries would really interest them”.

It was because, she said, she found a lot of students answering “I don’t know” or “I want a job” when being asked why they are interested in that company.

“The students have to dig deep and think about where they will find meaning in work. If they’re passionate about getting that job, they will get that job,” she told the MDTimes.

Angela, a Year 4 Business Administration student from East Timor, is interested in the operation field and working together with people. She handed in her résumés to three companies yesterday.

However, she wasn’t very optimistic about getting a job as she is not a local resident, despite she wants to look for experience working in foreign countries.

“The Career Day is very useful especially for Macau people because it’s a big advantage for them.

I don’t see the opportunity for the foreigners unless you apply to stay here,” she told the MDTimes.

“I already have a job in Timor and I haven’t decided which one is the best place for me. If I stay in Macau I need to deal with the bureaucracy. But if I find a job here and it’s easy to get the visa I will prefer to stay in Macau.”

Eunice Ho, a Year 4 Marketing student from Macau, said her interest is in human resources departments in hotels. She applied for six to seven jobs yesterday and needed to wait for calls for interviews.

“This Career Day is useful because there are many jobs available to apply for. I have some work experience and I’m quite confident in getting a job,” she said.

Eunice also went to last year’s Career Day but only one company called her back. She said it was probably because she hadn’t yet completed her study at that time and the company usually didn’t hire part-time workers.

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