Careers Service


Shengke Zhi: China Business Manager

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering (2008)
  • Home country: China
  • Now working: UK
  • Now working: China Business Manager at AMEC Foster Wheeler

My story

My biggest challenge

After graduation I focused on graduate schemes or leadership programmes only, which required a broad knowledge covering technical and non-technical information. I believed I was that type of person.

However, I did come across some challenges due to my lack of knowledge of certain industries and the British industry, therefore, when talking to professions I felt a lack of confidence. The most important lesson I didn’t realise until facing disappointments was my lack of knowledge of the targeted employer – there was one time that I felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t answer a simple technical question when talking to an engine company.

Interpersonal skills have helped me to stand out

Working with people and collaboration with people are quite important during the job hunting and professional business. Also, the international study experience is very helpful as it brings me a unique advantage that I can adapt into a dynamic environment and work toward success.

I never neglect the importance of social networks. It always helps my career route, especially when I moved on to my current role.

My time in Manchester

During my study time at Manchester, I had the chance to take part in internships in Philips Semiconductor business.

I also fully used the Careers Service, including the graduate recruitment fair, company presentations, competency based workshops, CV Clinics, mock interviews etc. I found it very useful and helpful.

Also, I used to work as a research scientist after my PhD, which was helpful to be recognised as an engineering expertise in certain areas.

Suggestions for other students

For students who are interested in my industry, the most important requirement for you may be technical knowledge. A lot of candidates who want to join the nuclear industry know nothing about it. This is not acceptable. Be open-minded and always actively seeking opportunities whatever a temporary role or permanent role it is. Don’t just focus on a certain location or industry.

Candidates should network with alumni and actively seek opportunities. The experience will build your knowledge of job hunting.

Network with alumni and actively seek opportunities. The experience will build your knowledge of job hunting.Shengke Zhi, graduated 2008