Meet the Alumni: Hyebin Zhang


Q. Could you describe your most rewarding experience from

My most rewarding experience from UIC comes from my major. My major was CTM, and most of the classes were not conducted in the form of standard lectures. The courses were felt more like a project, rather than a lecture, as the students had to independently lead the course themselves. Such unique curriculum made me a more independent person, not only in the process of looking for a job, but also in treating the tasks that I faced. I was a more independent person compared to other students, who were mostly used to doing as told.

Q. What are your three general advice to UIC students?

Instead of three, I would like to give one essential piece of advice: do not confine yourself to one specific area. I mean this not only in terms of the field you take interest in, but also in terms of being an introverted person. I think college provides a good opportunity for you to strive to become more extroverted. Try to meet people whom you have never met before. If you have only lived in Korea, go out: there are so many people outside of the world you live in.

Q. Why did you choose the career that you are currently in?

Why marketing? Well, coincidentally, I got to take a marketing course during my forth year in college. From this experience, I discovered that I really enjoy marketing. I wanted to become better at it, so I applied for internships once the course was finished. As a result, I worked as an intern in a digital marketing agency and a PR agency. That is how I gained and developed my interest in marketing. And why did I choose this company? This is closely linked to my personal life goal, which is to make Korea a better country. I wanted to connect this goal to my career as a marketer, and so I applied to Amore Pacific, a Korean global marketing company with its headquarter in Korea. It provided a favorable environment for me to pursue my goal, because working in the headquarters allows you to deal with a wider scope of matters than in a local office. That was the conclusion I made based on my experience, and that is why I ended up being at Amore Pacific.

Q. How has your college experience prepared you for a
business career?

In college, no one really fed me anything, and this especially so because I was the first ever one to enter and graduate from TAD. It was me and my friends in TAD who pioneered everything. The Techno Art Division provides education on a new kind of studies, one that does not focus on a specific, limited field of academics. So people always ask me questions concerning my major, like “what exactly is your major?”, “what is it about?”, and “what did you do in it?” A good side of this is that to whatever company I go, I can shape my answer into a one they want to hear. So in this way, my major was very helpful in making me end up in this career path.

Q. What is a typical day like at your workplace?

I’ll first explain what my team does. Within Amore Pacific there are multiple brands, and what Marketing Communications Strategy team does is harmonizing each brand’s strategy with that of the entire company. Our team not only focuses on each brand’s marketing communications, but also devises the most efficient strategy for the whole company. Within our team, there is a domestic division and a global division, and I’m in the global division. It basically means that I deal with global brands within our company; for instance, providing guidance on how they should conduct their marketing communications overseas. My current job is to make guidelines for local offices on how to conduct their marketing communications. It hasn’t been that long since Amore Pacific has become a global company, and therefore, not many guidelines exist. So right now I am contributing to making an organized system within the company.

Q. If you had to choose one essential skill that is critical in
order to succeed in the workplace, what would it be?

This is closer to a habit than a skill, but never give up asking “why?” By asking why, you can develop analyzing skills, and you get to become more creative. It is very common to give up asking why, especially for those who enter a conglomerate. Because in that kind of environment, the question of “why” becomes meaningless: everyone tells you that there is no reason behind it, that it is just the way things are, and that it has been like that for a long time. If it is difficult to keep asking this question in a working environment, at least ask it to yourself. Doing so will prepare you to come up with answers, and this will then help you to seize an opportunity when it comes.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

If I remain in Amore Pacific, I aim to look for wider ranging tasks within the company, especially within the Global Marketing Communications Strategy Team. Right now, I am simply doing what I am asked to, because I am too young and my career years too short for me to make new tasks by myself. However, in the coming years, I would like to do more activities within my capability that would contribute to making this company a truly global company. I intentionally will not share a specific type of job, because I do not want to limit myself to the things that I know now. The things I am interested in may also change.
I also want to open myself up to new opportunities and jump at them even if I hadn’t planned on them. But I know what gives me most fulfillment: building, influencing, and pushing boundaries. And I plan on living by these with a margin of flexibility.

Q. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?

As I go through internships, as I study more, and as I work more, there are things that accumulate inside me. It could be knowledge, and it could be experience. I like the feeling of my goals getting increasingly expanded as I continue to build on these things. Moreover, they help me specify the process of realizing my goal: they make me understand what it is that I really have to do, and what my priorities are. All in all, when I get the sense of my knowledge and experience expanding, and when I come to know how to use these resources in reaching my goals, that motivates me the most.

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