Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Yee

 – Alumni Spotlights highlight the success of THF interns with Hearst, a long standing supporter and the Foundation’s first Platinum Diversity Partner.

Jessica Yee (THF ’18)

Tell us about your host company, Hearst.

Title: Summer Associate at Hearst’s Emerging Technology .

Duties & Responsibilities

Since the Emerging Technology team was relatively smaller than other teams in Hearst Technology, I was able to get involved in many different responsibilities, from doing industry research for a company-wide seminar to creating marketing materials for their new Amazon Alexa app, Trivia Treat.

What did a typical day look like for you?

My duties varied from day to day, but I always checked in frequently with two team members to stay updated on the team’s different projects.

For example, in the days leading up to the AI 101 seminar, I spent more time looking up relevant news to add in the deck and suggesting questions for the Q&A afterwards.

What was one of your best experiences interning with Hearst?

One of my best experiences interning at Hearst was getting to see the creative process unfold for Trivia Treat and being in meetings between Emerging Technology and King Features. I got to interact with another T. Howard intern in King Features and came up with ideas for the rewards system in the game.

What did you like most about interning with Hearst?

I enjoyed feeling like I was really part of the team. Since there were only two members of the team in the New York office, I got to work with them closely and felt very involved in every project.

I enjoyed writing and let them know that I wanted to practice my communication skills, so I asked to take on a project that had been on the back-burner for a while: an article series breaking down new technologies like AI and 5G so all departments within Hearst could understand their impact and relevance.

The team was very receptive to my writing and provided great feedback that helped me fine-tune the articles.

How did your role/department fit into Hearst’s overall business objective/mission?

The Emerging Technology team worked with various departments at Hearst to bring the company’s content into newer platforms.

For example, they had worked with Good Housekeeping to create an Alexa app prior to my internship and continued this process with King Features and Trivia Treat. They also began an internal educational series to explain new technologies to all departments, which the AI 101 seminar and my article series were part of.

What were the most rewarding and challenging parts of your role?

A challenge was looking for ways to contribute to a team that already had several projects in motion. While I enjoyed getting to see the end results of Trivia Treat and the beginning of the process for the educational series, I wanted to make my own mark on the team. After doing research and staying constantly updated with technical news for the first few weeks, I expressed this to one of the team members and we decided on the article series as a way for me to make my own personal contribution.

A rewarding part of my role was seeing different projects come to fruition. I got to see Phil Wiser present the AI 101 seminar in person and celebrated the launch of Trivia Treat on the app store. Noticing all of my own contributions in these projects—from a formatting suggestion to a news article I found—and seeing the audience’s reactions made all the work worthwhile.

What particular skills or talents were most essential to be effective in your internship role?

Communication was by far the most useful skill for my internship. Because so many new technologies can cause moral panics due to misunderstanding what the technologies are capable of or apathy because no relevance is apparent, it was important to be able to communicate why the Emerging Technology’s work was important, relevant, and helpful to every division of the company.

How has your Hearst internship made an impact on your career?

Before my internship, I knew that I wanted to find a medium between technology and more communication – focused work.

My internship at Hearst was my first time working in a media company and showed me a couple of ways I could apply my love of writing with my interest and background in technology.

What advice would you give to THF interns as they begin summer internships/careers in media?

Think about how you can make a lasting contribution to the team. Some internships have this in the form of a structured summer-long project, but others (like mine) require interns to step up and propose ideas until one sticks. Get to know how your team works and how your skills and interests best line up with what they need and they will understand your willingness to be a team player.