*Before choosing your sub-degree, spend some time doing research of what bachelors degree program you can enroll in upon finishing your degree. Because in each program you will be doing specific courses and those may not fulfil the requirement of a unrelated bachelor degree program even if you have a high GPA. (HKUST came to my college for a talk and told us that we can only apply for one specific major in UST or we will be rejected)
1st year associate degree CCCU (associate in engineering)
- The first semester, aim at doing your very best if you want to transfer to bachelors after one year (starting from year 1 bachelors ).
Because you will be applying bachelors in your first semester only (applications start opening around late October/early November, HKUST->HKU->cityU,polyU)
You will get an interview based on your first semester results and if you pass through it, will get a condition offer for a minimum gpa requirement for your second semester.
- For normal case, the first 2 semesters for a sub-degree program in my opinion are the most important as you get selected based on the results of these 2 semesters. (first 3 sem for universities other than ust,hku)
- So focus on your studies entirely, I would even recommend not doing anything on the side,aim at keeping your GPA above 3.5 (99.9% chance of getting into bachelors). Along the way build good relations with a few of your course instructors as you will need them to write a recommendation letter for you.
2nd year associate degree CCCU (different universities have different admission process, ust took students based on their grades only and no interviews)
- Coming to the normal admission procedure (starting from year2 or year 3 in bachelors depending on uni).
The application starts around the same order as stated previously in your fall semester.
The conditional offer requirement is usually not that high.
The last semester you could relax on your studies but I would recommend that you look for internships(doesn’t have to be big companies) for your summer. Because you have to understand that you are now competing with bachelors students and you are behind them.
2nd year bachelors degree HKUST (computer engineering)
- This year is very important as you need to make connections/ friends. Even if you are in year 2, you are still a freshmen and you have to try to know people from your year because you will have to find teammates for your fyp project in your final year and many other projects.
- So I would recommend that this is the year you should try to join clubs, societies and go to events to meet people. Try out your interests, there is robotics club, f1 racing team, Fraternities and many more clubs you can join. But do manage your time efficiently.
- Just on the side start looking up for companies or industry you are interested in working. Look up their recruitment process and start preparing for it. You may think that you are going to apply for big companies internship in year 3 so why bother now, but you will be surprised to know that some people start preparing for these interview tests from year 1.
For technical internships, most likely you will have to do a coding test as the first step for recruitment. Starting practicing early for that(e.g. geeksforgeeks).
Find online resources, such as “Cracking the coding interview” a recommendation from a friend (should have studied it myself)
- If you plan on going to exchange, 3rd year spring semester would be an ideal period. And to do so you need to submit your application by your 2nd year spring semester (one year prior to going)
- I would also recommend creating a study plan so that you can distribute the courses accordingly throughout the semesters (one bad semester can drop the gpa a lot). I would not recommend taking more than 2 project-based courses in one sem.
- Similar to previous summer, look for a internship in small to mid-sized company (if you can get in a big company that’s perfect)
3rd year bachelors degree HKUST
- My main tip for this year would be to focus on looking for internships, keep up with all the deadlines. Some companies start accepting applications by mid-august and on a rolling basis.
- Also on the side, try your best to maintain a good GPA throughout. I would recommend having at least 3.3 as some companies do have an GPA requirement for their applicants.
- In the fall sem (actually this entire year), I would recommend you to take less courses than usual so that you can spend time on your interview preparations. Otherwise it can be a lot to handle (assignments and recruitment deadlines)
- Start thinking about your FYP. Try to form a group early and discuss on what topics you want to work on. Actual fyp project topics are released later in the spring semester but you can get an idea from previous year’s project under a certain professor. Research a bit on the professor as well.
4th year bachelors degree HKUST
- Start working on your FYP early from summer.
- Another important advise will be don’t take courses for the sake of just doing it. Towards your last year, the courses will be hard and demanding so if you don’t have genuine interest in the topic, don’t do it.
- If you had scored a good internship in your previous summer, there are high chances that you got a return offer. In that case, just enjoy your final year and get your requirements done.
- If not don’t worry, just need to repeat the entire cycle again and look for graduate programs. And for every interview revise what you did in your internships because interviewers will ask about it.
- Try to have a list of companies that you have applied or want to apply. Easier to keep track.
- Baki I would recommend you to leave any society or club you were part of for the previous 2 years. As FYP, regular semester and job hunting can be a lot to do at once.
*Try to attend recruitment talks, can gain good insights and sometimes they have some quiz or games with which you can skip some initial rounds in the recruitment process