Welcome to Emersonian International, a spotlight series featuring career stories of Emerson’s international students and alumni. Whether in the U.S., in their home countries, or somewhere in between, international Emersonians are finding internships, engaging in their communities, and creating opportunities for themselves to develop their skills and move forward in their careers.
For our third spotlight in the series, meet Ye Huang, MA ’20, an alumna of the Strategic Communications for Marketing program. Learn about Ye’s experience as an intern at FocusKPI in Boston.
This interview was reposted from Careerbuzz.
EI: What was the official title for your internship?
YH: During the first three months of my internship at FocusKPI, my title was marketing intern, [but] after … working and learning, I found my passion in content marketing, and now my official title is content strategist intern.
EI: What drew you to this specific internship/experience? How did you find or create the opportunity?
YH: One alum from my undergraduate [program at] Shanghai International Studies University recommended me for this opportunity in Boston. Since I am very interested in the data analytics industry, the original job description of this internship really caught my eye, as it said this can be a great opportunity to apply your marketing knowledge into practice in data analytics. Therefore, I asked him for a favor to refer me to this opportunity.
EI: How do you feel your international perspective helps you in your internship/experience or adds value to your team/organization?
YH: As [many] in data analytics, data science, data engineering, and business analytics are Chinese and Indian, I feel efficient and comfortable communicating with the community I work with, and try to enlarge and diversify our community to a level as well.
EI: Do you apply any of the skills you’ve been learning in your courses to your internship/experience? If so, what are they?
YH: I use my [Marketing Communication] skillsets in my internship, including market research, survey design, as well as creative brief/thinking … a lot.
EI: What is one experience you’ll always remember from this chapter of your career development?
YH: During the spring semester, I interned at two companies. I still remember how painful it was at the beginning, since I want to do my best for both internships, but with limited energy, I could only excel at one role at a time. Then I talked and coordinated … with [Executive-in-Residence] Michael Tucker, Emi [Bague, assistant director of international student services in Career Development], and Andrea [Popa, director of international students] to swap my internship and make sure my current internship was the one I could contribute more time to.”
EI: Have there been cool networking opportunities for you through this experience?
YH: As our major marketing focus is community engagement on LinkedIn, there are many cool networking opportunities. We hold weekly technical training for data analysts and data scientists, and also leadership forums to connect with like-minded leaders/professionals in marketing analytics and related fields.
EI: What will be your next steps?
YH: My next step is to build more leadership in my [area of] expertise in content marketing and strategy, and bring our company to the next stage, not only generate more leads, but convert them using analytical mindset/skillsets.
EI: Do you have any advice for students interested in this internship, experience, or similar opportunities?
YH: Don’t be afraid while seeking internship/full-time job opportunities in this challenging time, [because] if you are a diamond, you will shine. If not, try to stretch yourself and jump out of your comfort zone.
I’ve also failed many times before getting this internship; 40-50 different resumes with tailored cover letters is a must. If you can’t find a promising paid internship, try to find a volunteer project, but it must be one you are interested in and have the potential to help you land in your next job opportunity.
Enlarge your network and establish your personal online branding, polish your LinkedIn profile professionally and connect and engage with as many as alumni and industry experts as possible.
EI: How has your role (or approach to developing your professional skills) changed since COVID-19?
YH: [Teach yourself] through online resources such as LinkedIn Learning. Our marketing team strategy also shifts as we hold webinars online to gain traffic and generate leads.
Previously, we conducted a monthly offline event/forum in our Boston office, but due to COVID-19, every marketing event was shifted to online, so my role has really changed from a marketing intern to a complete “digital” marketing one. In February, our business focus was to generate leads and build relationships with potential clients through offline events. Therefore, my team contributed a lot to the design and planning of marketing materials such as printed posters, roll-up banners, etc.
But now, my responsibility has shifted to online webinar planning and community engagement. For example, how to invite as many as possible prospects and interact with them online? How to be a virtual Zoom host (my team even creates a handbook for virtual hosts)? How to create a vibe like a real forum?
To solve those questions, I’ve successfully applied what I learned from my Strategic Marketing Communication program at Emerson. After combining quantitative and qualitative market research, I posted polls on our company LinkedIn page to learn more about our audience/customers, and try to engage them through LinkedIn groups. Additionally, I conducted interviews with customers and potential leads to know more about their interests so we can tailor our marketing efforts to meet their needs.