This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Yangling Sun, COL ’23
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at FLIP Production, a marketing agency based in Japan aiming to bridge the gap between Japan and the US. The funding provided to me by Penn’s Career Services allowed me to pursue my passion in marketing while gaining valuable experience working at an international startup. Working at a marketing agency that was in the process of launching a new product during the pandemic was an eye-opening experience. I was able to significantly improve my professional skill in devising strategy and learned to effectively communicate my ideas to different team members.
As a strategy intern at FLIP, my main task was to help with the company’s new product release. With the mission of promoting Japanese culture, the company decided to develop an online city scavenger hunt game that helped to promote the less well-known places in Japan and fully engage its players throughout their journey in Japan. Although the pandemic posed difficult challenges, the project manager and the team members were all motivated and excited about this online scavenger hunt game. Upon joining the team, I was fascinated by the creative design of this product. Given the freedom to work on the strategy development task, I came up with ideas that involved partnership with local restaurants, famous influencers, and popular dating apps to target different customer segments. I was able to connect with peers in the digital marketing team to discuss potential marketing materials and graphic design ideas while continuously building the go-to marketing plan.
Working at a startup also allowed me to closely interact with senior executives and seek guidance at any time. I was able to present my findings, ideas, and concerns to the founder of the company and gained a deeper understanding of the company’s business objectives. The feedback that they provided helped me to hone my strategic mindset, and the valuable advice given were applicable in both my coursework and career.
I was originally worried that conducting a virtual internship during the pandemic would affect the quality of the internship. However, the collaborative team culture and supportive manager provided me a fascinating experience working at the company. I was able to obtain a clear image of the company, teams, and project objectives during the first two weeks of my internship.
Despite the time zone differences, I was able to utilize digital platform to communicate with everyone on the team. In fact, I learned to take initiative both professionally and socially to get the most out of the internship experience.
Overall, the internship was enriching. The founders of FLIP Production are a group of talented individuals who have big goals of making an impact in this world. With a set of standards, they are actively working to expand their business and achieve their goals. I felt grateful for the support that my manager and fellow teammates provided to me and was amazed by the amount of personally growth that I was able to achieve through this internship. I gained a better understanding of how start-up, like FLIP Production, operates and explored the entrepreneurial culture in this company. I’ve gained valuable communication, market research, and interpersonal skills that are beneficial in my future career.