Monday, January 24, 2011


I think I should change the title of this blog to something along the lines of "Life of an Expat - An Asian American's Experiences of Working in Asia." But that title wouldn't be appropriate for all these previous posts... Oh wells. I don't want to start a new blog.

So nothing's official yet but I have pretty much decided that I will be going to work in Hong Kong and which offer I am accepting. I think I have pretty much made up my mind on the big decisions. Now I need to deal with the details. I think it was really good to visit in person and see both the city and the companies.

I was also surprised at how fast my Cantonese got up to speed. Hong Kong is relatively easy in the sense that a lot of people speak English so it's okay if you need to introduce some English words into your sentences. The Mainland is usually not as forgiving. But I definitely started thinking in Cantonese again. Well, I really don't know if "thinking" happens in a spoken language. I guess "conversations with myself" started happening in Cantonese. So I think after about two weeks at work, I will not need to fall back on English as much and people will not know that I have spent most of my life in the US unless I start speaking English in full sentences. Not sure if this is good or bad but I can probably use it to my advantage. Anyway, the first two weeks will be hard, just like going anywhere else.

The next big decision is the start date. Originally, I had this idea of doing some traveling (particularly in Asia) before starting work. April and May would provide the ideal time for me to do this and I can start working in June, after the graduation ceremony. But now my parents seem to be opposed to this idea of me traveling since I have already decided to go to all the way to Hong Kong. I really don't want to be bumming around the house for two months not doing very much other than meeting up with friends every once in a while. Instead, I could start working in April and then be able to take the California PE exam next April (2012). If I started working in June, I would have to wait until October 2012 to take the exam. This option would mean flying back for graduation. So here are the options:

  1. Spend late March - early April at home. Traveling for the rest of April and May. Come back in time for graduation (June 12th), pack everything, head off to Hong Kong, start working on June 20th.
  2. Spend 3 weeks at home. Start work on April 11 so that I can take the PE exam April 13, 2012. Take a couple of days of vacation and fly back for graduation in June.
  3. Spend late March - early June at home. Start work after graduation on June 20th.
Option 3 is not that appealing to me since my family will be working or going to school. I'll just be sitting at home all day unless I can find something really interesting to do. It would not make any sense for me to do another engineering internship. I already have a real job lined up and can start earlier (option 2). Although if anyone has any really interesting ideas, I would not be opposed to considering them.

Option 2 still gives me 3 weeks at home. That should be enough time to get everything in order before heading off to HK. And I would get my license sooner (assuming that I pass the exam). I would have to fly back for graduation, which is a hassle but it would be nice to be able to move more stuff over. I would also be starting before any of the other graduate engineers or summer interns come. Not entirely certain it's a good thing but I would get first pick on desk availability. If I want to go with this option, I need to act on some things NOW so that my work visa would be ready by April 11th. It would not be ideal to start any later because I would not have a full year's worth of experience by the next PE exam date.

So, comments and opinions will be welcomed. Maybe I should create poll so that people can vote. 


Y said...

Did you already pick a place? Maybe you could ask junior people there for their opinion

X said...

which place did you decide on? You can come visit Boston :-)