moving to HK to look for a job post-grad

Rank: Orangutan | 265

Has anybody here done it?

I interned at a fund placement agency in Shanghai this summer (similar to private funds groups within UBS/Credit Suisse) raising capital for private equity funds. Was able to get a few interviews for institutional sales positions but did not end up getting an offer. Some school alumni have suggested to just move there after graduation and network to find a job; I'd be staying at a family friend's house and tourist visas last for 3 months......I am not a HK resident, grew up in the US, have strong Mandarin speaking skills but am still weak reading/writing wise.


Comments (5)

Dec 31,2011

No info visa issues/job market, but I say go for it. HK would be cool, and you speak the language.

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Dec 31,2011

I was thinking about a similar plan to yours, so I can share some useful advice.

1) Would you be interested in taking contract positions with, often times, substantially lower pay? We're talking ~15K HKD a month (less than $2000 USD). If so, seek out the recruitment agencies and headhunters. Although they typically help out more experienced candidates, they do work with fresh grads occasionally as well. I have had friends with lackluster credentials who ended up at GS, MS, UBS etc. pursuing this path - for MO and BO roles, however.

2) Working hours in HK are very, very tough, regardless of what role you take on. I have friends in operations typically getting off at 10PM and friends at Big 4 companies typically getting off at 12AM. As such, if your ambition is to start in a less than ideal role to network into a better (FO) role, keep in mind that it will be more difficult to stand out when the standard for work effort has been raised.

3) You don't want to go there without having developed a network of people you can reach out to beforehand. There is lots you can do now before you hop on the plane. Start by talking to as much alumni in HK as possible, and get their take on what you can expect once you get there. I don't know how well cold-calling works in HK, so start building your network now.

4) I recall being told that February is the best time of year to go (Chinese New Year), as the companies' budgets will be reset and they will begin hiring a bit more at this time. Since your chances of you landing a job are affected just as much by the number of openings available as your skills and personality, this may be important for you.

5) Finally, you need to seriously consider whether your failure to find a FT role in the states is because of your lack of ability or because of bad luck. I don't mean to be harsh, but you must keep in mind that FO roles in HK are not much easier to land that FO roles in the states. If you do not have an edge about yourself to sell, then you may end up being disappointed once again when you get there.

I hope this helps.

Dec 31,2011

Few things to note about HK is that companies dont typically want to sponsor someone for a working visa. The paperwork involved is immense.

Also, mandarin isnt really spoke around HK. Cantonese is. English isnt a problem, but working in a local environment, it gets annoying when everyone around you is speaking in canto the entire day. On the plus side, with more and more money coming out of Mainland china, Mandarin is seen as a positive point on the resume these days.

Dec 31,2011

It's good you can speak the language, but by strong mandarin skills, I'm assuming you can handle an interview in Chinese/pass HSK-4.

Also, Cantonese is not a big asset in HK for FO roles according to several ABC friends working in HK.


Jan 31,2012