Students eyeing a career in international business know that one of the first things employers look for is some form of overseas experience. For this reason, Zenki Kwan Kai-ching, whose ambition had always been to work in investment banking, paid special attention to the exchange programmes available at HKUST and eventually took up the offer of a semester at the University of Southern California (USC) in the United States.
"That experience really changed my approach to work and life in general," says Kwan, who graduated in 2008 with a double major in finance and information systems.
"I became more active in class, after seeing the way American students participate, and was determined to get the most out of my studies."
While in America, Kwan took courses on corporate finance, spreadsheet applications, systems design, and business communications. He also got involved in student-run events which gave him a chance to meet and learn from representatives of major companies such as Wal-Mart, Morgan Stanley and KPMG.
After returning to Hong Kong, he put this experience and new outlook to work, defining his career plans and managing his time more effectively. He also made a point of continuing to broaden his horizons.
"Getting a work-life balance at HKUST is not so easy because the courses are demanding," says Kwan, who is moving ahead as an investment banking analyst with JP Morgan. "But you also have any number of value-added extra-curricular activities, so time management is the key, just as it is for career success."