Interviewee: Linda Yin
Interviewer: Nicole Miranda
A few words from Nicole Miranda; a BUMKC member:
“I feel like it is difficult to find a job that is perfect, but marketing is pretty close,” Linda Yin, SMG alumna and current Digital Strategist and Problem Solver for Digitas, states. Graduating with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration concentrating in Operations &Technology Management and Business Law with a minor in English in 2010, Linda has achieved to work for one of the most dynamic and creative integrated Advertising agencies in Boston, Digitas. If you want to work for a company that places their focus on you and helps you build from your strengths then take a look at what Digitas has to offer from a voice inside the company.
N: Tell me a little about how you decided to major in Business.
L: I used to want to be an English major, I wanted to be a journalist for a long time but my parents convinced me that studying Business was much more practical. I still don’t know if that is true yet. So I decided to try business and in SMG it was not so bad! They made business really fun and relatable. I actually was a Business Law and Operations Management concentration. I decided to double because I knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer so Business Law was something that I wanted to do for fun. Then I studied Operations because it just seemed like a pretty important business skill to learn. How systems operate with one another, how everything [in a business organization] is connected.
N: It is surprising that you did not concentrate in Marketing, yet pursued marketing and advertising at Digitas.
L: Yes, it is very strange… Actually a lot of people from Digitas were either Advertising majors or come from very different backgrounds. You don’t have to necessarily get a job in the field you study in school and vice versa. If you do study something in school, and then you want to do something else, it is possible too. I feel like what you study in college can really be what you enjoy to do, and then you can choose to take different internships in different industries and see what you really like. Because if everyone just learned advertising in school and marketing, then everyone at Digitas just had the same background, it would be so boring!
N: I worked at an Annuities and Securities bank over the summer and did not like the “cubicle life,” can you tell me about the environment at Digitas?
L: I think it is one of the best things about Digitas. It is the opposite of the type of environment you would find, yes, at a securities office. The nice thing about Digitas is there is a lot of open space. Every executive has at least some sort of office you can see it, so everything is very translucent. There are no secrets; everyone knows what everyone else is doing. It is a great collaborative environment. If that is something you are looking for when you graduate, creative agencies, a lot of tech companies, are also very collaborative and open. If you are interested in companies like Digitas, definitely take an internship. You do not necessarily need to have an internship when you graduate. Digitas is currently taking new graduates from this year for entry-level positions.
N: How did you become interested in the Marketing field?
L: For me, it felt like a natural fit. As I mentioned earlier, I really like English and I really like the creative aspect of a job; coming up with new ideas. But then I also enjoy the operations skills that I learned, some of the law that I learned, and I wanted to incorporate all of that. I feel like it is difficult to find a job that is perfect, but I think marketing is pretty close. I had a professor at SMG, Professor Furman, who was always trying to help me out, in terms of finding the right job for me. He provided great advice and even during moments when you are freaking out and choosing between two job offers and you don’t know which one is the right one, he acts as a great sounding board for really tough decisions that you don’t realize you have to make senior year. Professor Furman was one of my great mentors senior year. He helped me find a job that let me be creative and strategic, allowing me to use my English skills and my Business skills.
N: How did you end up at Digitas?
L: Professor Furman had a connection at a public relations firm and recommended I get in touch with the director that he knew there and she recommended that I apply for the internship. I applied for the internship and realized that I really enjoyed Public Relations. I spent about a year and half in Public Relations and decided to work at a tech start up. So I went from a public relations firm to a tech startup, spent a year there and realized that I really like working in an agency environment more than I do a corporate environment. I decided that I wanted to go back to an agency and I decided that Digitas was where I wanted to work.
N: How were you able to transition from public relations to marketing?
L: When it comes to Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising they all have differentiators. They all have different goals but it’s all about communication and it’s all about communicating to the consumer, to the audience, that you are trying to send a message to. While they can be very different fields, it was easy for me to transfer my skills from Public Relations to the Marketing field.
N: Can you tell me what a normal day at Digitas is for you?
L: Every day is slightly different but it does involve a few consistent activities. Communicating with our clients who have specific marketing goals and we help them understand who they are targeting their products to, what some of their metrics can be. So if for instance a client wanted to have marketing campaign where they sold X amount of products but also received 50,000 additional Facebook likes, also wanted this number of tweets, and they wanted to see their stock prices go up this percent, those are some of the goals and objectives that we help them reach with different marketing tactics. It is about coming up with their one overall market message and then identifying does it make sense to do a Twitter campaign, does it make sense to do a Facebook one, or a Pinterest. We work a lot with social media and also how can they redesign their own website to better communicate to their customers. It starts from a broad conversation with the client so a lot of my days are filled with meetings, communicating with them, and then communicating with their internal team. Digitas has several disciplines, we have a technology team who helps build different websites and understand different devices so tablet, mobile, and different browsers. We also have a creative team that designs actual ads that go online, or at the subway station when you walk by and you see a big client name’s advertisement; we have a creative team that develops those. We also have an analytics team so once the campaign is over with, our analytics team helps us understand how many “clicks” did we actually get to this website, what are some of the things we learned through the campaign, did we realize customers actually like red colors instead of blue colors. It’s about understanding human behavior and our analytics team helps us do that. We also have different planning teams and strategy teams, all experts in their very specific field. We have a Content Strategy team who helps us understand what type of content should go on a website. Then we have a user experience team, who helps us understand how the website should be laid out, so when you go to the website what is the first thing that the consumer needs to look at and then what are the steps that takes them to a specific webpage. So as crazy as it seems, all the little steps that you see on the website takes a lot of fore thought and preparation because it is all about communication. There are so many little details that Digitas just has experts in, that you never would have thought of.
N: What are some of the most important skills that you feel someone looking to go into marketing should have?
L: I think it is having really good solid communication skills, having an open mind and having this thirst for knowledge. I think those three things, while they are so vague and can be applied to any field. I can provide some examples as to how they are important. So for what I do on a day to day, for what I know a lot of people at Digitas do, we are constantly communicating with each other whether its via email, or phone, or IM, or social media. We are constantly seeking other people’s advice or presenting to clients. That is such an important skill to have, is, being confident in your own voice and having the ability to think quickly. We are constantly looking for information that we can share with not only with our clients, not only with each other, but with the world. I think the fundamentals of having great communication skills and just being able to share knowledge, having a thirst for it, are the most important skills to have because with them you can do anything whether it is work at Digitas, or Google.
N: What has been your proudest accomplishment at Digitas?
L: I think one of the best projects I worked on was a project that was given to me right when I started. I was very new to the company and very new to my team but it was the best way to completely immerse myself in what the client wants, what my team is like, and how the processes both internally and with the client work. It felt really daunting to be given such a large project on my own. It was so scary, but three months later I was so proud that I had been able to manage it. I got to know my team and the client really well. To quote, “Do what you are afraid of.” Just being outside of your comfort zone, those are the areas where you really learn and can challenge yourself. Even though they are terrible scary at first, when you look back you don’t regret doing them so I think that was one of my favorites.
N: What is your favorite part about working for Digitas?
L: My favorite part is definitely the people I work with. Digitas hires really kind patient people who all have the same goal and it is to make the client happy and then from a personal level it could be different. They may want to go back to school, start a family, or have a wedding. Everyone is at a different stage but we are all on the same level somehow. We all have just so much fun coming to work everyday. One thing I was really impressed about Digitas is their recruiting team. When I was trying to look for the right position at Digitas there were a handful of recruiters that I reached out to who truly cared about whether a position was right for me. Sometimes when you really want to work for a company, you do come off a bit desperate. “I’ll do anything at this company, I will sweep the floor!” They taught me through some very quick phone calls find out what you want to do and we’ll help you get there, you just have to have a focus. It just made me realize the people at Digitas truly care about me as a person and then once you work there they take care of you and they reimburse you for tuition if you want to go to grad school. They have different benefits, even benefits for pets! You don’t find that at every company! Sometimes there are moments when you are like I don’t want to wake up and go to work tomorrow, but then you realize how lucky you are to have a job, to have a job that you love, so it is just important to remind yourself how lucky you are.