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My Major Doesn’t Define Me

My Major Doesn’t Define Me

Cedia Wong's Story
Faculty of Education

Cedia is an English Education major, yet she has decided not to pursue teaching after her graduation even though she loves teaching kids at schools. It is because she had realised her interests and passion in retail with its exciting and ever-changing nature so she made this decision.

Cedia’s internship experiences revolved around the retail industry. Unlike her education course mates, she tried exploring different jobs and industries during her studies, ranging from retail companies to NGOs, and she found her passion in retail after joining the internship programmes in Onthelist and DFS Group in 2018.

“I love teaching. But teaching in Hong Kong might not give me what I want as a fresh graduate – who wants to explore and learn. With my positive experience in retail, I wish to join a programme that provides great support. This will give me a chance of great potential growth,” said Cedia. After enrolling in different management trainee programmes, she decided to rejoin DFS Group as a full-time worker right after her graduation.

This is a global programme that lasts for 18 months with three rotations. Starting from July 2019, Cedia spent a total of twelve months in the physical store, three months in the merchandising department and another 3 months in the innovation team. While learning how to become a capable managerial employee she took pride in what she had achieved at work during the first 6 months rotation in the no. 1 top store – T Galleria, Canton Road. She had to support a new department (Food & Gifts) which opened on a new floor. Cedia recalled, “The sense of achievement to be a part of the store opening, to witness the changeover from a barren space into a decent-looking area, and to set up a pleasant shopping place for customers, is simply unforgettable.”

Despite the lack of working experience, the young management trainee had a reliable, supportive and cooperative team to work with and she was able to deal with this massive project with ease.

Cedia has long been humble and always curious to explore. She considers everyone to be her mentor at work. She is leading a team of twelve with various professional backgrounds and experience levels while most of them are seasoned workers in the company.  Not having sufficient business knowledge and management experience, she said this was the first challenge as a first-time manager. She was worried that her authority might be challenged by other senior workers - but things turned out to be different.

 Photo of Cedia at work
"Cedia strongly believes that an undergraduate major should not limit anyone’s career development."

“They (the senior workers) are very supportive and quite open-minded with new ideas. Our cooperation was smooth overall speaking,” said Cedia. Other than acquiring management skills, she was also able to pick up other basic retailing knowledge including inventory management, customer engagement and social media management when she was on rotation across teams and sections. Under the current circumstances, Cedia said the business was seriously affected. Due to COVID-19, DFS, as a travel retailer, has been struggling with the drastic drop in shopper traffic and therefore the diminishing business opportunities. The biggest challenge throughout the year is to sustain the team and keep up its morale.

Cedia strongly believes that an undergraduate major should not limit anyone’s career development. She highly recommends this management trainee programme to those who want to join the commercial industry without doing any business certificate courses.  According to Cedia, management trainee will officially become the manager in DFS after completing the training. Therefore, the programme serves as a stepping stone to the business world.


Written by:
Tracy Wong
2020 Graduate, CEDARS Intern
December 2020

My Major Doesn’t Define Me