RAI Sharon (6F15)
Having joined the SHINE Project, I was able to get a two-day internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). My experience there was full of learning opportunities and discoveries about the corporate world.
PwC is the world’s largest professional services firm, offering auditing, tax, consulting and advisory services. While a considerable percentage of its workforce comprises of auditors and accountants, PwC is also reputed for its remarkable consulting department.
Since I was only job shadowing for two days, I wasn’t able to take on any heavy work like doing market research or developing a full strategic plan for a client. However, with my mentor’s guidance, I did learn that the consulting department was separated into several teams. My mentor was in a team for people and organisation. She was responsible for helping a client company reorganize their human resources and write a full report on how her team’s plan helps them.
Moreover, at PwC, I attended a team meeting, during which members reported updates about their current mission or discussed future company goals. That was possibly the most memorable experience I had at the company.
PwC also has a really interesting and meaningful program for their employees. It’s called “lunch and learn”, which happens once a month. Employees gather around for a department lunch and attend a specifically organized talk which aims to educate them.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and I was thoroughly surprised by the relatively relaxed environment and the company’s aim to develop its employees’ capabilities.
PHAGAMI Merina (6R17)
My job shadow experience was at a multinational firm called PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC is involved in many different kinds of jobs, such as accounting, risk management, etc. In general, PwC gives advice to all kinds of companies, from multinational corporations to small family businesses, and helps them become more competitive in the market.
Everybody was constantly telling me that I can’t go anywhere without a good Chinese- speaking ability. That scared me a lot and stopped me from grabbing opportunities and trying new things. That took away a lot of my confidence and was one of my biggest limitations. When I read that the project was more focused on giving ethnic minority students a chance to explore and learn, I knew that I had to take this opportunity.
In one of the departments called the Accounting and Audit Department, I experienced the typical office working environment at a multinational firm. However, I also got to experience a less typical version of what people would call an ‘office’, as in everyone getting their own cubicle. They have what they call a ‘bar’, which has food and drinks that you can enjoy with your colleagues after office working hours or during the occasional ‘party’. They believe that this increases work efficiency as staff members are allowed to take breaks and make changes when needed, which motivates them to work harder.
From the job shadowing experience, I learnt that I don’t have to do be a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher in order to make a difference in people’s lives. We can also influence people by working at a firm like PwC. While at PwC, I got to experience this monthly event they have called ‘Lunch and Learn’. Last month, there was a talk by one of the top businesswomen in the UK on the healthcare system of Hong Kong. The Consulting Department is basically responsible for helping companies be better at what they are. In the case of the healthcare industry, PwC could give advice to the Hospital Authority, to health insurance companies, etc. Different industries are performing various roles in society and making peoples’ lives better. When the talk was over, the head of the department stood up and said, “If you have any ideas, feel free to tell us, and you could be the next person to change the healthcare system of Hong Kong”. The fact that I was in a room full of people that could change our lives with just one idea was very inspiring to me.
Before this experience, I couldn’t see myself living and working in Hong Kong at all since I had no hope in myself. However, these few days with my mentors have taught me that even if I can’t speak fluent Chinese and even if I’m not 100% sure of what I want to do in life despite being an S6 student, it’s not the end of the world. More than half the employees at PwC don’t know Chinese at all, a lot of them aren’t even from Hong Kong/ are ‘ethnic minorities’,
In the past, I felt confused about what to study and what to be in the future. From the job shadowing experience, I learnt that I don’t have to limit myself to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher, etc. Many of the PwC employees have a completely different degree from what they’re doing right now, one of the employees even worked at Disney before working at PwC, and one of the company’s partners, who everybody knows, is a Punjabi guy from London. This experience has helped me to understand that what I have studied may not be totally relevant to my job but what skills and qualities I have learnt at school and will learn at university are more important and transferable. This has taught me that career is a process of personal and professional development rather than a degree or a job.