Alumni Profile - Steven Chen (MIR&HRMgt '00)


Steven Chen

Name: Chen ZhaoWei

Current Position, Organisation: Head of Talent Acquisition, APAC, Nokia

Describe yourself in 3 words: Creative, passionate, smart

Nationality/cultural identity: Chinese

Languages spoken: Chinese (Mandarin), English

Countries lived/worked in: China

Best book you have read in the last 12 months: Zhu Yuanzhang, Author: Wu Han

Daily website 'favourites': Baidu, Weibo, LinkedIn

Motto to live/work by: Those who succeed search for solutions. Those who fail seek excuses.

Linkedin Profile: Steven Chen

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sydney Business School?

In 2000, I graduated from the University of Sydney Business School with a Master's degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resource in 2000. My uncle's experience of studying in the US made a big impression on me when I was a teenager and it was quite a simple decision to choose HR as my major and to study abroad. I could see that the HR profession would become very hot in the China market, and at that time there were no universities in China offering a major in that subject. In 1998, I decided to study at the University of Sydney because it is the oldest university in Australia and consistently ranks amongst the top universities in Australia and the world. The Business School has an impressive academic reputation and offers top management programs in the world.

What is your most favourite memory from your time at the University?

My most favourite memory I had was the practical learning experience in ACIRRT (Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training). During that time, I learned how to apply industry research methodologies to tackle complex HR problems. This was significant for my future work and achievements.

What does being a University of Sydney Business School alumnus/na mean to you?

The alumni community of the University of Sydney is a great network to stay connected with the University. No matter where you are you will have the opportunity to continue to grow with the University. On this platform, I can help more of our graduates understand China's employment market, widen their career opportunities, share successful experiences, and provide valuable suggestions.

How did your time at the Business School change you both professionally and personally?

University of Sydney offers a unique educational experience that makes a real difference. It provides a learning style that encourages people to be innovative and creative and to think independently. The learning skills, innovative thinking, problem-solving skills and adaptability that I learned there are all key competencies that have helped me in my career.

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?

Returned to China to seek career opportunities

What has been the greatest accomplishment of your career to date?

In my role as Staffing Director at Baidu Inc., I was responsible for managing the entire recruitment organization, supporting the company's booming growth in China as well as its overseas expansion strategies. I successfully designed and implemented the "Recruitment Centralization" transformation strategy within 3 months to improve organizational effectiveness, team capability, and process reengineering & hiring productivity. As a result, the hiring fulfillment rate increased by 30% and a total of 6000 people were successfully hired in just one year.

What business person inspired you most?

Steve Jobs - "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

What are some of your favourite things about Sydney?

Movie, travel, BBQ with friends

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering study at the Business School?

For students in China who also love learning new things, and who aspire to attend university in Australia, be realistic, creative, confident and independent. Go beyond your classroom learning, gain real-life experience and always offer solutions rather than excuses.

Any other comments

Steven Chen (Chen Zhaowei) is the Head of Talent Acquisition, APAC of Nokia. He previously worked as Staffing Director of Baidu Inc., a Chinese web services company and the country's largest Chinese-language search engine. Before that, he also worked at Microsoft and IBM. He is an alumnus of the University of Sydney, and was the winner of the 2011 Australian Education International Young Australia China Alumni of the Year Award, presented by the Australia China Alumni Association.

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