STUDENTS ON THE mainland see the job market as an employment ocean. They feel like fish in water teeming with thousands of other fish. So how does soon-to-be master's graduate Lulu Guo Lu of Fujian province get noticed? The challenge for the 24-year-old may be doubly hard. She excelled at the Software and Microelectronics Institute in the nation's top college, Peking University, and dreams of working as an investment banker. She needs to convince people that while she is extraordinarily capable in a hi-tech world, she may also be good in the world of high finance. 'I want to put my skills and abilities to work in a Hong Kong firm,' she said. 'But I just want to get my foot in the door, whether that means working with computers on new ways to manipulate data to better allow a company to operate, or provide better research.' But her passion is sometimes a little hard to see. Even among interns at Microsoft's research lab in Beijing - called by some the hottest software lab on the planet - Ms Lu appears a bit shy. She has been developing software to aid in search-related research projects, and previously did research in internships at Oracle and Intel in Beijing. 'Sometimes, it's a bit impolite in China to speak too much about your own accomplishments,' she said, the intensity behind her eyes belying her soft-spoken nature. 'I find it hard to tell people I've done this or that.' Her record speaks for itself. She was third in her undergraduate class at Nanjing University, studying meteorology, and was exempt from taking China's notoriously arduous graduate entrance exams. 'I learned to work hard. When I was in middle school, I never slept before 2am,' she said.