Fasten your seatbelt, because Ian Sit will take you for a ride in the second episode of the series Back to the Future. Let’s take a look at the path Ian took to get into the graduate programme as an HR Officer in the Hong Kong office. Explore what kind of experiences he gained and what his expectations are for the future.
You attended a half year student exchange programme in Poland. What were the biggest surprises in Europe for you?
There was no big cultural shock fortunately, but I generally find people in Europe know how to live ‘in the moment’. It is common to see people reading a book or chatting with others on public transport, which is very different from Hong Kong. I also found that people there are curious about Asian culture; there were a few times some strangers on the train were asking me lots of questions. I am always happy to share it and learn about their culture as well!
Before this particular training, did you look for any other training opportunities in Europe?
I actually visited Europe before my exchange, but those were just vacations. Europe is one of the places I go once or twice a year, but I had not thought about studying or working there. The exchange was actually the first time for me to study abroad and it was a totally different experience than being on holiday.
Hong Kong is a big city. Living there, does it feel like living in a bigger city with more opportunities? How did you find out about the “future is bright”?
Hong Kong is unique and diversified. There are so many people from many different backgrounds and countries. Hong Kong is full of opportunities to learn about diverse cultures and work with many people in this international environment. I learned about the #futureisbright graduate program when I was job searching.
If you could travel back in time to your younger self, what kind of advice would you give yourself?
If I had a chance to meet my younger self, I would ask him to take the time to really explore things that he would like to do. When you are a full time worker, there’s less time and energy to make plans, while being a student gives you lots of flexibility and time. In short, I would tell him to make good use of his free time!
You already have several HR internship experiences. Can you tell what is different in this one?
I have more autonomy and ownership of my projects at Amino than any of my previous companies. My job duties are very diverse and I learn a lot from there, no matter if it is a major or just a minor task I am undertaking. This is also my first time working for a technology software company, so I am learning a lot about this industry as well.
There is a saying that “it’s the hardest to work with people”. Do you think it is challenging to communicate with the team?
Fortunately the people I work with are very collaborative. Whenever I need advice on my presentation or other work, my HR teammates are very responsive and helpful. Although we are a global HR team working across multiple countries and time zones, I still feel supported by them.
Definitely this time is challenging, because some people have to work from home. Is it more difficult to communicate online than in person?
As my team members are located in different countries, working from home does not really affect me. I am glad that the remote working technologies are very advanced these days. We have used Teams, Google Meet and Slack to maintain our face to face communication during the pandemic.
What would be the most interesting thing you want to experience once you can travel to the other offices?
I would love to visit the UK headquarters in Cambridge. It will definitely be interesting to meet the people who I have been working with remotely, in person. I am also interested in the other offices in Europe, especially the Brno Office: I have seen the office tour video and it seems so cool to have a big relaxation zone there!
What are your main focus areas to grow before finishing this programme?
My goal is to be an all-round HR professional who can provide support to all of our employees across the globe and make them feel happy working for Amino. In the coming months, I will be planning some employee wellness programmes and I am looking forward to growing my project management skills from there.
What do you think are the main advantages of attending this kind of programme?
With exposure too many different HR functions and projects, I will pick up not only a particular kind of skill but a comprehensive competency which enables me to have a holistic view of HR. I also appreciate that in this graduate programme I have the opportunities to work internationally. Let’s hope the pandemic will end soon as more people get vaccinated, and I can visit my colleagues overseas.