Yang Ming: your interests will lead you to your career

Yang Ming: your interests will lead you to your career

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Yang Ming

Yang Ming started his career as an Employer Branding Project Manager at AXA's headquarters only a few months ago. Being one of our alumni, he has just walked through what’s waiting ahead of us in less than a year. Ming was once part of the La Rédac team three years ago and that’s where we started the conversation. “We were only 3 students in the team.  I was in my second semester with a lot of classes going on. So it was really intense. And now I still keep an eye on the website from time to time.”

Sciences Po Challenge: Adapt & Have Fun

Ming arrived at Sciences Po right after obtaining his bachelor's degree in China. Sciences Po is known for its unique method of teaching and it’s even more challenging for an international student. Most of the time we must fight for an idea when working on a presentation project. “It was hard at the beginning but I became fond of it after adapting myself. For example when you are assigned with a completely unfamiliar topic, you must prepare your angles and arguments, then to convince your audience. This is a creation process and I really enjoyed it.”

Another major obstacle is the language. “I majored in French for four years but I still found it hard to fully understand the language when I was actually in a French-speaking environment. But don’t be afraid of anything. Do as you can and adapt yourself. Dig up your motivation then enjoy the process. Have fun with it. It doesn’t matter if you messed up once, at least you would learn something and make progress.”

Career Path: It’s All About Your Interests

This is a never-ending mystery for most of us at early twenties, so it was for Ming. The path is not straight. You’ll meet people and go through some backs and forths since career planning is a constantly evolving process. The most important thing is to find out what interest you.

“The concept of communication differs a lot in China. It wasn't until the end of the first semester, after all the courses I’ve taken, that I came to realize what it actually refers to in France. An inspiring moment was once in the Corporate Communication class, the professor mentioned the employer branding and it triggered my interest.”

Later on, Ming decided to take a gap year to further explore his different interests. “If you don’t know or not sure about your interests, you need to try once or twice to find it out. Honestly you somehow have the awareness about what company or position will interest you. So I started to look for an internship in this direction. And gradually I realized that I needed to build up a career plan.”

Get employed: Go Networking & Show Your True Self

Ming has been through some hard time looking for a job after the graduation. Speaking of his experience, despite of choosing carefully where to send out applications and customizing cover letters in a storytelling style, it’s also crucial to understand more before actually step into professional life: “I’ll talk to professionals in related domains and even try to reach them on LinkedIn. If you can express your purpose clearly and properly, most of them will be willing to meet you and talk to you.”

When it comes to interviews, yes the techniques and skills are indispensable. But very often it’s more than that. “I always encounter something unpredictable during each job hunt because of my non-working experience. So your personality and interests such as sports, voluntary jobs shall not be ignored in the CV. You need to know your interests. Honestly the first 5 minutes of an interview can totally decide whether you’ll be recruited or not, during which usually a candidate haven’t even mentioned his previous working experience.”

By Jinglan SU

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