From the affection for learning languages to professional marketing
As Sian explores her passion for soccer, the Chinese language, and studying abroad, she takes us on her journey from Beloit to Hongkong to a full-time job at the leading manufacturing company for food and beverage.
What was your experience in high school like, and what do you think has had the most impact on your college life?
I used to play soccer in high school and participate in a Midwest traveling league where I played across the country. I also performed in a band, and choir and participated in several musicals, which helped me learn about my creative side. I got out of high school knowing the importance of collaboration, teamwork, and adaptability. Had not been mentioned, the experience that I remember the most is when I traveled to the Philippines, my birthplace, to visit my family. I got a chance to volunteer as an English Teaching Assistant and audit several high school classes. The trip sparked my interest in traveling and learning about different cultures and people from different backgrounds.
What drew you to Beloit College?
I was looking for a liberal arts college that would offer various opportunities for me to expand my interest and connect with other cultures I hadn’t had a chance to explore. Also, I preferred having my college near to my family so I could visit them often. Beloit checked all of these boxes, but what sealed the deal was my experience taking college classes on campus during my senior year of high school. Through one of my high school’s programs, I was able to take one course each semester. My teacher and classmates made me feel welcome - like an equal, and the group’s interest and excitement to learn were palpable. It was easy to see just how perfect Beloit was for me.
How did you adapt to college life when you were a freshman?
My transition was smooth. I had a chance to continue playing soccer while joining the Track & Field team. I even learned how to pole vault. I also enjoyed my Greek life at Beloit being with Theta Pi Gamma sorority where I have met and made lifetime friendships.
What one piece of advice would you give to first-year students?
My advice to first-year Beloiters is to try your hand at whatever events, activities, sports, organizations, and clubs spark even a little interest in you. College offers an amazing opportunity to not only position your professional course but to also grow through the many experiences it enables.
What about your creative side? Did you have any chance to foster that?
Yes absolutely. In my sophomore year, I performed dance routines in December Dance and Chelonia (student dance shows). This year was also when I declared a double major in International Political Economy and Chinese Language & Culture - a unique combination that allowed me to not only learn about other countries but also connect my creativity to the beauty of different cultures.
What are some of the opportunities Beloit has brought you?
I had a chance to do not only one but two exchange semesters in Kaifeng, China, and Hong Kong. Thanks to my time at Beloit College’s Center for Language Studies during the summer, I developed my proficiency in Mandarin, which was instrumental in helping me enjoy most of my time back then. While abroad, I hosted two campus events in Mandarin (and another one in English) and gained enough proficiency to use the train alone (no English). I also volunteered for an NGO in Beijing which focused on raising awareness regarding women’s and LGBTQ+ rights through art and film.
What role did Beloit play in your professional development?
The Beloit Career Works played a vital role in introducing me and helping me land my first internship. Before my senior year, I worked at Downtown Beloit Association to create a business development survey and create promotional videos for the associated businesses to expand their online presence. Coming to my senior year, I was also accepted into the Duffy Partnerships program (a Sociology course paired with off-campus internships). I had a chance to intern at Kerry (a global manufacturer in the food and beverage industry) with this course, which helped me find my profound interest in market and consumer research. I love uncovering consumers’ preferences, habits, and attitudes to better understand the choices they make, all in the context of a business. Also, through the extensive Beloit alumni network, I connected with Beloit alumni working at Kerry to better understand their path and experience working at the company. That allowed me to further my career with Kerry after my graduation.
With all the experiences at Beloit, how did you continue your journey moving forward?
After graduation, I interned at Kerry with the same team for the summer before accepting the offer to work there full-time. Right now, I am a Marketing Insights & Strategy Specialist at Kerry. My projects can span from market/technology sizing, opportunity analysis, and consumer research to health & wellness and consumer trends analyses. No two projects are the same and I love the challenges they bring me every day.