Alumna Spotlight: How the Master in Marketing Analytics prepared me for my career in Consumer & Market Insights
Yiyang Zhao joined EDHEC's Master in Management programme – Business Management track in 2020 and chose the MSc in Marketing Analytics as a specialisation in the second year of the master's degree. During her gap year, she interned at the global headquarters of L'Oréal and Pernod Ricard in Paris. She uses her spare time to learn shooting, horse riding, wine tasting, and to do road trips in Europe and North Africa.
What was the academic experience in the Master in Management - Business Management track like?
As the first batch of students majoring from the Master in Marketing Analytics, our course design is very close to the actual work needs in the industry, and we will be directly exposed to content such as CRM, SPSS, Python, Social Media Optimisation (SMO) and so on.
Can you tell us about your favourite course in the MSc in Marketing Analytics?
My favourite class is "Advanced Consumer Psychology" taught by Professor Talebi. Many of the cases provided by the professor in the Msc in Marketing Analytics class are from the past 2 years, to analyse the motivations of consumers hidden under the behaviours, and how companies can use this psychology to achieve their market goals better and faster.
What are your career goals?
In the future, I would like to work on consumer insights and market research. The knowledge and skills, acquired in the Master in Marketing Analytics, that have been most helpful to me personally are Business Analysis, Consumer Psychology, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Python...
Where did you intern?
During the Gap Year of the Master in Management - Business Management track, I did two internships in France, one at L’Oréal’s global headquarters and the other at Pernod Ricard’s global headquarters, both of which were focused on consumer insights and market research related, mixed with some digital tasks.
How did you find your internships?
Perhaps it can be summarised as 3 points, ability + personality + interests.
Ability: Because I was interested in research-type work before, I also did research-related internships in some companies such as Tencent, ByteDance, and NetEase. Although these are Internet companies, the base logic is the same.
Personality: I am a more adaptable and result-oriented type of person, and generally more energetic. The supervisors of these two internships prefer this kind of intern who is not picky about the supervisor’s personality and who is more proactive, so even if I do not speak French, they still gave me a chance.
Interests: During the interview with Pernod Ricard, my experience as a certified sommelier played an important role; during the interview with L’Oréal, the experience of me and my teammates getting Top 2 at L’Oréal BrandStorm 2022 may have caught the attention of the recruiter.
How did the EDHEC's Master in Management programme prerare you for your internships?
When I was looking for the first internship (Pernod Ricard), I was very anxious because it was a completely unfamiliar environment. I had never been to France before my graduate school. I do not speak French. I had no work experience. The consultant of EDHEC Career Centre gave me 45 minutes of one-to-one counselling, pointed out which part of my resume needed to be improved, how to make a resumé that meets the requirements of French interviewers, and gave me the confidence to continue looking. In fact, the room I rented during my internship in Paris was recommended to me by an EDHEC career consultant.
What advice do you have for students looking for internships/jobs?
Never give up. It is indeed difficult to find an internship abroad. It is a trial, but do not let the pressure from inside and outside defeat you, master your own rhythm.
Be clear about what you want. What field do you like or dislike? What is your goal?
Don't be afraid to be wrong. It is okay to make mistakes in the interview. You can know whether you are doing well or not and how to improve next time through the reaction of the recruiter.
Learn French if you can. France has a strong local language atmosphere, and those who do not know French will be restricted in their job search.
What was your living experience in France like?
As my friends usually say, I am a "cowboy" in my spare time. I will go shooting, riding horses, and tasting wine. I have obtained a legal gun license in France, and I shoot with Glock pistols or rifles. Lille, the city where the school is located, also has a horse ranch, and I usually go horseback riding, hoping to obtain the junior equestrian certificate soon. I am also a qualified sommelier and enjoy going to wine tasting parties/visiting wineries.
What places have you visited?
I am a road trip enthusiast. Up to now, I have driven in the Sahara Desert in North Africa, Bordeaux, Reims, Corsica, Germany and other places.
Did you enjoy studying on our Lille Campus?
There are many interesting places inside the Lille campus, and it is generally not very crowded, so as a student, you can experience all the facilities of the school very well. Course-related ones such as the "Behaviour Lab", non-course-related ones such as gyms and libraries, and there are also many open spaces for discussion or self-study. If you have any questions, you can ask the front desk of the school or the international student office. EDHEC staff are very friendly and willing to help you solve various problems.