Senior Global Management major, David Huang, is up for a challenge. He has taken advantage of the opportunities available to him on and off campus to push himself out of his comfort zone and bring himself closer to his career goals.
Interning at Adobe
When I caught wind of David’s internship with Adobe, I knew his story was one students would be interested in learning about. David worked in the Global Marketing Strategy Business unit in the Public Relations organization working most closely with the Customer Communications team doing anything related to press-centered content strategy. I wanted to know more about how he secured such a cool gig at a world-known organization.
“I found the job on LinkedIn when I was applying to A LOT of internships. As an international student, it’s a numbers game. So, you have to just keep on applying. Eventually, Adobe reached out to me, and I went through three rounds of interviews.
Pushing His Own Ideas: Adobe Creative Campus Student Challenge
With his previous experience in the Epic Grand Challenge and his ambitious attitude, David took advantage of his opportunities at Adobe to develop and voice his own ideas.
“They were really trying to push out an app called Adobe Express. It’s Adobe’s way of competing with Canva. On the PR (Public Relations) side, we are constantly looking for new ways to push content. A large demographic of those who use Canva are college students and [Adobe] partners with a lot of campuses in the U.S. Using the existing resources we have, we could create a student challenge centered on Adobe Express where students submit work for a chance to win a prize, and we would use the submissions for content and to create incentive.”
This project gave him the opportunity to meet and network with many different people.
“It was cool to see another idea like Mirai Possibilities play out in an internship environment. You put together an idea and meet with people about it, improve or change it, and keep building on it until, in the end, it’s kind of like, ‘here it is.’ I wasn’t nervous pushing it to my manager—she’s really nice and very supportive. But, in order for it to work, I had to seek approval from people in different areas. She helped facilitate the meetings, but I created my own pitch. I took the criticism that I received to make changes. Once I got approval, I was connected with [university partners].”
In the spring of David’s sophomore year, he decided to participate in the Epic Grand Challenge hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity. With teammates, he built out a project called Mirai Possibility—a pipeline that connects high schools to Earlham College to local businesses in the hopes of upscaling the loc
al workforce. Tactics include providing high school students with career development courses and internship experiences.
“I never thought that wouldturn into an actual partnership with Tiedemann-Bevs and Notheastern High School.”
Preparation from Earlham
“Pitching an idea to 30+ [at Adobe] people is a little nerve-wracking. What helped prepare me was [Momoha Hirose] and I pitching Mirai Possibility to Northeastern and Tiedemann-Bevs [for the Epic Grand Challenge].”
However nerve-wracking it was to pitch a new idea to an organization as big as Adobe, having participated in the Epic Grand Challenge prepared David to be able to effectively get the job done.
“If I hadn’t pitched so much working on Mirai, I wouldn’t have done nearly as well pitching to the entire PR organization at Adobe. You have to be willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to grow.”
David had a glowing review for his advisor/professor Gene Hambrick.
“Gene’s fantastic. Sometimes I think, ‘Wow, what would I be doing if Gene didn’t push me or encourage me to do the Epic Grand Challenge?’ I may have underestimated myself. A lot of the things that have happened [for me] are a snowball effect. Mirai Possibility led to me getting involved in Net Impact, led to me participating in the John Lewis case competition, then the Global Case Competition at Harvard— as you keep doing these things you start challenging yourself to do a little bit more. It’s an incredible journey. So, I am very thankful for Gene as an advisor and someone who has pushed me.”
David credits Gene’s courses as being some of the most engaging courses he’s taken.
“Gene just brings the energy, EVERY DAY! He brings in speakers such as Tiedemen-Bevs, that’s how I got connected to them.”
Going Beyond the Classroom
David also advises taking the finance course at Earlham when students want to understand how to evaluate the financial portions of case competitions, but also encourages students to research synergies, mergers, and acquisitions.
“You have to be willing to do research on your own and not only rely on your Earlham classes.”
Student Employment on Campus
It comes as no surprise that David was a student worker for Earlham’s Marketing Department as a social media specialist. He says that there are a lot of opportunities on campus, but that it is a matter of looking for them. He encourages students interested in marketing to reach out to the Marketing Department.
Earlham’s Chapter of Net Impact
David tries to encourage students to get involved in the campus chapter of Net Impact. It is a global organization whose mission is situated at the intersection of business and social impact on topics such as environmental sustainability and social justice. The Earlham chapter focuses on case competitions that are centered on these topics. David credits those competitions as being “the closest thing you can get to real-world scenarios.”
Case competitions are not all the same, but industry analysis and problem-solving in a selected industry are common. Competitions usually consist of multiple rounds where students have to delve deeper into issues with specific organizations in the later rounds. Much research is involved. David participated in the Global Case Competition at Harvard which was focused on finance, and the John Lewis Case Competition focusing on policy issues.
He stresses that even if you don’t win the competitions— many of the schools competing are graduate schools— the impact of participating in the competition is still great in terms of gaining real-world experience.
David is planning to pursue graduate school, and has recently been accepted into the graduate programs at Vanderbilt and Northwestern. As of right now, he will most likely go to Northwestern after Earlham.
As an international student, he is pursuing a STEM OPT to have work authorization for three years while he is applying to Master of Science (M.S.) programs in marketing. Afterward, he plans to pursue job opportunities in product marketing, brand management, or public relations.
“The three major lessons I have learned are, to have grit and perseverance if you want to make your ideas reality; when you are creating something, take advantage of opportunities and operate with a sense of urgency— every moment counts, everyday counts; and be ambitious.
A lot of people underestimate themselves and don’t pursue opportunities as much as they should. You never know where something might take you— sometimes you just gotta take some risks. There’s a saying that goes, ‘A ship at port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.’”
David also mentions the importance of adaptability and being able to receive criticism in order to change and perfect an idea.
We wish you well in graduate school, David.