SEEK proper guidance before making up your mind about higher studies and careers, advised the Governor, Mr Chris Patten, who was chief guest at the opening of the Education and Careers Expo '93, held recently at the Hongkong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mr Patten, who regretted that he had no one to guide him when he was a student, said he sympathised with young people as it could be a daunting task trying to decide on a career. ''I certainly received no career guidance which led me to be an environmental minister or Governor of Hongkong,'' he said. ''When I left the university, I was recommended for a career in the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] as a graduate trainee. But I went for a scholarship in the United States and got involved in politics. ''It wasn't perhaps the best example of good career guidance in practice,'' the Governor said. Mr Patten encouraged young people to visit exhibitions to gain knowledge about studies and work opportunities. He said the success of Hongkong depended very much on the skills of Hongkong people, and that it was important to provide education and training opportunities to young people so they could contribute to society after graduation. He said the territory should be proud of its traditional nine-year free compulsory education, and that it was now time to concentrate on improving the quality of this education. When young people had completed their studies, it was vital they received proper career guidance so they could make the best of their various strengths and talents, the Governor pointed out. Thousands of visitors flocked to the exhibition, the largest of its kind in Hongkong, to seek information about local and overseas education and work opportunities. The four-day event, organised by the Hongkong Trade Development Council and the Labour Department, brought together more than 180 local and overseas exhibitors. More than 70 seminars were held, covering areas like degree programmes in Hongkong, further studies overseas, academic programmes leading to professional qualifications and language courses. Work opportunities with private enterprises, professional bodies and government departments were presented in 130 videos screened on all four days. Application forms, brochures and souvenirs were distributed free.