Year Four: EXCEL

  • 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. Confirm your 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 / change it is 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 (the final semester). So, make up your mind and act now! If you have already done 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. Perform a “Degree Audit”

Do you know if everything is on the right track with your studies? Run the Degree Audit in SIS to check your progress now. Please look at Year 3 (Point 1): “Use ‘’Degree Audit” to monitor your progress” for details. You can still make changes to your course enrollment during the Add/Drop period in Semester 2.

3. Work on your capstone / final year project

Capstone is one of the common learning experiences of all HKU students, some students need to do 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 on both or either one, talk to your supervisor / teacher / tutor/ group mates at once. Many of them are happy to help.

4. Finalize your postgraduate studies application

If you plan to pursue a postgraduate research degree, you might need to finalize your research proposal and application documents in the first semester of your final year. Most university 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. Have no idea yet about the procedures and documents required? Here are the website and video 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 http://www.aal.hku.hk/tpg/home. Remember to take the required admission test (such as GMAT, GRE, LSAT) before graduate school applications are due.

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, organization 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 will 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…. For details, please go to: http://www.cedars.hku.hk/careers/

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. Wish to know more about alumni benefits or update us with your contact details? Our Development and Alumni Affairs Office (DAAO) is most happy to help.

Tips

  • Look at Past Interview Questions (PIQ) – CEDARS (Career and Placement) has a collection of past interview questions of specific companies/ industries. Before you attend the job interview, 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 a lot of 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 in December. 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.

Stories

John Joson Quimpo (BSc, Year 4)

John Joson Quimpo (BSc, Year 4)

I’m currently doing a final year project (FYP) in fulfillment of the graduation requirements for a Major in Chemistry, under the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP), and I will be doing a Directed Studies project for my second Major in Biological Sciences in the second semester.

The FYP is a heavy undertaking and requires me to balance my time well between my academics and my work in the laboratory. Aside from learning to discipline myself and to manage my own time, I got a chance to glimpse at life in scientific academia. This allows me to evaluate my prospectsive for either a career or doing a postgraduate degree after graduation.

The most exciting thing about working in a science laboratory is finding out that that the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries start from the many questions bred by curiosity. Through experimentation, hypothesis testing, and deduction, we get a little bit closer to the truth of how things work. To be part of that global collective endeavor advancing the frontiers of human knowledge, slowly but surely, appeals to me and aligns well with what I believe to be meaningful.

Arushi TATED (BBA, Year 4)

Arushi TATED (BBA, Year 4)

Coming into final year, I was already mentally prepared for the amount of time and effort that job hunting and my Business Capstone course would take, therefore one of the biggest challenges I faced was planning out my studies and managing my time in a way that allows me some extra time in my 4th year. I was very lucky to have a great Advisor from AAO, who helped me plan each of my semester in a way that my study load would not overwhelm me — I am on track for completing my degree requirements, and at the same time, still have capacity to do the courses I enjoy. Advanced planning allowed me to balance my academics with my extracurricular activities and hall life, while still keeping enough time to relax and socialize with my friends. One of the greatest things I learnt from HKU is therefore the value of managing time and planning ahead. By being well organized, I could fully utilize all the opportunities provided by the University, more importantly, I was able to make the most out of my time here and do a lot more with my limited time proactively.