Building career connections during Hong Kong trek

The Weston Career Center sponsors several career treks across the globe that provide opportunities for students to meet with alumni and hiring managers in various industries. Yiling Han, MACC ’18, contributed this reflection on her experience from the Accounting Trek in Hong Kong in January. 

My greatest takeaways from the Hong Kong trek were the connections I made with local firms and the insight I gained from insiders’ perspectives. This trek provided me with intensive interactions with accounting professionals from diverse backgrounds, such as HR managers, senior auditors, tax managers, and consultants.

In two days, I received guidance on how to apply for accounting positions in the Hong Kong market, and I learned how to become more efficient in researching options for my career. I also gained a comprehensive understanding about different corporate cultures and key qualifications for positions in different fields of accounting. Overall, the experience provided insight into how best to proceed with job applications at Hong Kong accounting firms.

Details of the career trek

The trek exposed me to leading accounting firms in Hong Kong, including Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, BDO, and Mazars. During each company visit, the company staff introduced the firm, the service lines, resources for employees, and opened the floor to further discussion with students. The staff also provided company tours of the offices to assist in our understanding of their workplace environment.

Our tour began at Edinburgh Tower in Central Hong Kong, where we visited the HR manager of PwC. Our primary interest was to learn more about the company’s culture and job opportunities in the Hong Kong office.

From discussions with company recruiters and accounting professionals, I learned about the firm’s recruiting process, the first-year work experience at PwC, and both the professional and interpersonal qualities of a competitive applicant. To no one’s surprise, most of the firms expected full-time employees and interns to communicate using both Mandarin and English at work.

The Hong Kong trek was not just a series of company visits; it was also a great networking opportunity where we built relationships with people from the Hong Kong accounting firms.

For example, by the end of meeting with Mazars, the firm treated us with snacks, and we chatted for an hour with the auditing director partner, learning from his career experience and outlook on graduate employment.

I believe this is a valuable opportunity to build personal connections, which goes a long way toward making a lasting impression with these firms. It also gave the company officials a better sense of who we are and introduced them to the quality of WashU students and the Specialized Masters Program. I really appreciate the practical experience this trek offered in preparing the Hong Kong trekkers for employment opportunities in Hong Kong.

Pictured above: Members of the Hong Kong trek at KPMG. Greg Hutchings of the Weston Career Center; Yiling Han, Hee Cho, and Rachel Han, all MACC ’18.

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