Resource 2019-09-17T03:22:24+00:00

Online Career Planning Courses

Learning Objective

Discover your personal character, strengths, weakness, interests, and passions. This foundational knowledge will be essential for identifying your career goals and career paths later on.

Learning Objectives

Understand the overview of trends and talent needs of major Canadian industries, including the Banking, Insurance, Big Four Accounting Firms, Government, and IT industries.

Systematically master your knowledge of the major business lines and corporate support functions of Canadian banks, including their products and services, organizational structure, major responsibilities, and the job requirements of all key roles.

Learning Objectives

Build an effective job search plan by making the best use of your past experiences and unique characteristics.

Learn how to effectively conduct focused research on targeted companies and jobs.

Learn how to write effective resumes and cover letters that will get you the interviews you want.

Learning Objectives

Grasp critical interview skills that will help you stand out among the fierce competition.

Learn how to anticipate and answer the tough interview questions that will help you get your dream job offer.

Learn how to effectively prepare for all kinds of interviews, including HR interviews, technical interviews, behavioral interviews, panel interviews, and telephone interviews.

More to come

Learning Objectives

Learn why networking is important, what specific networking skills are significant, and how to improve those networking skills quickly.

Learn how to establish a solid relationship with industry professionals, including headhunters, in order to find numerous hidden job opportunities.

More to come

Learning Objectives

Master your knowledge of office rules and etiquette in order to confidently pass your first day, your first 30 days, and your probation period.

Learn how to write an effective performance appraisal self-assessment report.

Learn how to establish your personal branding and get promoted quickly.

More to come

Learning Objective

Discover your personal character, strengths, weakness, interests, and passions. This foundational knowledge will be essential for identifying your career goals and career paths later on.

Learning Objectives

Understand the overview of trends and talent needs of major Canadian industries, including the Banking, Insurance, Big Four Accounting Firms, Government, and IT industries.

Systematically master your knowledge of the major business lines and corporate support functions of Canadian banks, including their products and services, organizational structure, major responsibilities, and the job requirements of all key roles.

Learning Objectives

Build an effective job search plan by making the best use of your past experiences and unique characteristics.

Learn how to effectively conduct focused research on targeted companies and jobs.

Learn how to write effective resumes and cover letters that will get you the interviews you want.

Learning Objectives

Grasp critical interview skills that will help you stand out among the fierce competition.

Learn how to anticipate and answer the tough interview questions that will help you get your dream job offer.

Learn how to effectively prepare for all kinds of interviews, including HR interviews, technical interviews, behavioral interviews, panel interviews, and telephone interviews.

More to come

Learning Objectives

Learn why networking is important, what specific networking skills are significant, and how to improve those networking skills quickly.

Learn how to establish a solid relationship with industry professionals, including headhunters, in order to find numerous hidden job opportunities.

More to come

Learning Objectives

Master your knowledge of office rules and etiquette in order to confidently pass your first day, your first 30 days, and your probation period.

Learn how to write an effective performance appraisal self-assessment report.

Learn how to establish your personal branding and get promoted quickly.

More to come

FAQs about iDC

iDC specializes in providing career coaching to students who are interested in working in any business line or corporate support area of the financial services industry, including Capital Markets, Asset Management, Wealth Management, Personal & Commercial Banking, Insurance, Risk Management, Finance, Accounting, Group Treasury, Product Control, AML, Compliance, Business Analytics, IT & Operations.

We believe that the younger generation can significantly benefit from the iDC training. Those who can benefit include:

  • Overseas Asian university students struggling with job or internship searches
  • Overseas Asian high school or university students interested in proactive career planning
  • Young or experienced professionals keen on exploring alternative career paths or taking their career to the next level

We invite anyone who is interested in getting into the financial services sector to consult us, regardless of your academic background.

iDC’s founder spent many years studying the younger generation’s needs and pain points with regards to their career planning and development. iDC has developed a unique systematic career planning solution and an innovative proprietary career coaching methodology, that allows students to effectively learn the lifelong skills needed to develop a fulfilling career.

iDC provides a one-stop, full cycle of career planning and development products and services through an annual membership, that includes online and offline training, assessment, consulting, and follow-up. By incorporating a large number of real-life case studies and advanced digital technology, iDC’s online training is able to make your learning journey very practical, fun, and effective.

Through our training, students are usually able to smoothly transition from new graduates into professionals in the financial services industry within 3 months.

For the first month, students will only need to spend approximately 15-30 minutes a day on the online training. Students will then strengthen their learning by participating in an intensive 2-day offline career boot camp training as well as a wide variety of networking events with our skilled mentors.

iDC has the best HR and mentoring team for helping students realize their full potential in their early career stage!  Our mentor team consists of 90+ mentors from the financial services industries in North America and Asia, of whom 22 are North American local and Chinese HR consultants. All mentors have an average of 10 years of experience and are playing leadership roles in their specialized areas.

Despite their backgrounds, they are all passionate about coaching the younger generation to develop their potentials. iDC’s mentors strive to ensure the success of their students by understanding students’ unique backgrounds, sharing their own industry insights, and providing high quality advice.

There are four membership plans at iDC: Trial Membership, Standard Membership, VIP Membership, and Renewal Membership. Each type of membership has different benefits. For more details, please refer to the iDC WeChat official account. Non-members can also purchase single module(s) of iDC’s online career planning training or one-on-one HR consulting services. We accept three payment methods, including online E-transfer, cheque or WeChat payment. One of our Customer Service Representatives will contact you within 24 hours after your payment is successfully completed.

It has been shown that optimal learning experiences are created when they combine continuous theoretical learning with practical application. iDC has developed a unique systematic career planning solution that combines online training and offline interactive coaching to maximize the training’s effectiveness for students.

With the support of advanced digital technology, iDC’s online training is delivered through mobile phones, helping students grasp career planning fundamentals both conveniently and effectively. Online iDC training consists of 6 main modules — Self-Discovery, Industry Know-How, Job Applications, Interview Skills, Networking Skills, and Career Advancement. The knowledge and insights learned from the online training serve as a strong integrated foundation for various iDC offline coaching activities, including offline career boot camp, networking/mentoring sessions, a series of career panels, career consultation sessions, and more.

The annual membership provides students with access to all of these well-designed offline coaching activities so that they can practice the skills they have learned and, over time, achieve the optimal learning experience.

In order to promote our career planning methodology, iDC partners with many Canadian universities including University of Toronto, York University, University of Waterloo, and University of Western Ontario. Throughout the school year, we organize various career events, including open classes, industry seminars, and career panels to help overseas Asian students develop their career planning skills. iDC also partners with the top five Canadian banks and Asia’s top financial institutions to develop internal referral channels for outstanding iDC members.

Often, insufficient self-awareness and industry knowledge are the causes of confusion and stress. iDC can help you to better understand your strengths, weaknesses, and unique characteristics, and gain valuable industry insights. More importantly, we can help you create a solid career plan and develop lifelong career planning skills.

Having a career plan will allow you to feel positive about what you’re doing and help you achieve your career goals and paths. This sense of direction and ownership will enable you to remain motivated and focused, rather than being confused and stressed. Effective career planning and coaching provided by iDC can also help you anticipate barriers and problems that may arise, as well as identify what you can do to avoid or overcome the barrier or problem, solve it, and move on.

Internship experience is helpful for new graduates and often considered critical for landing a full-time job. However, many overseas Asian students in Canada seem to find it quite difficult to balance their time between looking for internships and studying. As a result, they wait until after graduation to start searching for jobs.

If you are in this position, iDC can help you by coaching you in critical areas, including industry knowledge, networking skills, and job searching skills; these insights will help you stand out from the fierce competition. Specifically, we can help you identify your relevant school experiences, such as extracurricular activities, to demonstrate the skills and abilities required by targeted jobs.

With that said, looking for internship opportunities during your university studies remains critical, and we encourage students to do so sooner rather than later. There are many internship and co-op opportunities available for students during the summer months. Having internship experience, even unpaid, will enhance your chance of finding a full-time job.

For students who would like to return to China for work, we recommend that you wait until you accumulate a few years of solid experience in North America first. What you will learn from the developed North American financial markets (e.g. products, processes, technology etc) at your early career stage will provide you with better qualifications for applying for more challenging positions in China.

iDC also has offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, and we have built strategic cooperation with top recruiting firms focused in the financial services industry in China. We can provide one-stop career services for iDC members who intend to return to China, helping them to analyze the job market and recommend suitable job opportunities in China. Outstanding members will also have the opportunity to be internally referred to the top financial institutions in Asia.

iDC provides 3 types of members with superior follow-up consulting services on an annual basis. We also provide exclusive value-added services for our VIP members, which are timely and customized one-on-one consulting follow-ups that are tailored to your specific coaching needs on an ongoing basis.

Typically, a VIP member will have an additional 30 hours of tailor-made one-on-one consultation services from iDC, including 1-1 HR consulting regarding job applications and interviews, 1-1 coaching with 3+ mentors, and multiple mock interviews with iDC alumni.

iDC encourages all members to actively participate in the numerous offline training activities that iDC organizes, including face-to-face interviews with bank executives, industry seminars, job searching salons, and various networking events. Members are also encouraged to raise their questions in our online community where our HR Consultants and mentors are available to provide timely help.

FAQs about Career Planning

Many young people are confused and even lost while growing up, not knowing what to do in the future. Career planning will guide you to spend your time and effort effectively on figuring out what your passions are. Career planning will help you to effectively and precisely determine your interests, strengths, and unique characteristics, and help you to gain insights and develop an in-depth understanding of the structures and trends of various industries.

After you have developed deep knowledge of both yourself and the industry through career planning, you will be able to effectively and clearly determine your career goals, and design suitable career paths to achieve your dream career. With your dream career identified, you will have a clearer sense of direction and increased motivation. While in university, you can then focus on preparing the knowledge, skills, and experience required for your future dream career. Having planned your career like this, you will avoid meaningless career changes in the future and achieve greater success accompanied by greater personal fulfilment.

Not necessarily. Personality tests are just a tool for understanding one’s personality in an objective and scientific way. A good personality test helps to increase self-awareness. However, self-awareness can also be increased through other means, such as effective self-reflection. Determining what careers suit you is best achieved through a comprehensive series of exercises designed to help you thoroughly understand both yourself and your external environment. Such exercises go well beyond the scope of a personality test.

To fully understand yourself, you need to understand not only your personality, but also your interests, values, and capabilities etc. To get a better understanding of your external environment, you need to conduct an enormous amount of research on industries, companies, and various careers themselves. It is hard to decide what careers will suit you until you have developed solid understandings of both “yourself” and the “environment”.

Effective career planning should start as early as possible. In North America, most high schools provide students with career planning services to help them make decisions about which universities and programs might be good fits for them. If you didn’t do any career planning in high school, you should certainly start during your university studies.

Starting career planning after entering a workplace is late. Your first job plays a significant role in your career journey as this is the first position and industry that you will have experience with. If your first job turns out to be something that does not align with your career goals and paths, you will most likely have to put in extra effort in the future to make corrections.

Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is that most overseas Asian university students don’t have a sense of career planning — they don’t know what they want to do or what they can do. This usually leads to a lot of stress and confusion upon graduation. Effective career planning provides a strong sense of direction and purpose for both your studies and work, helping you raise your confidence level while pursuing your dreams.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate students in North America find it difficult to look for internships during their busy studies. With all the assignments, quizzes, midterms, final exams, and essays, they’re not able to relax during the term. As a result, many of them won’t start looking for internships or jobs until they’ve graduated. When they have breaks, like summers, they often choose to go back to China or travel abroad to get recharged rather than work as an intern.

What many students don’t realize is that summer is the best time for internships. During summer break, students will be able to invest more time with fewer distractions, and more employers look to hire summer interns. Students can find out their interests and specific industry opportunities through an internship. This knowledge will help them determine which specific skills and areas of study they should focus on in the coming academic year. This will help students increase their employability when they start looking for full-time jobs because local employers value students who have already accumulated relevant internship experience and will give them priority during the hiring process.

It is also worth mentioning that the Canadian government encourages overseas students to gain internship/CO-OP experience. Overseas students can work 20 hours per week during their studies or work full-time for 4 months during the summer. Therefore, we encourage all overseas Chinese students to seize summer internship opportunities, in order to make their full-time job search an easier process upon graduation.

As big data plays an increasingly important role in economy, streams, such as Data Science, Computer Science, and Applied Science are used more widely in various fields. Therefore, Data Analysts, Computer Engineers, and Programming Developers have been very popular positions in recent years. The key requirements for these occupations usually include strong mathematics and computer backgrounds, strong analytical thinking, and data analysis skills.

Research has shown that there are serious talent shortages in these areas, both globally and in Canada. Because of the high demand for these skills and short supply of talent, graduates with these academic backgrounds are able to get relatively high starting salaries even for their first jobs. Driven by the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) technology, some science programs/majors are becoming increasingly popular and offer very promising futures, including Computer Science, Management of Information Technology, Software Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics.

With respect to business and commerce streams, Finance, Accounting, and Economics have always been popular. In Canada, graduates from these majors are particularly favored by various industries, especially by the Financial Services and Consulting industries. The fact that some students start working towards designations, such as CFA, CPA, and FRM, can help give employers a better understanding of their professional capabilities. Plus, if students can develop leadership, organizational and communication skills at school, they will certainly have better career prospects.

Choosing a major is similar to choosing a shoe in the way that it has to fit you. Although having a degree in a popular major may make it easier for you to find a job upon graduation, you will probably find it hard to complete your degree because you are not interested in the subject. You also need to consider that trends are not eternal. A popular major now might not be popular down the road. Likewise, a major that is unpopular now might become popular later on.

When you study an area that interests you, you will be better able to excel and devote more time to your work. The more time you put in, the better you will be. When you do eventually graduate, you will be more likely to start a career that allows you to leverage both your interests and your skills. If you study something that interests you or for which you have a talent, you will probably find your career more fulfilling and achieve a stronger sense of accomplishment.

Therefore, the self-discovery process is a very important component of career planning. You need to understand your characteristics, interests, strengths and, most importantly, your passions. This knowledge is of paramount importance in choosing a meaningful and practical career direction and goal to pursue. This career positioning process  can help you decide what schools or majors you should choose in order to best prepare for your targeted industry, career, and jobs, rather than relying on the popularity of a major. In fact, we have seen many students who have spent four years of undergraduate or longer (graduate studies) studying so-called popular majors/programs, only to have to change majors or careers later on because they simply didn’t like what they were doing.

The financial services industry is divided into four parts: Banking, Insurance, Trust, and Securities Brokerage. The Canadian government allowed banks to conduct mixed businesses by establishing subsidiaries for non-banking businesses, including Trust, Securities, and Insurance. As a result, insurance and trust companies continued to merge and integrate, and, over time, banks came to control major trust and securities brokerage companies.

Nowadays, the banking industry accounts for 60% of the total assets of the Canadian financial system. Canada’s six largest domestic banks (RBC/TD/CIBC/Scotiabank/BMO/National Bank) collectively control 90% of Canadian banks’ total assets. Even during the 2008 financial crisis, Canada’s banking system remained profitable and was the only country among the G8 that did not ask for government assistance.

Canada’s banking system was rated as the most robust banking system in the world by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Unlike the United States, Canada’s investment banking is affiliated with the wholesale banking system as a subsidiary of the Bank, in order to better manage risks and avoid speculation.

Given many years of development, the financial services industry, including banking and insurance companies, offer vast employment opportunities and have been recognized as stable and promising career development platforms for the younger generation. Each specialized area of financial services has a high demand for junior talent to build their talent pipelines. Organizations, such as the Big 6 Banks will provide young talent with great training and development opportunities for long-term growth. That is why it makes perfect sense that many overseas Chinese students prefer financial services to other industries.

Increasing economic development in Asia has created a higher domestic demand for financial products and services. Both foreign and domestic Chinese banks are expanding in China in order to satisfy the emerging needs. The overall job market forecast for Financial Services in China looks very good!

If overseas Chinese students can accumulate some years of experience in North America before returning to China, they will have better job prospects than domestic job applicants. However, the North American financial market has been developing for many years, so their financial products and systems have become stable and mature, leaving less room for new job opportunities.

It is not easy for overseas Chinese students to get into the North American financial services industry immediately upon graduation. In order to stand out from the fierce competition with local students, Chinese students need to put in extra effort.

Regardless of whether you are in China or North America, it is critical that you identify your career direction and path. iDC’s career planning training will help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for achieving your career goals in the financial services industry both efficiently and effectively.

Your cover letter and your resume are the two most important job application documents; they go hand-in-hand but serve different purposes. The main purpose of a cover letter is to catch the hiring manager’s interest so that they read your resume. Together both your cover letter and your resume serve a combined purpose: to get you an interview.

The cover letter is a very important must-have document for applying to any job in Canada! Your cover letter should NOT repeat what your resume says. It needs to be written in a simple, clear, and concise way. A well-written cover letter can provide clarity regarding your career aspirations, your understanding of the position that you are applying for, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities that distinguish you from other applicants and make you an asset to the company.

The standard contents of a cover letter include:

  • Explain your reason for writing a cover letter – indicate the position you are applying for and where you found out about the job opening.
  • Introduce yourself and demonstrate what will make you an asset to the employer – explain why you are suitable for the position and what you can do for the employer by outlining your experience, skills, and knowledge, instead of talking about what they can do for you.
  • Further highlight your relevant strengths and explain why you are more suitable than other applicants by providing examples of your outstanding accomplishments and/or educational background.
  • Request an interview in the closing paragraph.
Regardless of the style of the interview, all interviewers are trying to determine the same thing: whether you are a suitable candidate for the position you are applying for.

Here are some standard questions that HR and line managers ask that you can prepare answers for ahead of time.

  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate?
  • What do you know about the company and position?
  • What contributions can you make to the team? And why?
  • What is your career goal? And why?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Here are the top 3 tips that will help you to stand out:

1) Research, research, research — fully research the targeted industry, company, and position. It will be very easy for the interviewer to detect whether you have actually spent time researching everything.

2) Express your career goals and passions and describe the ways in which you have worked towards achieving your goal. Interviewers will be impressed by your self-awareness and career planning ideas.

3) Prepare, prepare, prepare!

  • Practice makes perfect. The key to a successful interview is showing your passion and confidence.
  • Before the interviews, try to talk to a mentor who has had the same or similar roles so that you can gain a deeper understanding of the main job requirements.
  • Once you feel that you are ready for a real interview, we highly recommended that you find a coach to do mock interviews with you as part of your preparation. When it comes to the real interview, the better prepared you are, the more confident you will be!

Yes, you should definitely take advantage of the last few minutes of the interviews to ask SMART questions as this will help you make a good lasting impression!  Asking good questions will show the interviewer that you are actively engaged in the interview process, that you are fully prepared for the interview, and that you are passionate about your career goals.

Different interviewers will ask different questions depending on their styles and backgrounds. The following chart provides examples of different topics and interview questions that you can probably ask different types of interviewers. However, please keep in mind that you should pay careful attention during the interview and should NOT ask questions just for the sake of asking.

Here is a list of samples.

Interviewers HR Hiring Manager/ Line Manager
Purpose of the Questions To learn more about the company background. To learn more about the company, its strategies, and structures.
To learn more about the job opening. To learn more about their leadership styles, team members, company culture, etc.
To learn more about the opportunities for career development if you join the company. To learn more about the differences between your profile and what the line manager is looking for.
Good Questions to Ask 1)    What are some top job requirements for this position?

2)    Is this a brand new position or a replacement?

3)    To whom should this position report to?

4)    What value does this position add to the company’s business?

5)    From your point of view, what would be the future career development of this position?

6)    Is it possible for you to share a bit more about the internal training and learning opportunities within the company?

1) Where do you see the trend of this industry? And why?

2)    Could you please share a bit more about your company’s strategies, especially those that are related to your department?

3)    In your view, what core qualities/competencies are critical for someone to perform well on this job?

4)    What are the major measurements for assessing performance in this position?

5)    Could you please share more about your team’s culture and other team members’ backgrounds and styles?

Bad Questions to Ask 1) What salary can I expect from your company?
2) How long can your company survive in the fiercely competitive market?
3) I have no questions to ask.
1) Why does your department seem to be slow and quiet?
2) When can I get a promotion and a salary increase?
3) I have no questions to ask.

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