- Final year is a high stress period. Do you know how to de-stress to maintain overall wellness?
- Whether you plan to pursue further studies or employment, are you making a well-informed decision?
- Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
1. Final chance to change major/ minor options
Hey guys! Are you happy with your major / minor programmes? As you march into your final year, you have to be 100% sure about your major / minor selection. The last chance for you to declare or change it is during the Add / Drop period of the first semester this year. You CANNOT make any changes to it in the Add / Drop period of the second semester (i.e., the final semester). So, make up your mind and act now! If you have already completed a good number of courses under one specific programme but have not declared it as your second major / minor yet, declare it in SIS in the Add / Drop period in September.
2. Check the “Degree Audit” again
To play safe, we suggest you run the Degree Audit in SIS again to see if you are going to fulfill all programme requirements on time. Also, don’t hesitate to check with your Faculty Office if you think there might be some other conditions that you need to fulfill before graduation. You can still make changes to your course enrolment during the Add / Drop period in Semester 2.
3. Work on your capstone / final year project
Capstone is one of the compulsory learning experiences for all HKU majors. Some students need to do final year project (FYP) as well in their final year. Both capstone and FYP focus on the integration and application of knowledge and skills that you have acquired throughout your undergraduate studies. If you encounter any problems, talk to your supervisor / teacher / tutor / groupmates at once. Many of them are happy to help.
4. Finalise your postgraduate studies application
If you plan to pursue a research postgraduate degree, you might need to finalise your research proposal and application documents in the first semester of your final year. Most universities’ closing dates for graduate entry fall between November and January. For HKU, the main round of application for research degrees is usually from September to early December. Interested applicants are therefore advised to apply early. Not sure about the procedures and documents required yet? Here is the website on the application for HKU’s research degrees for your reference. If you are looking for taught postgraduate degree programmes in HKU, please look at https://admissions.hku.hk/tpg/home . Remember to check whether the programme you intend to apply requires a public admission test (such as GMAT or GRE).
5. Apply for jobs and attend interviews
If you plan to find a job after graduation, set aside time each week for job search. Enrich your CV with experiences that can demonstrate your leadership, teamwork, organisation and other skills that your future employer might look for. Practice writing tailor-made cover letters for each job. Attend recruitment talks and job fairs on- and off-campus. Browse job sites for suitable vacancies and send out applications. Keep abreast of current affairs. Interviewers will ask you questions that test your competence beyond your studies. You may feel nervous in the first couple of job interviews. Review your performance and learn from each, as we all know, “Practice makes perfect!”
CEDARS (Careers and Placement) offers a comprehensive range of services to support you from career assessment, planning, internships, job search to preparation for job interviews. They also provide one-on-one career advising on topics such as career planning, CV review, mock interview, and more. For details, please go to: https://www.cedars.hku.hk/careers/home .
6. Graduate and stay connected with HKU
You did it! Congratulations on your graduation! You are now a member of the HKU alumni family and no application is required! Wherever you are, you are a member of HKU for life. We would like to keep in touch with you and share with you our latest development. Want to know more about alumni benefits or update us with your contact details? Our Development and Alumni Affairs Office (DAAO) is more than happy to help.
- Look at Past Interview Questions (PIQ) – CEDARS (Career and Placement) has a collection of past interview questions of specific companies / industries. Before attending a job interview, you can contact the Careers Service Help Desk at 3/F, Meng Wah Complex.
- Make Good Use of the Career Resources – Apart from the PIQ, there are many practical career resources at your fingertips by CEDARS (Career and Placement), covering the hot topics such as how to write CV / cover letter, job market updates and salary information.
- Apply for Exit Documents – After you have completed all your degree requirements, you usually need to wait for a few months before the conferral of your degree. To facilitate your job search or application for further studies during this period, you can apply for the exit documents from the Academic Support and Examination Section of Registry, such as transcripts and testimonials, to certify your completion of specific programmes / qualifications. As for certification of your academic results of separate components, you may also apply for the Academic Attainment Profile (AAP). For details, please go to: http://www.ase.hku.hk/asoffice/
Gan Ruyi (BBA(IS), Year 4)
Being a final year is the last year for me to take up the role as a student at university where studying is no longer the most important thing. Different people have different priorities: Some are busy with the Autumn intake recruitment, while others plan to continue their postgraduate studies. To be honest, I consider the final year as the most stressful period during my university journey, because I’m always hesitant between various options and paths, and doubt whether I’m making the right choice.
At first, I insisted on only pursuing one specific goal (e.g., being recruited by the top-ranked company) and took it for granted that I would succeed based on my previous experience and achievements. However, after several unexpected failures, I generally realized that in order to come up with the well-informed decision, I should be exploring different opportunities and finding out the most suitable one. For example, I dreamed about entering the financial industry just like what our famous alumni did during my early years in the university. However, after some coincidental consulting experience, I began to consider whether I have been chasing an unmatched goal. Until now, I’m still not sure about my final interest, but I am willing to be open and explore more.
Therefore, the sincerest advice I would like to give to my fellow students, is to take advantage of the rich resources of the University and its extremely flexible academic policy, to explore as much as your could during these four years. Be it about your studies, work or life. Don’t think that it’s a waste of time. It may be the most valuable four years in your life in search of your ultimate goal.
Ho Mun Kay (BBiomedSc, Year 4)
As a current final year student, I am grateful for all the resources made available to me as an undergraduate student in HKU. I believe the guidance and opportunities I was given at HKU has made my experience rich and colorful.
In Year 3, I was lucky enough to conduct a semester long exchange in Singapore at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It has been a challenging journey to study and develop myself in a completely foreign learning environment but I am thankful to have had the opportunity to do so. With the support of the School of Biomedical Sciences, I was also able to complete my internship abroad with a lot of advance planning. All this would not have been possible without the guidance and assistance from AASO Advisers and HKUMed Wellness Counsellors.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to take it easy and always remember to plan for the future but live in the present. Give everything you do your very best, then let it run its course. University is the best platform to discover your passions, so when you find something that matches your interest, give it a go!