Alumni Conversations: Charles Li, Manager of Mobile Strategy at EF Education First (Part 2)

This is part two of our interview with Charles Li ’12. In our first installment, he spoke about EF (Education First), a leading private education company.

Picture of Charles Li '12 for Interview on EF Fellow Program

In today’s installment Charles, who is part of the EF360 Global Management Trainee program, explains how Dartmouth prepared him for his work at EF and why he likes his job.

1. How did your Dartmouth Education prepare you for the work at EF?

I learned everything from economics to drawing to skeet shooting at Dartmouth. Overall, I learned three things both inside and outside the classroom that I put to work every single day:

  1. How to work in a team,
  2. How to creatively solve problems, and
  3. How to become a leader.

My group projects were invaluable. My out-of-class experience in a fraternity was also helpful. Even in college before I worked in mobile, I was always buying the latest phone.  I think I went through seven different phones in one year.  My economic studies got me interested in the business of this particular industry.

2. What’s the most challenging aspect of your current position?

There is not a huge amount of structure inside EF, which is sometimes challenging. It’s up to everyone on the team (34,000 people around the world) to take a great deal of initiative to find solutions to the business challenges they face. You have a mentor you can ask for advice when you need it, but it’s up to you to make things happen.

3. What are the tangible results or rewards of the work that you do?

In addition to seeing progress on the products we’re creating, it is exceptionally rewarding to see the team come together since we’re building it from the ground up. I also really appreciate the opportunity to support a company with a mission to break down barriers of education, language and culture. EF’s mission is particularly meaningful to me as my parents worked in education.

4. What are you working on right now?

I am currently recruiting a mobile development team that will bring programmers and designers together to work on new initiatives. As a global society, we are increasingly using mobile technologies over traditional desktop PCs and mobile usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2015.  Our mission is to break down barriers of culture, geography and language. 

5. What’s been the most interesting project you’ve worked on at EF?

My current project with mobile applications is the most interesting one I have worked on in my five months at EF. I get to brainstorm ideas for apps and then hire the people to make it happen. I’m learning a lot about management, hiring, and product development; essentially I’m learning how to transform ideas into tangible user experiences, and then bringing those ideas to life.

6. Where have you traveled?

In the past five months, I have been to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Shanghai. I am exceptionally grateful for these opportunities. You definitely want to have a passport before you apply to EF. At EF, experiential learning and travel is an essential component of education.

7. In your opinion, what’s the most important thing that students can do as undergraduates if they are interested in working in the consulting field?

Use your time at Dartmouth to find opportunities to solve problems creatively. My position is all about coming up with creative solutions – and implementing them! Sometimes this skill is easier gained in the real world, through internships or by launching some sort of initiative that is meaningful to you, rather than in the classroom. My advice would be to get out there and see the world, learn about education, and always attempt to find ways to hone your creative problem solving skills.

8. What’s the one question that most people don’t ask you that they really should?

What are your hobbies? I am an audiophile. I am obsessed with music. I am now obsessed with technology. I keep on buying and selling phones because they fascinate me. I use them, I explore them, and I sell them when I have learned how they do and don’t work. Now I get to do this as part of my work, too.

9. Any parting advice in two sentences or less?

When you look at jobs, make sure the mission speaks to you – and where you can see your role as helping to drive that mission forward.

2/28 & 3/1 Tuck Conference on the Power of Incentives (Apply Now!)

Apply now to attend. Applications due 2/13.

 

Every year, MBA students at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business organize and host a conference that examines the impact of a selected initiative on business and society. This year, the conference examines the influence that incentives can play in improving the quality of life across sectors — from healthcare and education to clean energy and social change.

The conference organizers have graciously offered up to 30 undergraduates the opportunity to attend the conference for free. The application process for an invitation is simple — review the conference website, and tell us:

  • Why you want to attend,
  • What you hope to gain from the experience,
  • And how you hope to connect what you learn to your career.To apply, click here.

All applications are due by Wednesday, February 13. Invites will be issued by February 20. (If you have to miss a session or two during class, that’s okay!)

 

All Ivy Career Fair 3/1: Save Your Spot on the Big Green Bus!

Banner for the All Ivy Career Fair showing shields of participating universities and March 1 date

Career Services is partnering with the Sustainability Office to provide round-trip transportation for 20 students to the All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair at Columbia University in New York on March 1.

The Big Green Bus will be leaving at 6am and traveling to Columbia University for one of the best Environmental Career Fairs around!  Last year over 70 employers participated, including representatives from for-profit organizations, government and non-profit.

Visit the career fair website to learn more about the conference and register.

Signing up for the fair and the road trip is a two-step process if you want a ride.

  1. Register to attend the fair on the conference website. It’s free and will allow you to share your resume with participating employers seeking to fill openings for full-time positions and internships.
  2. Secure your space on the Big Green Bus. Send an e-mail to Sustainable.Dartmouth@dartmouth.edu and pay a deposit of $20 to hold your spot.
     (You’ll get $10 back on the bus).Deposits can be delivered to:  The Sustainability Office in Steele 112 (You can also drop off a deposit during office hours in Robinson Hall from noon to 2 pm in Robinson 108 or by sending a check to Jenna Musco HB #6182)

    All checks must be made out to the Dartmouth Sustainability Office.

Transportation is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The deadline to secure a spot on the bus is Friday, February 15.

Let’s go get awesome GREEN JOBS and INTERNSHIPS!

 

Alumni Conversations: Garrett Simpson ’11, Product Operations Fellow at PharmaSecure (India)

Position: Product Operations Fellow at PharmaSecurePhoto of Garrett Simpson '11 on the job in India

Location: New Delhi, India

Short description of what you do: As PharmaSecure is still a young company, I’ve been helping out with a variety of things. My main responsibilities are supporting the product development team by defining requirements for new products and overseeing their development, data analysis, and monitoring of current products.

Degree at Dartmouth: Bachelor’s of Engineering focusing in Mechanical Engineering

1. What is most satisfying about your current work?

The general work environment and the people I work with — the organization is very flat, and I’ve gained some great friends and mentors during my time here.

2. What’s the best way to enter your field? Any essential elements of preparation? 

Networking — I audited a Tuck class my senior year, Intro to Entrepreneurship, and met the CEO (Nathan Sigworth ’07) after a class in which he gave a guest lecture. Ten months later I Facebook messaged him out of the blue during a week of intense job searching, asking him if there were any internships or fellowships available and luckily there were!

3. What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?

Reach out to and network with alumni. There are so many amazing people, and they will want to help you.  There are some useful job sites/lists that are more geared toward social enterprise as well, like social-enterprise-jobs@googlegroups.com.

5. How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

Dartmouth’s Network is truly amazing.  I’ve only just started out on my career more or less, with just a handful of internships under my belt, but all of my gainful employment post-graduation has been the direct result of networking with Dartmouth alumni.  As I’m starting to look for my next step, classmates a few years older than me have given great advice on how to frame my job search in a way that will help me clarify my career goals.

Wed. 1/30: If You Want to Work in Theatre Don’t Miss this Program!

William (Bill) Partland ’73 spent thirty years working as a free-lance director and as an artistic director in both the not-for-profit and commercial theatre before moving into education – join us via Skype to ask any questions related to either working professionally in the theater and/or pursuing graduate studies.

January 30th @ 3:30 PM in Rockefeller 1930s Room

RSVP:  http://www.wejoinin.com/career.services@dartmouth.edu

WILLIAM PARTLAN

Bill Partlan is Associate Professor and head of Directing in the School of Theatre and Film of the Herberger Institute for Design and  the Arts at Arizona State University. He is also the Artistic Director of Triple Espresso LLC. in Minneapolis.  His world premier production of TRIPLE ESPRESSO has been performed in 44 American cities, as well as in Canada, Ireland, London’s West End, Belgium in Flemish, and Munich and Berlin in German.

He has directed such well-known talents as Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Mary McDonnell, Frances McDormand, Howard Rollins, and John Turturro in off-Broadway, regional and international premiers over the last twenty-five years.  Known for his work with new plays and playwrights like Alan Ball, Lee Blessing, Jeffrey Hatcher, and John Patrick Shanley, he has directed forty-four new plays at the O’Neill Center’s National Playwrights Conference including premiers of August Wilson’s MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM and FENCES.

Bill directed the world premier of ALL GOD’S DANGERS, starring Cleavon Little at the Cricket Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Off-Broadway and for PBS American Playhouse. His American-premiere production of Hugh Whitemore’s THE BEST OF FRIENDS was produced off-Broadway by Michael Douglas and Producer Circle.  He directed SWIM VISIT and SACRED JOURNEY off-Broadway at Primary Stages.  His production of SACRED JOURNEY toured the U.S. and Great Britain, twice.  He has directed regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theatre, The Empty Space, Florida Stage, Jewish Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, New Mexico Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Festival Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage, and Yale Repertory Theatre.

Bill was for nine years the Artistic Director of the Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis. He served as Producing Artistic Director of New Stage Theatre in Jackson,  Mississippi and founded and directed the New Play Series at New York’s Bottom Line Theatre where he premiered the musical LEADER OF THE PACK, the music of Ellie Greenwich, featuring Darlene Love, Paul Shaffer, Jimmy Vivino, Lenny Pickett and Ellie Greenwich herself.   Bill has directed for National Public Radio’s EARPLAY series and has served as an on-site reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts and as Jury Chairman for the 2000 Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre.

He is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and the National Theatre Institute.  He earned his MFA in Directing from the University of Minnesota on a Bush Foundation Fellowship.  (Biography supplied to us courtesy of Bill Partlan)

Interview Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Is there an interview in your future?

Check out this infographic on the most common mistakes made at job interviews. Here are three of the most frequent mistakes:

  • Lack of eye contact (67%)
  • Having little or no knowledge of the company (47%)
  • Forgetting to smile (38%)

Notice anything? Good news! All of these are mistakes you can easily avoid — and practice.

For the rest of the tips — as well as good tips to prepare for an interview, click here.

Five tips from former Wall Street Journal reporter Joe Mathewson ’55 for students interested in journalism

“I’ve never met a bored journalist,” Medill School of Journalism professor and former Wall Street Picture of Joe Mathewson courtesy of 123People.comJournal reporter Joe Mathewson ’55 often tells students, noting that there are “no dull jobs and no dull days” in the field of journalism. While some people like to claim that journalism is a dying field, Mathewson rightly believes that it is simply evolving, and he wants students to know that journalism needs talented graduates with a passion for writing and a strong liberal arts background.

With a number of grandchildren at the College, Mathewson is a regular visitor to Career Services and a mentor to students currently considering a career in journalism. Here, we’ve compiled Mathewson’s top five tips for students who have a passion for the written word and investigating the world around them.

  1. Journalism needs intellectually curious young graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds — sell your experience, no matter what it is! Whether you are a history or neuroscience or economics major, journalism needs you.
  2. Have a blog and credentials you can show people. Nothing speaks to your skills better than a thorough, well-organized set of clips. Make sure you can speak to why your previous experience, regardless of its direct relation to journalism, will help you succeed as a journalist.
  3. Don’t confine yourself to print. In this day and age, you need to have multiple skills — learn to shoot and edit video, take photographs, blog and manage social media. Wire services in particular are booming.
  4. Learn how to write about economics. The economy is the number one story around the world right now, and you will be a highly marketable employee if you know how to write about business, employment and interest rates.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the tricks of the trade — AP style, interview skills, journalistic ethics, etc. Do research for specific job and internship opportunities. If you’re applying for a job with the Associated Press, Bloomberg or Reuters, learn the verbs of attribution in business journalism.

Interested in pursuing job or internship opportunities in journalism? Make sure you’ve signed up on Dartboard to receive our regular blitzes about communications jobs! There are stories out there waiting to be told — are you going to be the one to tell them?

Alumni Conversations: Charles Li, Manager of Mobile Strategy at EF Education First (Part 1)

EF Education First, commonly referred to as EF, is a leading private education company, offering “every imaginable way to learn a language, travel abroad, experience another culture, or earn an academic degree.”

EF recruits at Dartmouth for the EF360 Global Management Trainee program, a hands-on program that provides one-on-one mentoring with senior leaders, the opportunity to learn the company’s unique entrepreneurial style, and the chance to oversee a major project central to EF’s business.

We sat down with economics major Charles Li ’12, an EF360 Global Management Trainee, to learn about his work and get advice on best practices to prepare for this type of unconventional management track program.

1. Tell me about the EF360 program.

For the 360 global management training program, you work with a senior executive who serves as your mentor and guide, and you begin by rotating through departments such as sales, marketing, finance and operations.   Trainees then work with their mentors to identify a challenging project or projects to lead which will have a tangible impact on EF’s business, and you spend the remainder of your first year as a 360 implementing those projects.

2. Describe your job.

Everyone’s career path is unique. I’m fascinated by mobile technology and did a great team project on mobile application development while at Dartmouth. I now work as a Manager of Mobile Strategy, and my 360 project within EF is focused on recruiting mobile developers and other “digital natives” to help drive our mobile business objectives.

Many management training programs at other corporations hire a large number of people to work in specific positions and weed out based on performance. The EF360 program works in reverse.  They hire a small number of people, identify their strengths, and groom them to fit a position that capitalizes on their interests and the company’s needs. Because we travel to each of EF’s global headquarters for training, we have an opportunity to work closely with a small group of management trainees who share a passion for education and the company cause. Yet at the same time, each EF360 is working on his or her own unique project.

3. What’s most surprised you about the position?

The level of responsibility. After four months, I am already hiring a team. I’m grateful for the responsibility.  It demonstrates a level of trust that EF has in its recruits, and that trust naturally supports creativity and collaboration both within teams and across product lines. 

4. Is it necessary to have advanced coursework in Economics, Education, or any particular subject area to join the EF360 program?

Absolutely not. We don’t hire skills, we hire people. We recruit at Dartmouth because graduates have the leadership skills, problem solving ability, and a can-do attitude.  The recruiters here would rather find someone with a passion for education, travel, and learning languages, and the ability to problem solve, than someone who is an expert at one skill and only one skill.

5. EF is known for having a really unique interviewing process? Can you describe this, and share a few tips on how to best prepare?

EF is looking for creative thinkers. I was asked “what is the best business to create using the items in this hypothetical box?”  I created a business plan.

Once you make the interview round, you begin a series of meetings with key leaders across EF business units.  You do not receive a schedule of meetings before you arrive at EF.  The first few interviews focus on identifying your strengths and specific areas of interest.  Then you meet with executives within several specific products with whom they think you will have the greatest synergy.

The best advice I have is to simply be yourself.  Hopefully you’ll bring a love of learning and a passion for education and travel to the interview too.

Intern Stories: Jonathan Gault ’13 on New England Sports Network

Position: New England Sports Network, Intern, New Media Department

Location: Watertown, MA

Short description of what you do: I wrote, edited and posted content to NESN.com. Often this would involve editing beat writers’ articles, editing photos and videos and jumping on trends by producing either articles or photo galleries on hot topics in the world of sports.

Major at Dartmouth: English

1. What was most satisfying about your internship?

It was great to be able to write about sports and have an outlet for my opinions. I also learned a lot while researching content, particularly when I compiled Top 10 lists/photo galleries.

2. What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?

Read and write as much as you can. Those are the two best ways to make you a better writer, and being a good writer is the best way to get a job.

3. How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

Career Services looked over my resume and provided a letter of support for my internships.

4. What do you plan to do when you graduate?

I plan to work as a sportswriter at either a newspaper or a website.

5. What are you involved in at Dartmouth?

I am a member of the men’s cross country and track and field teams, and I am the former sports editor of The Dartmouth. I spend a lot of my free time following sports, reading publications including Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine and The Boston Globe, as well as ESPN.com and Grantland.com.

Want to Work in National Security? Sign Up Now for Virtual Career Fair 2/26

Meet the Intelligence Community Online!

The United States Intelligence Community (IC), an integrated network of agencies that work together to protect our nation’s security, is seeking a culturally diverse, technologically savvy and skilled workforce for exciting careers in a number of fields.

 

Attend the IC Virtual Career Fair to explore career opportunities, chat with recruiters and subject matter experts, and learn how to apply for job openings.

Participating agencies include:

 

Learn about programs and interact with recruiters and hiring managers from the comfort of your computer or mobile device:

Tuesday, February 26, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET
Registration is now open.

To sign up, go to ICVirtualFair.com

Space is limited! To guarantee your entrance into this event, pre-register now.

Banner for the Intelligence Community Virtual Career Fair with Seals from the U.S. Intelligence Community