Employers in China rank ASU a top university for recruitment
While the economic aftermath of COVID-19 continues to affect employment for millions, employers in one of the fastest-growing global economies say that Sun Devils have an edge. Arizona State University has been recognized by two separate Chinese organizations for the university’s career services and for the talent and professionalism of its graduates.
In September, the American Universities’ China Association announced that ASU has been selected for the Best China Career Services Award for excellence in the 2020 AUCA Summer Virtual Career Events, during which more than 10,000 students attended four career fairs, two career forums and 20 recruitment talks hosted by universities and employers.
ASU was selected by more than 60,000 employers and more than 1,600 global university partners from Lockin and the Global University Central Career Union as a recipient of the 2020 Exclusive Global Employer’s Choice Award in recognition of world-class professionalism and recruitment in China.
According to the Lockin 2020 Chinese Overseas Talents Career Development Analysis Report, despite the economic downturn China’s growth rate is the fastest among the largest economies in the world and “there are still many industries that show a huge demand for talent.”
Mingwei Zhang, who is from Wuhan, earned his graduate degree in finance from ASU in 2019 and now works for a Chinese investment bank in Shanghai. He said ASU is “a lovely place to stay, live and study. There are nice people, kind professors and advanced equipment, which can bring a great learning environment to students.”
He remembers going to his mother’s commercial banking office after school, which influenced his career path. He joined LockinU as a graduate student at ASU and said the experience was fantastic when he was job searching in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Wuhan.
“Definitely it helped my career,” he said. “LockinU brought a lot of information to me. It helped me to know what kind of person did Chinese corporations need and how to touch up my resume. In these career fairs, I met some new friends as well,” he said.
Sheila Shedd, ASU senior director of career and professional development services, said the awards are a testament to the excellence of Sun Devils’ preparation for their fields inside and outside the classroom.
“It’s about how we prepare our students,” Shedd said. “Collaborations allow us to curate and facilitate meetings with organizations and make sure Sun Devils are connected with employers. Students often receive offers even before graduation.”
ASU is a member of the American Universities’ China Association, which provides Sun Devils exclusive job opportunities and a powerful career network in China and partners with companies looking for talented graduates with overseas study experience, including Alibaba, Microsoft, ByteDance, PwC and more. ASU has been working with the Global University Central Career Union for about three years, offering workshops in Mandarin and English that feature preparation for skills tests and resume expectations, information about common recruitment timelines in China, the chance to connect with companies, online internships, chances for mentorship and networking, and other opportunities for students who want to work in China in a wide array of fields — from supply chain to accounting to engineering to liberal arts.
As of fall 2019, there were 9,628 international students in graduate or undergraduate study at ASU, and a large proportion, 3,198, were from China. As of May 2020, ASU has 10,300 Chinese alumni. Shedd said many of those students want to return to China to work after graduation, and domestic and other international students who are also interested in working in China also benefit from the career development resources.
“American experience is desired, and conversational English gives applicants an edge, so these are great experiences for both international and domestic students,” Shedd said.
Jennifer Zhou, ASU China alumni engagement manager, said that ASU’s partnerships with the American Universities’ China Association and the the Global University Central Career Union provide invaluable opportunities to understand the latest hiring trends and job market insights in China.
“Through establishing alliances across the university to carry out employer talent-solution partnership programs, ASU shows commitment to supporting Chinese students and alumni career development,” Zhou said.
According to Lockin’s data, the most demand for overseas talent is for jobs in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing in industries such as tech, finance, education, trading, PR, advertising, electronic technology and more.
Crystal Kong, founder and CEO of Lockin and the Global University Central Career Union, said that collaborating with ASU helps Chinese employers get to know the institution and the quality of graduates while simultaneously bolstering students’ knowledge about the Chinese labor market to prepare better for job-seeking. Approximately 2,000 job applications have been sent by ASU students through Lockin (they have a job portal specifically for Sun Devils) in the last year, and thousands joined Lockin’s 80 Days Event workshops to learn about typical Chinese recruitment seasons and procedures.
“Upon the response from our employers, it can be easily observed that not only do the ASU staff provide great support to employers’ recruitment activities, but ASU students show their passion to employers, no matter from the perspective of application number or attitude in participating recruitment activities,” Kong said. “In addition, many companies have rated ASU graduates as excellent employees. This also reflects the awesome teaching quality of ASU.”
Sun Devils all over the world make their mark in every industry. The evidence is clear, said Shedd, who cites recent employer survey results showing that ASU students have a reputation for being ready to excel in their fields when they start to work in China.
“Over and over again, employers confirm that the quality of the work students output show that employers are pleased with the work and saying ‘We want more students from ASU.'”