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"A career in technology allows me to foresee change, to have an impact, and to leave a mark on the way people live their lives."

Alexandra Mak

Business Analyst Intern,

Client Success Enterprise, Greater China

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Alexandra is a final year student at City University of Hong Kong, majoring in Global Business. She has also studied overseas at University of Toronto and Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management to gain international insights regarding her business major. Prior to her internship at Meltwater, she has previous experiences as a Business Solutions Intern at PVH and a Public Relations Intern at BCW. Additionally, Alexandra is an outstanding global citizen, co-founding Colective Aude, an NGO advocating gender equality in Mexico.

 

Q: What made you decide to apply for Meltwater’s Business Analyst Internship?

 

What attracted me the most about Meltwater was its flat management hierarchy and warm work culture. As a company that is a huge advocate for collaboration and mentorship, I witnessed how co-workers were all able to hang out together after work, and there is no strict hierarchy between managers and interns. Compared to other big corporations, Meltwater’s global startup really spoke to me. In today’s digital era, Public relations is highly dependent on media monitoring and big data analytics. Based on my previous experiences in marketingand my degree in global business, I found this extremely relevant and intriguing.

To be able to work at such an innovative and dynamic company was an opportunity I wanted to strive for early on in my career. Moreover, my previous experience in Burson Cohn & Wolfe, a multinational public relations firm- I was able to discover Meltwater’s product and found it highly effective for brand management and reporting. From there, I took the initiative to apply for Meltwater’s business analyst internship, and I have no regrets!

Q: Why did you choose your degree in Global Business at City U? How has this helped you throughout your internship?  

 

City U’s Global Business program struck me as a degree that strongly promoted multiculturalism and international exposure. These were two qualities I personally really valued to enrich my academic, personal and professional growth. Through Global Business, learning is conducted through small group discussions with access to exclusive classes. The course design oriented around consulting, making the courses very hands-on and practical through tons of case studies and project management. 

The exposure to solving real business problems and working with a diverse group of peers has allowed me to develop a global mindset, think strategically, and act like a leader. Outside of school, I am also really active in my extracurricular activities where I’ve recently won the Hong Kong Chamber’s Business Case Competition! Through these exciting opportunities, it has also given me wide commercial awareness and cultural sensitivity. I believe these distinctive skills have undoubtedly made me a more competitive candidate when applying for internship opportunities. These skills and experiences have definitely translated to my work during the internship, enabling a smoother transition to fit in the multicultural, fast pace and result-driven business organization. Even though my internship didn’t require too many advanced technical skills as there was a lot of on-the-job learning, it is ultimately your attitude and work ethic cultivated through your diverse experiences that can set you apart. 

It is ultimately your attitude and work ethic cultivated through your diverse experiences that can set you apart. 

 

Q: I see how you’ve always been extremely active within your extracurricular activities and internships, how do you think your internship at Meltwater differs from your previous experiences? 

Throughout my university years, I was extremely proactive to undertake as many internships as possible. This is because Internships offer students real work experience that may not be available in every degree. At university, group projects or failing an exam can always mean a second chance. This doesn’t happen when you’re interning because there are far-reaching consequences that can put a strain on the relationship with clients, co-workers, or employers if you’ve made a small mistake. I think my internship at Meltwater was really unique considering that it was my first virtual internship where I had to work completely remote. 

Compared to my previous internships, I can confidently say I felt the most involved at Meltwater. This was because I was constantly looped in for daily meetings and wrap-up calls, given consistent feedback for my work, and I had the opportunity to pitch directly to my client! I was truly able to gain a strong sense of contribution and achievement throughout my time here. 

I was constantly looped in for daily meetings and wrap-up calls, given consistent feedback for my work, and I had the opportunity to pitch directly to my client!

 

Q: What were some rewarding moments you experienced as a business analyst through the three months?  Were you able to solve any real business problems you wouldn’t have received in university? 

 

Throughout the three months here, I was able to work with so many exciting clients including JD health, Ralph Lauren, Huawei, Xiaomi, Shiseido, etc. These were big accounts that I had to manage, where I was given actual responsibilities to analyze their data and develop the insight reports that could influence how their C-executives make the business decisions. My most rewarding moment was during my first week here, where my manager was thoroughly impressed with my business presentation on 2021 market trends. Not only did I feel accomplished, but my presentation has also since been circulated throughout the different departments and clients, and it made me extremely proud that I was able to help the senior management team and real clients with my hard work and research! 

My favorite client that I worked on was Ralph Lauren. As a new client, I had to build their boolean search and news alerts from scratch, monitor their brand mentions and crisis management and personally teach them how to utilize our solution. Through this, I really felt Meltwater’s mission of ‘outside insight’- to be able to generate large volumes of business insights for clients to digest within 5 minutes!

 

Q: How has this internship increased your awareness and interest in big data and media monitoring? What are your thoughts on the future of the media intelligence industry? 

I’ve come to have great exposure to big data and media monitoring when I was interning at Meltwater. When working with data, it helped to sharpen my logical thinking and data filtering skills. Data analysis is a critical skill to have in business because it helps you to explore data in meaningful ways. It has enabled me to organize, interpret, structure, and present the data into useful and relevant information for an organization.

I was able to identify a significant difference between how clients from different APAC regions utilize data to assist their decision-making processes.  For example, China has a more complex structure with big data and has a heavier flow of content coming through with their mass social media platforms. Hence, I believe the industry of media intelligence will only expand. Industries beyond marketing and PR, including finance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical have also become heavily reliant on big data to learn and advance. The demographics of Gen Z and Millenials are only becoming more addicted to social media, so the influence of social media is not going away anytime soon.

As for myself, I can see my career to be in related fields of digitalization and media intelligence. A career in technology allows me to foresee change, to have an impact, and to leave a mark on the way people live their lives. Being around people thinking in this way that all day is contagious, and people who are that passionate about their work are definitely co-workers I want to have.

Q: Meltwater is always on the search for new talent, particularly those who align with our unique corporate values. What do you think makes you an ideal candidate for Meltwater’s business analyst internship program? 

I believe it is crucial for interns to display qualities of being outspoken and open-minded. While managers are handling many projects at hand, it’s important that interns are not afraid to speak up on problems and provide innovative insight to every detail. Known for our global start-up culture, interns need to be constantly learning and open up to different opinions. As a company that is always looking for new solutions to streamline our processes and make work more efficient, interns need to know how to handle constructive criticisms. In a fast-paced and dynamic environment, interns need to work in a timely manner while meeting high standards. A lot of times, I’ve been given many ad hoc requests to complete. I think it is extremely important to develop a sense of patience and a strong work ethic towards every task you accomplish. The quote ‘no task is too small to not chase perfection and excellence’ really described my time as an intern. It is the ability to complete even the finest of tasks that allowed my managers to entrust me with bigger responsibilities. In return, these qualities I reflected helped me create a lasting impression on the company and even retrieve a return offer!

The quote ‘no task is too small to not chase perfection and excellence’ really described my time as an intern.

 

Q: Due to Covid-19, your internship was completely remote. Did the internship help you deal with the challenges of working remotely, and what are some positive aspects of the virtual internship? 

Despite having to work remotely for the majority of my internship, the program was still very structured where I followed day-to-day routines. While I’ve had a lot of autonomy to drive my own initiatives, my managers never failed to check in on me and to update me throughout the day so I feel as involved as possible with the rest of my team. As with every project I do, the feedback never ends!

 

This is my internship schedule:

Daily commitments throughout the week

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9 AM

Meeting call with my managers, briefing them on my projects and tasks for the day 

During the day

Work with different managers on their client projects and attend client meetings

5:30 PM

End of day briefing call, we would go through the tasks everyone accomplished, the challenges experienced while executing tasks 

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Other commitments

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Every Friday @ 5:30 PM

Team wrap up calls for further follow-ups before the week ends

Every Wednesday @ 12:30 PM

Lunch sharing sessions and mid-day check-ins 

Every two weeks

Client Success and Key Account Management Teams come together and share our insights

 

Q: Despite the adjustment to virtual, how was your Meltwater experience? Were you still able to gain a sense of Meltwater’s people culture, values, and mentorship? 

Of course, the experience of a virtual compared to an in-person internship is never really the same in regards to real-life interactions. In terms of my learning and getting to know Meltwater, I was still able to maximize my experience through a screen! There were many casual social events held online where everyone would gather for monthly scavenger hunts, games, and trivia nights. Meltwater is truly a fun, work hard play harder company filled with ambitious and driven people that inspired me throughout.

Meltwater is truly a fun, work hard play harder company filled with ambitious and driven people that inspired me throughout.