GUEST BLOG: Chinese students: Advice from graduates in China

This post was originally published a few years ago – but the advice from our Chinese graduates is still good if you’re thinking about your return to China:

Seven million new graduates will enter the job market in China this year. If you are a Chinese student at York you might already be thinking about the move back home at the end of your course – and considering how you can make the move from education into employment successfully.

Through our York Profiles and Mentors database we have collected some interesting insights from former Chinese graduates who have already successfully returned home to find work.  Here’s what they say:

Improving your chances

  • Start thinking early about what you want to do when you return home
  • Use the Careers Service for advice and CV reviews
  • Use alumni and friends as sources of contacts and advice
  • Learn about the job market at home as early as you can and keep your knowledge of recruitment processes as up-to-date as possible
  • LinkedIn is a useful resource for finding jobs and networking – use it!
  • Try to get an internship or other work experience

Benefits of having undertaken a course in the UK

  • Opportunities to develop English skills
  • Chance to undertake volunteering activities alongside course – helps to develop skills and improve English
  • Part time work in a relevant sector can help you get a job and it will help you learn more about British culture, social norms and business practices
  • Development of more analytical and research skills

Challenges you might face

  • While you are out of the country you could be missing out on networking opportunities
  • The recruitment process may differ from that in the UK – do your research
  • Be aware that differences in the structure of Masters degree in China and the UK may mean you have less work experience – home Masters students are likely to have significant internship experience by the end of their course
  • Home students typically start looking for work up to one year in advance of graduation – think about how you will do this while in the UK

What do Chinese employers think?

  • Some Chinese employers feel graduates who have studied in the UK might have higher expectations in terms of salary and may not be so loyal as they may be more ambitious
  • Some employers are not familiar with the status of different UK universities
  • Employers may not favour someone who has no domestic work experience
  • Some employers feel a UK Masters degree is too short in comparison with a 2 or 3 year Masters in China
  • Some employers don’t appreciate the differences in marking systems between the UK and China – they expect excellent candidates to be getting over 90% in exams
  • Some research shows employers think overseas educated graduates have higher expectations than home educated students
  • For some positions (eg Civil Service/Government) home educated students may be more attractive to employers, but with large multinational companies graduates who have had a UK education may be seen to have advantages
  • There may be an expectation of a high level of English language skills.

 We have lots of advice on our website to help you meet these challenges and to help you focus on the very positive aspects of having studied in the UK.

Where are Chinese graduates who provided this information working?

Companies include: ABC-CA Fund Management, Apple Inc , China Citicbank International, China Industrial Bank Co., Oracle, Paypal, Remy Cointreau, Thomson Reuters, University of Shanghai

Want to know more? Get in touch with graduates in China

Use our York Profiles and Mentors database to get advice and information directly from graduates working in China.