From 2 November, the Career Centre at the University of Leeds is hosting a series of career webinars specially focusing on job opportunities in China within the following two weeks.
This inspirational webinar I attended was on 2 November 2020, which was the first one of the series. The guest speaker for this webinar is Sharon Lan, a senior career consultant at UniCareer. After joining UniCareer, Sharon has provided career consulting to more than 100 university graduates and successfully helped them solve the problems in seeking jobs.
During the webinar, Sharon mainly introduced the latest employability trends of 4 hot industries (Accounting, Finance, the Internet and Fast-moving consumer goods(FMCG)) in mainland China and provided advice about how to find a job in those industries. Also, she provided her contact information (working WeChat account) so that students attended this webinar could communicate with Sharon based on their individual needs.
Many Chinese graduates think that they can only find a suitable job in four big accounting firms after graduating with an accounting degree. However, Sharon pointed out that besides those four big accounting firms, many enterprises, such as all Fortune 500 companies, Internet companies and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies, also have a high demand for accountants, which can be another good choice for graduates with an accounting degree. This year, the number of the positions offered within this industry during campus recruitment has been increased but the recruitment range has also been extended as well, as graduates of 2020 and 2021 are both qualified to apply. Therefore, it does not get any easier. In addition, the format of the written tests and interviews of the campus recruitment during this autumn has been diversified. For the written tests, there are many new questions than previous years; for the interviews, because of the impact of COVID-19, the number of the rounds of interviews has also increased and some of them have been changed to Artificial Intelligence (AI) interviews. Compared to being interviewed by people, AI interviews set a higher demand for interviewees in communication skills and language skills, as they cannot react according to interviewers’ facial expressions anymore. At last, most employers put forward a higher requirement for employees’ work experience and they prefer to employ those who have had some relevant work experience.
Because of the impact of COVID-19, it was really difficult for the industry during the first half of this year. However, there will be many job opportunities relevant to Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) in the second half. Also, the situation of employment will be great from the end of this year to the beginning of next year. For graduates with a degree in financial engineering or financial mathematics, internship experience and practice experience are extremely important and a doctoral degree will be more competitive, as the employers have set higher requirements on degree.
Because of the impact of the COVID-19, many people are optimistic about the future growth of online games, online videos, online education, and online medical services. However, Sharon put forward that some departments of the industry actually had a negative influence of the pandemic, such as the department of advertisement. Most internet companies were downsized during this period. As the economy starts to recover in China, more job opportunities will be available in the future. Sharon advised students to prepare in advance and pay attention to time, as most employers of this industry have a strict requirement for employees’ graduation time. For some popular positions such as product managers, business analysts, and data analysts, besides the technical skills, employers also pay much attention to employees’ understanding of the market and the service line and their insight to industry trends, which cannot be acquired in a short time. Therefore, Sharon advised students who want to apply for those positions to make preparations as early as possible.
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)
With the rapid development of the Internet, hardware and logistics in China, traditional foreign-funded FMCG enterprises have been challenged by domestic FMCG ones. Besides the impact of the COVID-19 this year, the FMCG industry has rapidly shifted from offline to online platforms, and e-commerce has now become the main marketing channel for the FMCG industry. Sharon said some domestic enterprises, such as Yili and Blue Moon, are also a good choice for students who want to apply for relevant positions of this industry. Also, Sharon reminded them that they need to pay more attention to their expressions during the interviews, as they will be AI interviews as well.
After introducing the latest employability trends of the four industries, Sharon answered some questions from students who attended this webinar and offered her contact information so that students can consult with her based on their individual needs. I think this informative and inspirational webinar will be a big help to those who want to apply for relevant positions. If you want to work in one of the four industries as well and want to get some one-to-one career advice from Sharon, you are welcome to scan the QR code below.