Interviewing in China

April 25, 2016

With the support from the PAF Professional and Professional Development Fund, I was able to travel to China from March 15 to April 1 to and attend the “Assessment Center” round of a job selection process in Hong Kong. Although after four rounds of intensive testing I did not move on to the last interview round, it was still a great learning experience.

I was applying to the Group Management Trainee Program with a company called Swire. Swire is a British conglomerate established about 200 years ago. The company has five business divisions ranging from aviation to food and beverage products. Swire currently has a major presence in Asia, as its regional headquarters are located in Hong Kong.

As a graduate student who specialized in international trade, I was really attracted to the company’s diverse business portfolio and presence around the globe. I started to apply for positions with Swire last year and finally made it to the Assessment Center round (after an online application, online aptitude test, and numerous phone interviews).

The “Assessment Center” comprised of four rounds of testing over the course of a day. The tests included an aptitude re-test, a Chinese test, an individual case activity, as well as a group project. In my group, I was with four other students who had business degrees from universities in Hong Kong as well as the U.K. I soon realized, especially in the individual fact-finding activity, my team’s different foundations of thinking. As a student who has been studying international affairs and economics, I have a much broader view and more diplomatic approach than the business students did.

In the end, Swire hired nine people from the total candidate pool and I was unfortunately not one of the nine. I did, however, learn a lot from the experience and appreciate the support of the PAF Professional and Academic Development Fund as I chased my dream.


PAF alumni are encouraged to support the PAF Professional and Academic Development Fund to ensure current PAFs continue to have access to experientially-oriented professional and academic development conference and training opportunities outside the university to complement their academic programs and their GW placement and leadership experiences. Learn more and make a gift today!

Yuxuan Shen

PAF Class of 2016
BA '13
MA '16