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Walking through the Haze with Sustainable Development Goals
Equipping Oneself to Strive Onwards and Upwards

¡DSelf-enhancement, self-improvement
¡DContinue recruiting for excellence
¡DExcellent program with excellent people

2018 is full of dramatic and surprising changes. While North Korea Crisis has been settled in an unexpected way, the onset of US-China trade war has severely hit the reviving global economy. Moreover, there were the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) and uncertainties brought forth by BREXIT. Owing to future unpredictability, there are numerous opportunities ahead. Only by equipping oneself, this is the most promising was way to grasp opportunities, strive onwards and upwards, and stay fearless about the changing market conditions. We have interviewed two representatives from different industries and invited them to share their insights on this year¡¦s economic prospects and their value-added perspective on continuous education.

Self-enhancement, self-improvement
Probing into the future prospect of the insurance industry in 2019, Mr. Eddie Kwok,Head of Learning & Development of BOC Group Life Assurance Company Limited,said since the growth in the insurance industry had been steady in the past few years, he believed there would be a further growth in the coming year. With recent technological advancement in the insurance industry, Eddie expects there will be new elements in the selling platforms, process of entering into an insurance contract and after-sales services among different insurance companies in the foreseeable future.

In terms of the aspects of recruitment, BOC Life will expand its workforce to cater its business development needs. Besides increasing the number of posts in the sales-related departments, other departments which are responsible for the provision of back-office support services will be expanded. Meanwhile, owing to the establishment of the Insurance Authority and the growing importance of insurance technology, it is believed that the number of posts related to insurance technology will also be raised.

For those who would like to advance their careers, Eddie has made three suggestions. First, for students and young adults who are interested in entering into the insurance industry, they are advised to take courses and assessments in IIQE¡]which stands for Insurance Intermediaries Qualifying Examination¡^in order to equip themselves with relevant knowledge and enhance their employability.

After entering into the insurance industry, for those who are at the sales or other frontline positions, besides taking professional qualifications in wealth management (such as CFP and CFMP, which stand for Certified Financial Planner and Certified Financial Management Planner respectively), they are expected to further their education in legacy planning and trust funds in order to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. Furthermore, as a result of the tightened laws by different financial regulators, insurance companies have a need to recruit or train professionals in anti-money laundering and counterfinancing of terrorism regime. Hence, employees in the middle and back offices are advised to take courses and professional qualifications in areas related to anti-money laundering¡]such as CAMS, which stands for Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist¡^.

Continue recruiting for excellence
Owing to the onset of US-China trade war, Hong Kong stocks stuck between ¡§a rock and a hard place¡¨ last year, which negatively affected business in Hong Kong. The catering industry has been severely hit in recent months. Mr. Lyon Lai Ping Lam, Assistant Operations Director of Taste of Asia Group Limited, believed Hong Kong¡¦s catering industry will be heavily influenced by US-China trade war. ¡§There will be visible effects in early 2019. Many restaurants will be facing the danger of closure in the first six months in 2019. If restaurants cannot keep their food quality, they will be kicked out of the market. As for self-employed entrepreneurs who rely on mortgages or loans in their business operation, their situations will be even worse. They must demonstrate perseverance in business operation as there may be cutthroat competition in the industry.¡¨ Lyon said as the catering industry is labour-intensive, Taste of Asia has a simple recruitment strategy-keeping hiring always. ¡§Our boss has set a goal for the coming year, that each brand should establish at least 5 more new branches next year. In order to expand the business, besides retaining the talents, adding new blood to the Group is essential.¡¨

Owing to the keen competition in the labour market, Lyon said recruitment is never easy despite of the high salaries, especially that the Group aims at recruiting youthful university graduates. ¡§University graduates have mastered the basics of Cantonese, English and Mandarin, and they are familiar with computer operation and social media. They are better off inputting data and handling online payments.¡¨ For ambitious job applicants, Lyon advised them to gain more understanding about food quality, since deliciousness and hygiene are the top concerns in the catering industry. The training in food standards offered by the Group is highly valued.

Excellent program with excellent people
In many regions of China, there are many candidates that wish to be promoted into the management level would like to study MBA, this is actually the result best demonstrated after a rapid development of various businesses in Mainland China. This opportunity makes many enterprises require a substantial number of management talent. Holding an internationally-acclaimed MBA course qualification is indeed a big advantage. Currently there are many big enterprises, having stabilized in Mainland China, have decided to enter into the international market. During the process of this development, the enterprises need a large number of management level employees who have the experience of dealing in Mainland China and have the knowledge of how the international operation of business world work in order to assist further development of the enterprise.

Studying the acclaimed MBA courses for many students coming from the Mainland who would like to try out their potential in Hong Kong is very attractive. In 2018, the MBA course in University of Hong Kong has again ranked as number three in the MBA courses worldwide in the Economist. The criteria for this ranking is very comprehensive. They include the opportunities to expand one¡¦s business, the individual candidate¡¦s own personal development and their own education experience, salary increase and socializing network development. Therefore, Hong Kong MBA courses do have a more prominent advantage when compared to other regions in Asia.

Obviously, the quality of Hong Kong¡¦s MBA courses are more guaranteed when compared to the fluctuating quality of the MBA or EMBA courses in Mainland China. It is chiefly due to Hong Kong¡¦s years of records of success, its better quality control, as well as its internationalized teaching quality that has made a lot of mainland employees willing to come to Hong Kong to study in order to have a better development in their career. Amongst many employees from Mainland who come to Hong Kong, many of them are already in the position of being middle/high-ranking management level, and usually come from the professions which needs to be connected with international standards such as finance or accounting. These management talents understands fully that they need to be equipped with knowledge of business operation and administration despite the mainland enterprise development. A series of MBA courses, provided by an international city of Hong Kong, can sufficiently provide them with these necessary knowledge, and hence has become the staircase for those mainland talent to international standards.

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