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Yolanda Zhang'18, Mathematics and Economics Major from Shanghai, China.

October 2017

Majors: Mathematics & Economics
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Program Mentor: Carol Wickersham, Adjunct Instructor of Sociology and Director of the Duffy Community Partnerships and the Leadership Initiative
Duffy Site: Kerry Ingredients & Flavours
Site Supervisor: Erin Wellnitz, Associate Brand Manager, Kerry

Yolanda Zhang'18, Duffy Community Partner

Share a little bit about your experience in the Duffy Community Partnership program.

I worked as a Marketing Intern with Assistant Brand Manager Erin Wellnitz at Food Services Brand in Kerry. I categorized Kerry products and coded them into different classes through Excel. I conducted market research on competitive brands of Kerry and analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of their products compared to Kerry’s. After the competitive analysis, I did a presentation to report my work. At Kerry, there are always a lot of clients coming to the company to visit, so I helped my supervisor prepare some PowerPoint Presentations. Working with the Marketing Coordinator, I conducted location research for the company’s future formal meetings. Also, I attended two Camp Crumb with colleagues from other departments to get a training on the latest Kerry ingredients and recipes.

How has your work through the Duffy Community Partnerships program informed your vision for the future of your education?

In the past two semesters at Kerry, I helped the Food Service Brands team with online market research and usual office work; I assisted the Sales & Marketing Coordinator with sample order and files organizing; I worked with the Digital Marketing team to sort the data of Kerry products in Excel and search images for each of their recipes online. As my first part-time internship, Kerry has provided me with the opportunity to gain the most valuable experience - working in a professional place. I have seen how a food company provided its products and services and observed how different departments worked together on one project. The Duffy experience made me realize my weakness and the things I need to learn and do in the future. Through the Duffy, I have learned more about my own interests, and I now have a more clear vision for my career.

What have you found most interesting about the Duffy program?

My supervisor invited me to the Camp Crumb at Kerry last semester. Camp Crumb is a training inside Kerry to give employees a better perspective of Kerry ingredients by inviting participants to the kitchen to make food using the latest Kerry products and recipes. I spent a whole day with people from different departments in the kitchen to make food. My group and I came up with ideas of putting breadings and coatings outside bacon, pepper and cheese as a roll to participate in our food design competition. Being involved in this kind of event made me feel very engaged with the Kerry community. Even though I was working with people who had much more experience than me, I didn’t feel any stress; instead, I was grateful to have the opportunity to know people from other sections and learn both technical and leadership skills from them.

Describe your experience working in the community and at your site.

Through the Duffy program, I experienced the community-based learning and learned how to get involved with the community instead of waiting for opportunities to come to me.

Kerry gave me many opportunities to get out of my comfort zone. Those situations pushed me to learn to adapt to the new environment and make it become my comfort zone. I now can present myself more confidently in a professional place with all other people who have more experience than me. As time goes by, I began to not regard myself as the person with the least skills and abilities among people, but have become proud of myself as the youngest in a team who has the courage to present in a formal setting. With this new confidence, the rest of my communications with other people came much easier to me.

The most valuable thing I learned at Kerry was not the hard skills applied to high technology operations, but the soft skills such as the ability to listen, and social networking skills that are essential for my future career. Kerry trained me to become a good communicator by offering me different opportunities to get involved with the company and see how the company benefits the local community.

After completing your program, what are you looking forward to most?

My goals in my academic career at Beloit are very simple: focus on my current work; put as many efforts as I can to my classes; make the full use of time and resources in the community and never forget my initial determination.