Looking for a graduate job in Asia? 5 tips for international students

In February, the Careers Service invited five international alumni to share their valuable insights and experiences with searching and applying for graduate roles in Asia. 

Here are five top tips from our speakers:

Utilise your Bristol experience as your unique selling point

Yun Wen Soh, Singapore — Honours Law LLB (2021) 
Incoming Trainee Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills 

When preparing for job applications and interviews, think about the different experiences you have at Bristol and use it as your unique selling point (USP).  

Try to identify a range of competencies throughout your time at university that will make you stand out as a candidate. Remember, your extra-curricular experiences are just as important as your legal internship and work experiences!

For example, working as a Careers Peer Support Assistant at the Careers Service in my final year has helped me develop strong teamworking and communication skills. By demonstrating a variety of external experiences and leadership responsibilities during your interview, you can impress the interviewer as a unique candidate with holistic experiences. 

Nonetheless, make sure that you continue to study hard, as your academic results are still an important factor within the hiring process, especially in countries such as Singapore.  

💡 Tip! Use the STAR model when structuring your interview answers to exemplify key skills and competencies.  

Research and gather information about the local graduate market 

Jialu Li, China — MSc Finance and Investment (2016)
Technical Program Manager at Byte Dance 

As an overseas returnee, it is very important to gather as much information as possible about the local recruitment landscape and hiring trends. For instance, I would highly encourage you to use LinkedIn to access industry-specific information and connect with professionals in your industry.

By expanding your network and connecting with industry experts, including Bristol alumni who are currently working in your home country, you can gain valuable, first-hand career advice and interview tips. 

An alternative way to learn about the local graduate market would be by word of mouth. Before returning to China, I called at least 10 of my friends who are currently working in China, to help me gain a better understanding of industry trends, the job market, and work-life balance. This was essential in helping me make an informed decision about my career plans. 

💡 Tip! Read our international labour market information factsheets on mycareer to build your knowledge about key market trends in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, mainland China and Hong Kong

Find a company that shares your values 

Yushuang Liu, China – MSc Accounting, Finance and Management (2020) 
Transfer Pricing at Deloitte 

When searching for a job in your home country as an international student, it is crucial to find a company that aligns with your personal values. This will enable you to feel fulfilled, satisfied and happy in your workplace.  

To begin, take the time to analyse your core values. For example, try reflecting on things that matter most to you, such as social responsibility, integrity or innovation. 

Upon identifying your priorities, conduct research to identify companies that share these values. I would encourage you to check a company’s website, social media and news articles to learn about their mission statement, culture and social responsibility initiatives.  

💡 Tip! Read our recent blogpost about ways to find an employer that shares your values

Brush up your interview skills 

Yifei An, China – MSc Advanced Microelectronics Systems Engineering (2017) 
Hardware Engineer at Western Digital  

For international students looking to work in your home countries, undergoing mock interviews is especially important to refamiliarise yourself with the local job market. If you have been studying abroad for a while, you may not be fully aware of the current job application and hiring practices in your home country. Mock interviews provide an opportunity for you to practice common interview questions, receive valuable feedback, and improve on your overall communication skills. The more your practice, the higher the chances of success in your real interview! 

💡 Tip! Use our Interview guide to prepare for your upcoming interview. 

Be resilient and don’t give up 

Vasudha Pathak, India — MSc Economics (2014) 
Manager (Economics and Disputes) at Deloitte 

Job hunting is an extremely lengthy, difficult and emotionally-taxing process. It can be discouraging to be rejected or to receive no response, and oftentimes, things don’t turn out the way you planned. For instance, I did not initially plan to return to India after graduating from university, however, my experiences working as a Junior Executive, an Economist, and gaining experience at a start-up in India has led me to where I am today.  

With resilience, self-confidence and determination, you can also find your way to a fulfilling career path. 

Find out more: 

Ning Tay, Careers Support Officer (International)

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Emma, in her graduate gown, smiling outside Wills memorial Building

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We recently caught up with Joseph to hear about his journey so far at TLT and his advice for students considering a career in law.

Hi I’m Joseph, 

While studying I tried to get as much exposure to the legal industry as possible to confirm that I wanted to start a career in law and to work out which area of law suited me best. This included work experience with a barristers’ chambers, a boutique private practice, larger full-service corporate firms and a firm operating in a different jurisdiction. These experiences were invaluable for me to gain an awareness of the different disciplines within the industry and to figure out what clicked for me.

I was appreciative of the opportunities to attend numerous networking evenings and law fairs whilst at Bristol. I found these to be a brilliant way to informally chat to representatives from a whole host of firms and to quickly get a feel for whether I would be a good fit for the firm and whether the firm would be a good fit for me. (more…)

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PEEQUAL co-founders presenting at an event

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Can you summarise what PEEQUAL is? 

PEEQUAL is the UK’s first free-standing women’s urinal, making it quick, safe, and sustainable for women to pee at events.   

Why did you choose to apply for the NEC last year?