Welcome to Emersonian International, a new 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, engaged in their communities, and creating opportunities for themselves to develop their skills and move forward in their careers.

Photograph of Ye Huang with text that reads "Emersonian International, Ye Huang '20".
Ye Huang, Class of 2020

For our third spotlight in the series, meet Ye Huang, a graduating Graduate Student majoring in Strategic Communications for Marketing. Learn about Ye’s experience as an intern at FocusKPI in Boston, Massachusetts!

What was the official title for your internship?

Ye: “During the first 3-month of my internship at FocusKPI, my title is marketing intern, after three month working and learning, I found my passion in content marketing, and now my official title is Content Strategist Intern.”

What were some of your responsibilities as an intern?

Ye: “My responsibilities include but not limited to the following tasks:

  • Create content that resonates with an existing fan base of FocusKPI, yet is differentiated enough to draw in new consumers across various channels including LinkedIn, Email Newsletter/campaign, Instagram, and Facebook
  • Help with marketing event planning, execution, and measurement tracking
  • Assist with the planning, development, and management of content and communications strategies based on the objectives of each marketing campaign
  • Collaborate with other departments to produce content such as industry case study
  • Provide guidance on SEO-friendly blog creation and content management system for digital content marketing
  • Manage and engage FocusKPI community through news digest and webinar events”

What drew you to this specific internship/experience? How did you find or create the opportunity?

Ye: “One alumni from my undergraduate in Shanghai International Studies University recommended me for this opportunity at Boston. Since I am very interested in the data analytics industry, and 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.”

What is the culture like at FocusKPI?

Ye: “We are living in a quite agile working environment and everyone in our team is productive and highly collaborative. 

At FocusKPI, we care about talents and their career development. FocusKPI proudly provides its employees with no-ceiling career growth opportunities:

  • We can gain vertical career growth as we develop and leverage essential analytics skills with FocusKPI
  • FocusKPI will support us to expand our knowledge in business, project management, and client relationship management to achieve horizontal career growth 

FocusKPI values diversity and welcome talented and professionals from all race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, disability, and military backgrounds.”

How do you feel your international perspective helps you in your internship/experience or adds value to your team/organization?

Ye: “As the majority of talents 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.”

Do you apply any of the skills you’ve been learning in your courses to your internship/experience? If so, what are they?

Ye: “I used my IMC skill sets into my internship including market research, survey design as well as creative brief/thinking into practice a lot.”

What is one experience you’ll always remember from this chapter of your career development?

Ye: “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 can only excel at one role at a time. Then I talked and coordinated in time with Instructor Michael Tucker, Emi [in Career Development] and Andrea [in OISA] to swap my internship and make sure my current internship was the one I can contribute more time to.”

Have there been cool networking opportunities for you through this experience?

Ye: “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.”

What will be your next steps?

Ye: “My next step is to build more leadership in my domain expertise in content marketing & strategy and bring our company to the next stage, not only generate more leads but convert them using analytical mindset/skill sets.”

Do you have any advice for students interested in this internship, experience, or similar opportunities?

Ye: “Don’t be afraid while seeking internship/full-time job opportunities in this challenging time, as 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 must be the one you are interested in and have potential to help you land in your next job opportunity. 

Enlarge your network & establish your personal online branding, polish your LinkedIn profile professionally and connect & engage with as many as alumni & industry experts as possible.”

How has your role (or approach to developing your professional skills) changed since COVID-19?

Ye: “Self-learn 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. Besides, 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.”

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