BORN and educated in the SAR, Simpson Wong Leung-hang is a fresh graduate of the University of Hong Kong who has just landed a job with HSBC despite competition from more than 1,000 candidates around the world. Mr Wong, 22, will do an HSBC global training programme that starts in London in September. The two-year course in investment banking will also take him to New York and Tokyo. 'From what I learn, some companies, especially American firms, reserve the top jobs for overseas graduates, particularly those from Ivy League colleges,' Mr Wong said. 'HSBC is one of the fairer companies. They open their positions to all. There were some overseas graduates competing for my job, but they took me instead. I think employers should give local graduates a chance.' Mr Wong, a finance graduate, was not taken aback by questions he was asked during the selection procedure. They ranged from 'how many gametes can an ant produce?' to a real case study full of business jargon. 'It doesn't matter what answers you give employers. They just want to know your way of thinking and how you can prove your logic,' he said. 'When I wasn't really sure of the answer, I just told them I didn't know. The bottom line is: don't pretend to be something you're not. Some companies prefer aggressive people and others look for a pleasant personality.' He attributes his English proficiency to joining numerous exchange programmes since he was 11. 'I've been on programmes to Singapore, Japan, Beijing and the United States. I keep in touch with the friends I've met there and that's how I brush up on my English.' He believes overseas graduates may have an edge in creative thinking. 'When I was on the exchange programme in the US, students had a lot more interaction with the teachers and they were very willing to speak their mind,' he said. 'Students in the US are encouraged to think, whereas in Hong Kong we're so busy with homework we don't have time to think of other things like sport or current affairs.'