Audrey is an incoming penultimate student studying International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the President of her school’s Consultancy Society, Head of Marketing of Asia Investment Banking Conference and a student consultant of various consulting projects. Apart from her passion for breaking into consulting, she is an artsy person who is fond of writing, photography and watching all kinds of dramas, theatre productions and movies. Under the Covid-19 pandemic, she has picked up her first sports ever - kickboxing! From an introvert focusing on spending quality me-time to opening up to more dynamic hobbies, she finds herself aligning more and more with the diversity embedded in Meltwater culture as she spent her summer here. 

Q. Why did you apply for the role of Business and Recruitment Marketing Intern at Meltwater?

I decided to go for a summer internship because I wanted to utilise my summer holiday to explore my potential, navigate my career pathway and sharpen my skill sets. My job-hunting process was quite frustrating because there was limited internship availability for year 1 students. When I was struggling to find suitable roles, I came across Meltwater on LinkedIn and was immediately attracted to the company. At the first glance, Meltwater appeals to me as an international company with vibrant culture and energetic vibes. As a humanities student, I wanted to broaden my exposure to the corporate world by exposing myself to a real-life business environment to gain more in-depth knowledge on how a business runs. As my position focused on marketing and with some experience in marketing and consulting from my school’s societies, I find this internship position at Meltwater a good fit for me. 

 

Q: What were your main responsibilities throughout this internship? 

A large part of this internship involves various employer branding projects that are to improve Meltwater’s branding in the North Asia region. The first project I worked on was the online review project for Greater China, in which I had to study the candidates' views on Meltwater and align their perceptions with the reality of working at Meltwater. I became knowledgeable about the competitive landscape of Meltwater in the APAC region through reviewing comments on the online career forums, benchmarking the edges and weaknesses of Meltwater’s employer branding practices and identifying what misperceptions people have about our company. After the initial research and analysis, I have to put myself into the applicants’ shoes and propose the responses to the feedback that could tap on the concerns of candidates and guide the general public to have a better understanding of working at Meltwater. 

The second project was the Japan employer branding project. I was fortunate enough to be able to follow through from the very beginning and handle different areas of work. I have no prior knowledge of the Japan recruitment landscape nor the tech industry there. As Japan is distinct from the Greater China region in terms of culture and practices, I took quite a lot of time carrying out background research and synthesising the best practices of employer branding in Japan. Then, I formulated detailed branding and marketing strategies for Meltwater Japan, including proposing the changes on our Meltwater Japan’s career page and campus recruitment strategy. Throughout the process, I was granted huge responsibilities and ownership by proposing my findings, ideas and action plan to the management team directly. It was a rewarding experience for me because not only did I learn to articulate my thoughts in a structured and professional manner, but I also feel valued when my suggestions are recognised and implemented. 

Another major task was content creation. I am tasked to formulate an editorial calendar that covers various topics and post them across different channels, eg. a day in the life of an intern, interviewing tips, Meltwater Culture, To present a diverse set of topics on the Greater China careers website, I took the full responsibility to brainstorm the page design and create it with the guidance received from my manager.

On a day-to-day basis,  I was involved in the full recruitment cycle from outbound sourcing, arranging interviews and providing evaluations on candidates CV to my manager. It was a unique experience for me to gain an insider view of what is a suitable candidate that companies are looking for. More importantly, I have boosted my confidence in communication. Especially when I am talking to the  prospects, I have to strike the balance between being friendly and demonstrating an executive presence. By grasping the right tone, answering candidates’ unpredictable questions on the spot, and interpreting  the candidates’ attitude through  their tones and answers, I have improved my soft  skills and am more at ease when interacting with different people and dealing with unpredictable conversations.

More importantly, I have boosted my confidence in communication. Especially when I am talking to the prospects, I have to strike the balance between being friendly and demonstrating an executive presence.

 

Q: What do you think makes you a suitable candidate for this role?  

I see myself as a self-disciplined and driven person who is good at time management. As I am used to a fast-paced working style, I tend to plan my working schedule in an organised manner when I am assigned multiple tasks so that I can not only be punctual but also keep my work in a  high quality I felt a strong sense of satisfaction because multitasking well grants me to take up more responsibilities than I expected. 

Possessing a problem-solving mindset is another key that helped me survive my journey at Meltwater. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words. No matter how difficult or unfamiliar the tasks are, I am willing to give it a go and figure out ways to get things done. This mentality was especially evident when I was dealing with employer branding projects. There was lots of research and discrete materials about employer branding. I have to identify the most relevant information and put it forward by summarising the key insights and formulating actionable strategies. As a result-oriented person, not only could I get separate tasks done, but I also look at the broader picture and bring actual impacts to improve the business as a whole. 

When it comes to content creation, it can take a lot of time and effort because I have to brainstorm from different angles and adapt tones that set me apart from academic writing in university. Thus, my strong interest in writing is essential to maintain my motivation to constantly produce high-quality work. What’s more, I had to apply my critical thinking skills to produce diverse content that addresses a wide range of target audiences effectively while still aligning to Meltwater’s branding. To ensure that my work is up to the standards of professional business writing, I was always open to look for references online to gain insights on how to present my ideas well and to cross-check my work meticulously. 

What’s more, I had to apply my critical thinking skills to produce diverse content that addresses a wide range of target audiences effectively while still aligning to Meltwater’s branding.

Q. What aspects of this internship do you think made it a rewarding experience for you? How do you think your experience at Meltwater can benefit you going forward?

The flat hierarchy at Meltwater stands out to me as the key to my rewarding internship experience because I was provided ample opportunities to work directly with the management team. In my day-to-day routine, I work closely with my manager April to develop the content creation plan and discuss employer branding strategies. When I was assisting with the recruitment work, I could sit in the meetings with APAC regional heads to discuss the hiring process and criteria. For the online review project and Japan employer branding project, I was even given the chance to present my findings and ideas to the regional management team in Japan. 

As a junior who is still navigating what industry, company size and working style would suit me the most, the experience at Meltwater is truly one of a kind. Before I joined, I thought that an intern would only do grunt work. Unexpectedly, I was tasked to own the projects and receive immense support from seniors throughout my journey. For instance, my manager April caught up with me every single day on my work plan and assisted me whenever I encountered challenges. Besides the instant feedback, we also had the midway evaluation session where  I evaluated work performance, whether my personal and professional goals were achieved, the skills I have developed and the areas I could improve. By evaluating my past, present and future, I could understand my strengths and weaknesses more thoroughly and be pushed to produce high-quality work that meets the standards all the time. Being part of the forefront, devising strategies and witnessing how my ideas and work drive tangible impacts, I felt that I was a valued member of the company who is trusted and recognised.

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My business acumen has been enhanced as well. In Friday Wrap-Ups and the Ring Bell sessions, my colleagues’ insightful sharings on their clients’ cases and their key learnings have boosted my understanding of marketing, PR and how business works. Through working on several employer branding projects, I have gained a full cycle of consulting experience from identifying the pain points, proposing the strategies to improve Meltwater’s status quo to implementing actual solutions.  It was a truly eye-opening experience for me to crack real-life business challenges in a business setting and learn from my managers on the proper working style, best practices and perspectives to consider when dealing with different business problems. 

What’s more, I grasped the importance of being professional and energetic at work. When I am working with my colleagues who are the media intelligence experts providing professional consultation to

C-executives across the industry, I feel that my work needs to be up to their standards. I constantly push myself to strive for excellence so that I can be a helpful contributor to the team and the one who drives others.

The sense of accomplishment makes it worth going the extra mile as my hard work will eventually be recognized by others. 

Q. What were the greatest challenges you encountered at Meltwater? How have those contributed to your professional and personal development?

The biggest challenge I faced would be to blend into the new environment and socialise with new people. As I usually take time to warm up, I was overwhelmed at the beginning when I was exposed to the crowd of vocal colleagues at Meltwater. I thought that everyone looks extremely hustle all the time and it would be inappropriate to disturb them. I was not confident to initiate conversations, nor did I feel comfortable socialising with the crowd. April pointed out this problem to me in the midway evaluation session. After hearing her experience and advice, I felt encouraged and became more confident to step out of my comfort zone. When I started breaking the ice, I realised that the people around me are all extremely friendly. Not only did they initiate conversations with me during lunchtime, but they also invited me to the company closing dinner in which I saw the fun side of my colleagues!  I felt included and welcomed as part of the company and soon became more and more at ease when socialising with everyone in the office. 

Although stepping out of my comfort zone is never easy, I did it when I let my guard down and challenged myself which allowed me to reap more fruits than I expected from this internship. As I became more confident to talk to the crowd and more open to feedback, I was able to take up more responsibilities and gain more from the opportunities. Also, I realized the importance of striking a balance between being an independent worker and a good team player. Apart from delivering good work, it is crucial to connect with others and build a strong professional network. After all, it is the lasting bondings that make the experience valuable and memorable. Moving forward, I will try to be confident in myself and embrace unknowns because confidence empowers me to be more capable of conquering challenges especially in a business environment. 

Another difficulty was time management. Besides this internship at Meltwater, I had to handle multiple student consulting projects and my university’s societies work simultaneously. Being stretched between the Hong Kong and London time zone, I was caught up with several meetings till midnight after work most of the time. With such a packed schedule, I found myself overwhelmed with work at times. However, I knew that I could not give up at any point because I have to be committed to all the responsibilities I took up. To ensure that I could meet all the deadlines and maintain a good quality of work, I planned my workflow according to priorities every day. Through this experience, I learned to be resilient and persevere even when times were tough. It sounds impossible to produce work that met expectations and even exceeded it for a lot of people, I believe that it is the positive and never-give-up attitude I possess that matters. Looking back, I am proud that I have challenged myself, and I am delighted that everything worked out well at last. 

Although stepping out of my comfort zone is never easy, I did it when I let my guard down and challenged myself which allowed me to reap more fruits than I expected from this internship.

Q. How has your perception of big data and media intelligence changed?

Before joining Meltwater, I had a limited understanding of technology and media intelligence. I only knew that technology is a thriving trend in our daily lives and I perceived Meltwater as some kind of tech consulting company that helps to tackle business problems with digitised solutions. Then, I realised that Meltwater is something way more transformative and revolutionary. Adding onto the traditional realm of tech consulting, Meltwater owns its products and forms its unique integrated solutions to offer full-cycle support to clients. From collecting media data, extracting insights, conducting end-to-end consultation to formulating strategies, Meltwater is the trusted partner which helps businesses make better decisions and improve on current business performance.

In my opinion, the concept of outside insight is exceptionally interesting because it is salient in this incrementally digitalised world, yet commonly overlooked by businesses. As social media takes the world by storm, traditional methods of data research and analysis are insufficient to keep businesses updated. Transcending the conventional framework of data, Meltwater tools can utilize media data to capture the market sentiment, identify business pain points to prompt timely solutions, and benchmark competitors to formulate effective business development strategies. I am impressed with how Meltwater tools can connect the dots and fill up the gaps in businesses to empower clients’ success. As Meltwater’s client base has been extended from the PR and marketing industry to the broader audience out there, including financial institutions, start-ups, digital teams of companies, non-governmental organisations, etc.

I can see that the market demand is strongly surging, and Meltwater is definitely in a good position as a pioneer and the global leader in the field. 

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"Before I joined, I thought that an intern would only do grunt work. Unexpectedly,  I was tasked to own the projects and receive immense support from seniors throughout my journey."

Audrey Li

Business and Recruitment Marketing Intern

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