I wrote this post over a month ago while I was still in Hong Kong, but I wanted to wait until my job was confirmed before I posted it. And I’m also too lazy to change the tense, so please don’t mind that. But anyway, two days ago, Hong Kong Airlines finally called me with an official offer. And with this day being the 365th day of us, I felt that this would be a fitting day to share this story. I’m sure this would be the best present you ever wanted to receive anyway! So… here is my testimony.
Over the past month, it’s been a crazy twist and turn of events. I will be flying to Paris in two weeks; before that however, I have two more exams to write in Toronto to officially be done with undergrad (assuming that I pass all my courses, which I’m quite confident I will). Furthermore, I have somehow managed to find myself currently situated in Hong Kong, literally on the other side of the world from Toronto.
It all started with an application to Hong Kong Airlines in around November of last year. I sent them my resume and cover letter, and it went into a bottomless pit which I never heard back from… until February. That’s when I got their first email, saying that they weren’t able to get in touch with me via phone, and so they decided to email me. They offered me an interview, and I told them I’m busy with school until the end of April. I asked for a Skype interview, they said no. That was that.
I don’t normally go into my personal life too much, but I will mention this, because it’s very relevant to the testimony I want to write. When I got the news, that was one of the worst times for me and my boyfriend. We were at a point where it was getting really hard to see a future together. I’m not prepared to go back to Hong Kong without a purpose. And when I say purpose, I really mean passion. I know I can probably find ‘just another job’ in Hong Kong, but I have a dream and passion that I want to pursue. And at that point in time, getting an extra blow from HK Airlines, saying that they wouldn’t even Skype interview me – it seemed like our fate was pretty determined.
Then, about a week later, Hong Kong Airlines emailed me back. After discussing with their manager, they decided to Skype interview me after all. I was ecstatic. The opportunity suddenly opened up for me, and I thought, wow, God is really looking after us. So the interview happened, and my spirits dropped instantly. It went horribly wrong. I know I could have done a lot better with many of the questions. Lots of people tried to comfort me by saying “it’s not as bad as you think”. Well, to give you an idea of how bad it went, the interviewer asked me “why are you applying to this job if you clearly do not know what it is about?”. I’m not exaggerating… it was bad.
During that first interview, they did mention that they would not be willing to continue to Skype me for a second interview – if I get invited for a second interview, that is. So, the one bright side I could come up with was well, at least I don’t have to worry about going back to Hong Kong for an interview.
And then it happened. They asked for my availability in Hong Kong. When I received that email, I was literally thinking to myself, why are you putting salt on the wound for me? Even when I saw that email, I didn’t think I would get the offer for a second interview. Then they formally invited me for a second interview. Not just that, either. Their second interview round was being conducted from early April to mid May, and as a 4th year engineering student, you know how busy I am during this time. I already booked my grad trip to Europe in May as well, so I was not going to change that. Yet somehow, and I have no idea now, I have this 14-day break in between two of my exams, and that’s enough time to make this journey feasible for me. If my exams were evenly spread out, even with 5 days in between consecutive exams, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to make this trip. Things were starting to piece together. God was working miracles in my life.
The interview was a 20-minute presentation, with a given topic relating to the rules and regulations of the HK Civil Aviation Department. When I saw the topic, my first thought literally was “okay, maybe I should just say I’ve changed my mind about the interview”. I mean, I know nothing about regulations! I studied aircraft design! Of course, the regulations are easily searchable online, but there were five recommended documents, averaging 200 pages each, and during a time when I could not get any busier with school… I wasn’t sure that I could handle it. At the same time, I also knew that this is one of the easiest interviews I could ever get. I’m really bad with interviews, I know that. I already told you how I completely messed up the first one. But instead of putting me on the spot, they’re giving me an assignment and telling me exactly what to do! I know what to expect, and I can prepare a lot better. It’s just a matter of whether I’m willing to put that time and effort into preparing for it.
So, I did it. I read through all those documents. For the past week, my Chrome browser has about 50 tabs open in total from all the research that I’ve been doing. I am by no means an expert in this field, but I tried my best to use my judgement and figure out what they want to hear. I even practiced for this presentation! OK, I practice for every presentation, but when people say “prepare a 10-minute presentation”, I prepare a 10-min presentation and it turns out to be 8 mins when I actually present it (because I get nervous and speed up when I talk). This time, I prepared a 25-minute presentation, and my actual delivery was 20 minutes on the dot. I really did put a lot of effort into this.
I remember telling my friends: If I’m going to invest this time and money to fly back to Hong Kong for an interview, I want to at least do my best and have no regrets about it. I can’t control whether or not they hire me, but I can at least make this trip worthwhile. In that sense, yes I did. And I also wonder if I would still do the same if they paid for my flight back, and I had nothing to lose. Just like 3 years ago, when I went in for that Cathay cadet pilot interview, I did not study at all… because I had nothing to lose. I was still in school. I was simply looking for interview experience, and if I get lucky, then awesome. With that kind of mentality, it’s no wonder that I didn’t get further in the interview process.
Jump back to present day. I have a job. I’m moving to Hong Kong for good by the end of June.
But you know what? It really is not easy. I have had numerous people say to me that “Canada is much better in terms of working environment”. “It’s more comfortable here”, “Hong Kong has long OT hours”… the list goes on. Seriously, I’ve worked in Hong Kong myself; you think I don’t know that? It’s hard sticking to my beliefs and vision through all of these comments.
It doesn’t even end there. People telling me that “it’s not worth it”; “you’re still young, there are plenty of fish in the sea”. I appreciate people caring for me, but I also hope that you know these thoughts have come to me already. I agree, and I admit, there have been more than a few times where I just wanted to give up on this relationship. But you know what’s keeping me going? That prayer to God we made together on the first day of our relationship. We prayed that we could glorify His name by setting an example and providing a vision for other people. I completely believe that God has a blessed future prepared for us. I’m trying so hard to set my sights on something above what the world values.
Nevertheless, I want to thank every single person that has said a word of prayer for me. I remember that week when I was flying from Hong Kong to Vancouver to Toronto to Paris, so many people touched me with their word of prayer for me. That simple line… “I’m praying for you”… it means so much, especially when you see all these prayers add up into something miraculous. These circumstances are not something I can achieve alone.
We still have a long ways to go, and maybe to you, it seems like nothing concrete has come out of this story yet. It’s only the beginning of this job. I don’t know how it will go. I don’t know the future of this relationship. That doesn’t mean nothing has happened. There is a reason why this is my testimony – it’s relevant to me because it has built up my faith in God.
And finally… God, thank you. It’s hard to put my faith in you every single day sometimes, but you have been faithful even when I wasn’t. You were with me through the pain and the struggle, and it is so easy to forget. Even now, when I look back, the worries already seem silly. And yes, they are silly. But I don’t want to forget how real it was – that pain, that stress, that feeling of helplessness. Keeping these emotions in my memory help me remember how big my problems were… and how much bigger my God is.
Seriously… there is nothing I can say aside from thank you.