In my last blog, I introduced the Global Career China Webinars. The webinars are provided by the University of Leeds for students to get advice and insights on working in China. Today, I am excited to share three more webinar events and document what I’ve learnt. The three events are LinkedIn China, AlphaSights and My China Career: Guy Dru Drury.
On 9th November, we had Billy Huang from Consumer Marketing, Communication and Social Impact of LinkedIn China. The webinar introduced topics such as features of LinkedIn China, how the Covid situation has changed the job-hunting trends, what skillsets are essential and what challenges graduates might face.
As LinkedIn is such a global platform, it has a massive amount of data to generate useful insight. Because of Covid, the current industry trend in China has slightly changed. Online businesses are booming while in contrast, those relying on offline work had a hard hit. Below show industries such as healthcare, transportation, e-commerce and food delivery are growing after Covid struck. Due to travel restriction, industries of retail, travelling and fitness experienced a dramatic decline.
To become a successful candidate, it is vital to recognise which skillsets are demanding in your desired industry. Billy summarised top-five requiring hard and soft skills across Chinese enterprises.
• Top 5 in demand digital/hard skills:
Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence and Interaction Design.
• Top 5 in demand soft skills:
Creativity, Persuasion, Teamwork, Adaptability and Emotional Intelligence.
Apart from the aftermath of Covid, UK graduates also face other challenges when looking for jobs in China. Billy pointed out there are 49% of graduates do not realise there are a different timeline and recruitment period in China, which has led many to miss the opportunities to work with well-known companies. Secondly, compared to a decade ago, experience of studying abroad is no longer a clear advantage for employers as there are many graduates which have studied overseas. Meanwhile, graduates tend to set their goals too high that they are not satisfied with the salary package.
In order to stand out from the competitive market, Billy suggested we should gain more work experiences during overseas studies to improve our hard/soft skills. It is essential to keep up with the latest trends in the market and understand what companies are looking for. Last but not least, be bold and confident to look for opportunities and chase your dream.
At the end of the webinar, Billy suggested an exclusive feature of LinkedIn China. Students or graduates can find a mentor through this platform to ask professionals for help. If you are interested in joining the mentor/mentee programme, you are welcome to scan the QR code below!
In the second event, we had two speakers from AlphaSights, Hang Wang and Yolanda to introduce the company and share their working experiences.
AlphaSights is an information service company linking clients with professionals and expertise. Through connection, experts can provide knowledge and insight to help the client, and potentially forming a social network for them. It is a fast-growing company that established in 2008 and now has over 800 employees all over the world. AlphaSights also has nine offices in 7 different countries. There are five primary segments of AlphaSights’ business: Private Equity, Consulting, Social Impact, Corporates and Capital Markets.
One of the current employees, Yolanda, explained the uniqueness of working in AlphaSights is to connect the clients to the knowledge they need, no matter which industry the client is interested in. As a result, it is also challenging as an employee to come across different sectors. However, Yolanda said she was able to gain more knowledge and learn new skills when she’s working with various industries.
Wang gave an example of what skills can be gained from working as a Client Service Associate in AlphaSights. Through researching client’s requirement and matching with suitable industrial professional, you will develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In communication with clients, it requires you to be persuasive, able to negotiate and creative. While working within a team, you will develop skills in leadership, commercial acumen and solution orientation.
Meanwhile, AphaSights also provides a career path for employees to grow into professionals. There is a Global Associate Program for staff to work globally and experience different cultures.
If you are interested in joining AlphaSights, below displays varies of positions in Hongkong, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai. You can also visit AlphaSights’ website for more information.
My China Career: Guy Dru Drury
In the next event of Global Career China, we had Guy Dru Drury to share his experience in studying Chinese and how he built up his career in China. Guy Dru Drury is a University of Leeds alumni graduated in 1991. He is now the Chief Representative in China and works with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Guy started learning Chinese from his A-level module and continued to improve his language skill in attending a Modern Chinese Studies course at the University of Leeds. In his second year of University, he went to China as an exchange student for a year and began his journey in China. Guy also completed a postgraduate degree in Advanced Chinese from Teachers University in Taipei. As many would expect, it was not easy for Guy to start up his career in China 30 years ago. Therefore, Guy was going back and forth between the UK and China after his studies, gaining work experience while pursuing his dream.
Before settling down in China, Guy has worked in various positions and industries. He worked in a TV advertising company that associates to Beijing; working for EFL in a few Asia countries; going back to the UK to work as an Asia Pacific Manager and Business Development Director. All of these experiences enabled Guy to gain knowledge in sales, investment and the relationship between the UK and China. Being familiar with both cultures, Guy slowly found his career path and became an essential bridge of the two countries.
For graduates who want to build their career in China, Guy suggested to be resilient; keep trying and following your dream even though it is challenging. It is also essential to believe in yourself and reflect on what skill set you can build from your degree. Other than that, networking is the key to connect with opportunities. Graduates should make fair use of the Leeds alumni network to explore more possibilities. Lastly, you can ask a local CBI or the British Council for help to find placements in China.
If you want to know more about Guy’s experience in China, you can connect with him here.
I hope this blog has been useful. Starting a career and looking for jobs can be tiring and scary, yet it is a necessary stage of our lives and pushing us to bring out the best of ourselves. No matter what your goal is, remember to follow your dream and never give up!