Career information for Chinese students

china-1020914_960_720Statistics show that over 70% of Chinese students who have studied in the UK return to China after their studies, so we’ve pulled together some useful resources to help you to start thinking about your future now.

http://www.prepare2getahead.co.uk/

This comprehensive e-learning resource has easy-to-read sections covering everything from career planning and researching your options to developing your skills, including helpful activities along the way.

It aims to help you make the most of your time at university in the UK, understand yourself and your dreams and goals, and ultimately make yourself more employable.

http://www.innovate2getahead.co.uk/

China is very supportive of innovation and entrepreneurs, and your time at university is a great time to develop these skills. Areas covered on the site include how to think differently, create value and generate ideas, as well as source funding.

Careers & Enterprise resources

Last year Careers & Enterprise published 5 international job search guides including one for Chinese students looking to find work at home. Here you can find out more about job hunting and marketing your QMUL degree to overseas employers – see below.

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New! International Job Search Guides

Careers & Enterprise have just produced five country-specific job search guides for international students from China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Russia. You will be able to find all the important aspects of job hunting in these countries, including how to market your QMUL degree to overseas employers, how to start your job search and what to include in your applications.

You can also find more information for international students on the Careers & Enterprise QMPlus page: http://goo.gl/O7nkG5

The Chinese Job Market

chinese flag

On  Friday (not so unlucky) 13th, I was sent to a conference at Senate House to aid with my project of writing guides for international students who are thinking of returning to their home country after they have graduated from Queen Mary. The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and The British Council helped to shed some light on how to increase job search support for Chinese students currently studying in the UK but returning to China for work. For me, these were the top five points that I took away from the afternoon:

Returnees have a distinct advantage – but brush up on your knowledge of the Chinese job market.

Chinese employers consider the following attributes particularly advantageous if you have studied in the UK:

  • A high level of fluency in the English language
  • Experience of the international world and understanding of cross-cultures
  • Ability to create and maintain international networks
  • UK universities are more internationally renowned

However, those who have studied in the UK may have less experience in Chinese industry and less knowledge of Chinese investment and finance than domestic students. This can be remedied by getting the relevant experience through internships and research in your degree.

Finance, Government and Politics and IT are the most common industries for returnees to enter into.

These are the top three most popular industries for returnees to enter into, with Cultural Creative Design and Education and Scientific Research coming in at fourth and fifth.

The IT industry is currently going through an unprecedented technological change. In particular, the e-commerce market has drastically expanded, with nearly a 50% increase in its market size over the last 2 years. Investment in start-up businesses in the mobile internet industry has also increased since 2013.

There are other locations than just Beijing and Shanghai.

Although the majority of returnees relocate to ‘The Big 4’ (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), second tier cities have also benefited from China’s economic growth. As a result of this, second tier cities are becoming more and more attractive for graduates as they hold similar opportunities but with much lower living costs.

Hone your CV and interview technique.

  • Make sure your CV and cover letter are tailored to the position and company that you are applying for.
  • Research the company and industry and state what you want to achieve from it.
  • Highlight any relevant experience you may have, such as internships and any research you may have focused on in your degree.
  • Emphasise any other transferable skills you may have, with evidence of where you have got that skill, such as passion, innovation, learning capacity, interpersonal skills, problem solving and time management.

Have an idea for a business venture? You can always start one.

Entrepreneurship has faced a boom in China over recent years, especially after the development of mobile internet. Financing for all stages of a business has become more accessible, particularly with an increase in Angel Investment in the last 2 years for business ventures. Enterprise is more of a culture in China, and these are the main features you should focus on:

  • Have a strong team
  • Have an attractive product
  • Have a clear business model, including revenue opportunity
  • Consider the size of the market, incorporating sales volume and possible users
  • A healthy cash flow, covering between 6-18 months
  • A healthy shareholder structure
  • Understanding of financing

If you’re developing a product in the UK, make sure that it is tailored to Chinese consumers and that you have a strong understand of the Chinese market.

My time in China

 

 

 

Chandni Mehta is a 2nd year Chemistry student at QMUL. Here she tells us about her experience on the 2014 China Immersion Programme.

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Nǐ Hǎo! -“你好”

Recently I went to China, to the city of Chengdu, which is the Sichuan province capital. Here I participated in Sichuan University’s international immersion program with students from universities from around the globe. The opportunity to participate in this programme was a result of Queen Mary’s partnership with Sichuan University in China. I found out about this opportunity from the study abroad department and having learned about the details I knew I had to apply! I was really excited about the chance of studying abroad.

Whilst on the program I selected a module called Cooperative Games, this led me to having a lot of fun and interaction with the students. I was also given basic lessons in Chinese culture and Mandarin. We spent lots of time with the local students which allowed us to really appreciate the differences between Chinese students’ lifestyle and our own.

A Vegetarian’s Introduction to China – “没有”

I can only imagine the sense of nervous apprehension felt by many international students as they wave goodbye to their families and board a seemingly endless flight to begin their course in an unknown country. As for me, I was only making the 11 hour journey for a 2 week adventure, although hearing rumours such as “if it moves, the Chinese eat it” certainly got me worried. How would I cope being a Vegetarian? Would my basic knowledge of Mandarin get me by? Would the people be helpful? Would I meet a good group of people? It turns out I needn’t have worried. As long as you know the name of the place you’re going (preferably written in Chinese too) and a smart phone with a translation app you’re sorted! People in China are very helpful so if you’re lost or unsure where you’re going they’d happily help you out. As for being a Vegetarian, China can be a very frustrating place for a lao wai, but if you try to skip the food and stay with the Western establishments then you are missing out, so I’d advise downloading an app called ‘happycow’ prior to going to China. It gave me headstart with the Chinese-Vegetarian restaurants near me and there were quite a few. One that I would recommend is Sunflower Daddy – vegetarian and delicious!

First Impressions

china 2Upon arrival at Chengdu airport, we were greeted by two lovely and very helpful Chinese students who could speak English quite well. They took us to our hotel which was based on university campus, sorted out our rooms and showed us around the university which is much bigger than Queen Mary I must say! They even got us sim-cards soon as we requested them! Maintaining great communication with these students is important, at least in the first few days whilst you’re getting acquainted with everything around you. Also they are there to ensure you have the best experience and face as little of a difficulty as possible. So do make use of them.

Adventure is key to having a great time in China! Food and transport in Chengdu is very cheap – and extremely convenient! You could probably get a taxi for less than £2. And their metro is the equivalent to the Metropolitan line with an equivalent Oyster card! The transport system is great in Chengdu. Make sure you have written down in Chinese where you plan to go, so in case you get lost, you can get a local to help you out – although there’s a strong possibility that the person you ask will not understand a word of English so be prepared – but also don’t worry, these locals will be more than happy to help out a foreigner!

Life at Sichuan University

Studying a module at Sichuan University with Chinese Students was probably among the most memorable experience. If you’re lucky you’re the only one who has selected the module among your peers and therefore you’re on your own. Classes are usually taught every day and therefore you have to make your own way, this probably is the most exciting part, as you’ll find yourself in the limelight (the only foreigner in the class!) You’ll find students whom are extremely excited to show you around and take you out to explore at their own initiative. The classes are pretty chilled out too and extremely interesting and I’m not just talking for myself but from my peers who went to different classes and absolutely loved the experience. My Monday to Saturday was pretty full on and filled with cultural activities and classes. Sichuan University also planned a big bang theory competition and a debate competition, and it was compulsory for everyone to participate in either one. I participated in the big bang theory competition where I had to present my research on the Human Genome – this was an absolutely nerve wrecking experience, nonetheless there were prizes and I won the prize for ‘outstanding scientific research’.

china 3Sichuan University also planned a trip to the famous ‘Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding’ – admittedly once you visit this place you’d find Panda’s cute! Even though their life only consists of eating bamboo and sleeping, they’re still cute. Also, Pandas are the national animal of China so you’d naturally grow to love them.

Life outside of Sichuan University

I did have the evenings and Sundays off so we made the most of it especially when you’re with international students – this involved going a lot of shopping, a lot of walking, adventures and KTV (karaoke). One Sunday we travelled to Leshan to see the Giant Buddha, the tallest Buddha statue in the world carved out of a cliff. The experience was great and involved a wonderful adventure and a lot of walking. Another amazing experience was going to monasteries – it’s where you will fall in love with Chinese architecture. Shopping was probably among the best experiences, I can guarantee that by the end of the trip you’d have learnt the art of haggling!

And lastly KTV, we didn’t just go once, but twice! An absolute wonderful experience with international and Chinese students, you all share a room stocked with food and drinks and you sing the night away singing almost all the English songs you know. You’ll learn some Chinese songs too – or at least a rough idea of the tune anyway!

Goodbye China – “再见”

Having gained such a wonderful experience and memory it felt as if my trip came to a premature end, there’s always so much to see and such little time. Knowing that the people you met, you probably won’t ever meet them again got everyone a bit emotional, nonetheless a wonderful atmosphere and definitely a recommended adventure of a lifetime! Thanks to this programme, I gained a lot of interpersonal skills, grew in confidence and independence. To be able to write about a great experience will certainly be an advantage to my CV. I hope more people take up such opportunities to gain valuable experiences and to make most of the available opportunities at university.