Preparation for a career in Meta

A result-oriented professional, Koont Htar ’17 shares how her experience at Beloit College has set her up for success in working at Meta.

Before Beloit

Back in your high school years, what were some of the experiences that helped you prepare for college?

The most valuable experience I got from my high school year was learning to manage myself during my senior year. Like any other seniors in Myanmar, I was busy preparing for the college entrance exam (also considered the final exam to graduate high school). From planning, implementing, tracking the progress, and adjusting the plan time-to-time, I was thrown into a context where I had to manage my life’s project and execute it successfully. So, all the trials and errors in attempting to manage me and learning shaped me tremendously.

What drew you to Beloit College?

During my application process, I was looking for a place to grow, where I could try all the extracurricular activities that I could not pursue in high school and dive into the topics I wanted to study. Also, the Beloit economics department was one of those important reasons that made me come to Beloit.

 

Year 1

As an international student, did you find it challenging to transition from high school to college, especially the college located in a new country far away from your family and friends?

I would not say it was difficult at all. As transitioned out of my comfort zone, I did need a couple of weeks to navigate and adapt to the new environment. However, everyone on campus (including professors and staff) was so welcoming. They encouraged me to try many things that I was interested in and offered me various club and organization opportunities to join and contribute. I was part of the International Clubs in which I met and made valuable connections. Another point I want to touch on is that it is never too early to start job hunting since the first day at Beloit College. You will have more time to know what you want and what your strengths and preferences are. With that being said, I got my first internship at Myanmar Minerva Education Center as a Research Assitant in the summer after my freshman year. It was the first time I got exposed to work with data (even though it was only about collecting raw data and preparing it for research purposes).

Any advice for first-year students?

Talk to people in Beloit, whether it is your professors, classmates, or the Teaching Assistant (TA). It is hard for first-year students to know what they want and what they do not wish. Hearing from the people who are going through or have already gone through what you will have to do in a few years can help you think about many things ahead.

 

Year 2

Regarding your job hunting advice, did you use Beloit College resources such as the Career and Community Engagement Center/professor/alumni network to get your internships/opportunities?

I believe I used pretty much all the career services that Beloit College offered. From the Career Works mock interview, resume review, finding alumni and jobs services, Sophomore Job Shadowing program, Duffy Partnerships program, to Econ Day (I attended 3 years since sophomore year), Econ department alumni office, Belmark, CELEB.

Could you share with us your experience with the Sophomore Job Shadowing program?

I went on the Sophomore Job Shadowing in Washington D.C. - sponsored by Career Works. Through this trip, I learned about professional communication and built connections after the job shadowing. I also successfully secured a summer internship at Peace Corps through this trip and received the Weissberg scholarship, which covered my living expenses during my time there. During this internship, I was in charge of collecting and producing Market Basket Surveys to help allocate the budget for volunteer allowance. At the same time, I could utilize my majors’ knowledge (Business Economics and International Relations) to improve team performance in wide-ranging projects.

 

Year 3

How did your experiences at Beloit College help shape your career development?

Whenever I think of how Beloit College has set me up for success in my career, I am always thankful for Professor Diep Phan’s care and guidance, Professor Brian Morello’s mentorship, and Professor Jermaine Moulton’s teaching of analytical skills. I was also grateful for working under Ruth and Ellie’s supervisor at the Institutional Research, Assessment & Planning (IRAP) Office; they taught me all the analytic skills and job experience there. During my internship with IRAP, I was able to land the Senior Data Analyst position there with Professor Phan’s recommendation. Given the role of compiling and analyzing institutional data to inform college decision-making processes, support long-range planning, and provide public accountability, I was able to put my econometric and quantitative methods lessons into practice. It was a place where my critical thinking and analytical skills improved a lot.

 

Year 4

How did you use your senior year to prepare yourself for post-graduation life?

I registered for the Duffy Partnerships program with Professor Carol Wickersham’s instruction and guidance. Through this course, I had a chance to work as the Market Research and Consumer Insights Analyst Intern at Kerry Ingredients, in which I was responsible for delivering customer behaviors, market trends, and industry performance through data. At the same time, I was the Belmark Associate’s manager. Together with my Belmark team, we provided consultancy to other businesses in Beloit City. Through this working experience, I was able to meet and connect with some alumni and do product development consulting for Juice! Company in Milwaukee.

 

After Beloit

Could you share with us about your first job after graduation?
After Beloit, I got an offer for the Assistant Director of Research Administration position at Lawrence University. I continued working with data to deliver responsive and proactive strategic plans to improve the student experience and retention rate. I also contributed to providing informative reports for enhancing the university’s operational activities.

How about your current position?
I am currently working as the Operational Specialist at Facebook in Ireland, where I continue to analyze and evaluate customer experience data to provide insights for strategic planning and business development.

My Le ’25
December 27, 2022

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