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Studying Business for a Wide Choice of Careers

Business studies, as one of the most popular academic disciplines, prepares students for careers in a full range of professions and industries. BBA is a much sought-after degree in Hong Kong.

During the fourth webinar, entitled “Business Career Opportunities for You”, hosted by the Faculty of Business of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to help students and members of the community transit into the post-COVID-19 new normal, the speakers shared their stories of career progression as well as information and views about employment prospects. Ms Nancy So is Senior Manager in Tax at Deloitte. Mr Cliff Sullivan is Deputy Managing Director of Easy Way Logistics. Ms Wendy Man is Human Resources Manager, Global Functions/Operations Hong Kong at Swarovski.

Apart from passion and diligence, what the speakers have in common is an informed choice of university education based on their own interests, curriculum content, and out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities offered by different institutions. They stressed that hands-on experience is greatly valued in the workplace and highly advantageous for recent graduates.

Nancy did her BBA at PolyU, majoring in accountancy and minoring in financial services. She built a solid foundation with practical and up-to-date knowledge to help her achieve professional status and advance in her career. She went on student exchange in the UK, with a scholarship from PolyU, to widen her vision and increase her exposure to other cultures. With an interest in tax, she got two offers from Big Four upon graduation and embarked on her career as a tax associate. Working on tax compliance and consulting since ten years ago, Nancy continues to extend her knowledge of Hong Kong, Chinese mainland, and international taxation. Other graduates joined banks, Big Four and other accounting firms, corporates and other organizations to work on auditing, technical analysis, tax advisory and planning, etc.

Cliff took his bachelor’s degree in geography in Hong Kong and his master’s in transport in the UK. “In those days, there was no specialized university programme in transportation in Hong Kong,” he said. Nowadays, transport and logistics offers a vast range of career choices. “You can work on one-stop service. You can also work in warehousing, ground handling, freight forwarding, or third party logistics, etc. You can work with airlines, airports, container terminals, or shipping companies, etc., depending on your interests,” he commented. In some management trainee programmes hosted by logistics corporates, university graduates work with different departments and overseas branches before deciding on a specialization. Cliff pointed out that while big data are used in tailoring customer services, robotics and other intelligent methods are used to simplify the processes of documentation, scheduling, warehousing, and purchase order management, humans have irreplaceable roles, for instance in freight consolidation.

Wendy chose the human resources management concentration at PolyU since she enjoys dealing with people and working in a dynamic context. Exchange studies and internship gave her exposure to different cultures and environments and she found it very helpful for working with multinationals and people from diverse backgrounds. She is now working on business partnership. HR management consists of different parts. “If you like dealing with people, business partnership is where you work with companies to know their operations, and address their talent needs in terms of recruitment and retention. If you are strong at communication, training may be a good choice. If you are a quiet person, reward management, including salary analysis, may be suitable,” Wendy said. While moving from one area to another is possible, Wendy noted that it would not be easy to enter HR management without relevant experience. “Grasp any opportunity for a part-time job or an internship during university days if you want to build a career in HR management,” she added.

PolyU’s BBA scheme comprises eight programmes in the areas of accounting and finance, transport and logistics, management and marketing. Students learn in a diverse classroom and other contexts including exchange studies, community service as well as local and overseas competitions, internships, and training. All of them complete Work-Integrated Education to gain practical experience in an organizational context before graduation.