The Pan-Asian Careers Initiative is a non-profit organisation founded and lead by student leaders at the University of St Andrews. Leading up to their ‘Opportunities in Asia: Internships and Grad Schemes’ event, The Saint interviews the society’s president in order to get an inside look into what went into making this event possible, as well as what students have to look forward to.
The Saint: What do you think sets this event apart from others going on in St Andrews?
Andrew Meaney: There are multiple reasons why the Pan-Asian Careers Initiative ‘Opportunities in Asia: Internships and Graduate Schemes’ event stands apart from others in St Andrews. First and foremost, this is the only event in St Andrews that focuses on helping facilitate career opportunities in Asia for University of St Andrews students. This is applicable for students in any year, as though our primary focus is on internships and career opportunities, we will also touch on study abroad and post-graduate study as well.
Secondly, the calibre of our speakers and the breadth and variety of their experiences makes for a truly impressive panel. As illustrated from our speaker list (below), experiences traverse Asia geographically and across industries. This year, we are excited to feature a panel who have worked in across Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China at Deloitte, EY (Consulting), HSBC (Private banking), Redress (Fashion), Ethis (Islamic Finance), HuaTai Securities (Finance), and Kajima Corp. (Construction).
Thirdly, the theme of the evening is ‘actionable next steps’, and each speaker will outline their application/recruitment process, lending insights into how to maximise your success when it comes to applying to competitive firms. In addition, we have collaborated with the Careers Centre, and Ellen Wei, the Asian and PGT Opportunities Manager from the career centre, will elaborate on her role and how to maximise the resources provided by the careers centre as you look for internships, masters or graduate schemes in Asia. Together, we hope that everyone in the audience will come away with a better understanding of how to best approach their career, whether it is oriented to Asia or otherwise.
Overall, this event provides the unique opportunity to gain privileged insights into the real authentic experiences of incredible individuals, and I am positive that there will be something insightful for anyone who attends, regardless of age, degree, or cultural background.
TS: How was this event made possible? Is there anyone in particular whose efforts you’d like to acknowledge?
AM: I would like to commend the PACI 2019 committee for their hard work and dedication since our first meeting in week one. I have been amazed by the enthusiasm and passion in which everyone undertook their responsibilities, and as a result we have already surpassed the high-bar that was set by previous PACI committees. We are truly motivated by serving the St Andrews student community, and have done our utmost to ensure that this will be a positive and informative experience for everyone.
In particular, the committee’s ability to source such incredible speakers, and the way they engaged with each of the speakers throughout the process to ensure the event will be well organised and run smoothly should be commended. It has truly been a pleasure working with Mr. Ken Senkoff (Vice-President), Mrs. Ada Quek (Project Coordinator) and Mr. Troy Takemori (Head of Marketing and Communications) and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them here. I hope that as many people can attend the event as possible to see their hard work come to fruition.
TS: What can people look forward to at the event?
AM: As touched on earlier, we are looking to make a fun, informative and engaging event for the St Andrews student community. We are excited to provide students with the opportunity to network, learn about the recruitment process, and provide information regarding the cultural nuances of working in Asia. In addition, we are excited to market some potential internship opportunities and introduce Ellen Wei who is an underutilised resource in the Careers Centre.
TS: Finally, what do you hope people take away from the event?
AM: Reiterating our theme, we are hoping that everyone will leave with an understanding of ‘actionable next steps’ that they can implement and a better understanding of whether a career in Asia is something that would interest them. In general, our main objective is to ensure that this is a positive experience for everyone involved. The panel-style discussion forum will also provide the opportunity for the audience to engage directly with the speakers, and to have their questions answered directly. To maximise the experience, it would be fantastic if prior to the event everyone could ponder on a few questions that they may have that they would want answered as this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
To learn even more about the event, check out their Facebook page.