Young champions flaunt assets

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 July, 2012, 12:00am


A third-year professional-accountancy student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) beat 11 other contestants from four Chinese cities to emerge as the champion of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Job Hunting Competition 2012 China Grand Final.

Harry Yung Ho-shu impressed both the judges and the audience to win the annual contest held this year on July 7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The nationwide contest aims to provide students with job-hunting skills, and serves as a platform for students from varied backgrounds to learn teamwork while tackling business case studies.

'This signature event is the perfect platform for our future leaders to have a taste of the real business world. At ACCA, we are committed to supporting students and professionals so that they can set themselves apart from the competition,' said Ada Leung, head of ACCA China.

This year's 12 finalists beat 2,200 applicants in contests held in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The finalists were split into three groups to discuss and present the best possible solution to a case study prepared by the official case sponsor, TACSEN Management Consultants.

Head judge Anthony Tyen, an ACCA council member, said the contestants were able to grip concepts and ideas, and present in style. 'I was very impressed by their self-confidence given their [young] age, the tall order, the limited amount of time, and the differences in backgrounds ... I see huge potential in the 12 candidates,' Tyen said.

Johnny Chu, audit partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, said: 'Each group had four people with different backgrounds. Each person had a different view, yet we didn't see them fighting among themselves. That's impressive.'

TACSEN managing director Terence Yeung was impressed by Yung's persuasiveness. '[He] was talking to us instead of talking to the screen or remembering what needed to be said. He talked in a fluid and convincing manner - and with content,' he said.

Edwin Yeung, partner at Fortune International Group, agreed. '[Yung] gave me the impression that he wasn't just answering our questions. He was explaining things to us,' he said.

Teresa Tso, partner, financial services at Ernst & Young, also admired Yung's leadership. 'He made his team focus on what was key and what was important to the case,' she said.

Another CUHK professional-accountancy student, sophomore Herman Mok Chi-kit, won first runner-up.

'[Mok] did quite well in the presentation. During the group discussion, we agreed that [he] was doing the part of moderator and leader. There were quite a number of aggressive candidates within his team, but he was able to calm down everyone,' Chu said.

Second runner-up was Heather Huang, of the Beijing competition and a second-year accounting major at Tsinghua University.

Paul McSheaffrey, partner, audit, at KPMG, called himself Huang's 'perfect fan'.

'She came across as very confident and clear in [her] message. The structure of how she presented her section was engaging and kept our attention.'

Tso added that 'during the team discussion, [Huang] was assertive about the points she wanted to make'.

'She was respectful but very clear about her ideas,' Tso added.

The winners received trophies and cash prizes. Prior to the contest, the 12 finalists were coached on interview and presentation techniques, and received free career assessments. Some of the finalists also participated in a two-day job-shadowing placement in Shanghai.