Day in the Life: Teacher at Success Academy Charter Schools

Ever wondered what it’s like to teach at one of New York City’s top-performing public elementary schools — in Harlem? Join alumna Paloma Saez ’11 on Tuesday, April 8, when she tweets for @PennCareerDay. Learn about Success Academy, the unique network of public charter schools that Paloma works for. Success Academy has been nationally recognized for its robust curriculum, degree of parent involvement, extraordinary professional development program, and commitment to “joyful rigor.” The organization serves mostly high-risk, low-income, inner-city kids admitted by lottery, and yet its schools rank in the top 1 percent in New York State in math and the top 7 percent in reading. It has not only closed the achievement gap, but by several measures it’s actually reversed it.

paloma saez bio photoPaloma teaches third grade at Success Academy Harlem 2. For her, being part of such an organization is inspiring. “When I learned about Success Academy, I fell in love with the model,” she says. “I loved the aesthetics. I loved how organized everything is and how supported the teachers are. The environment immediately felt social, intellectual, and stimulating in all ways. And the people I met were the kind of people I knew I wanted to be working with.”

She didn’t always know she wanted to be a teacher, though. When she started at Penn, she aimed for a career in chemistry, or, she thought, a combination of chemistry and art. Another option she considered was law, in particular juvenile justice. “The prison-to-school pipeline always fascinated me,” she says. But then she had a realization: “I though it would be better to focus on helping kids stay in school than on moving them from prison to school. That’s when I decided teaching was the way to go for me.” Saez taught for Teach for America for a year after graduating, and then started at Success Academy. The best thing about teaching third grade? “Seeing students succeed academically is great, but the moments that matter the most to me are when one student sticks up for another, or when students help and support one another. At this age you really see them becoming part of a team, and that’s an amazing reward.”

Send to Kindle

Day in the Life: Associate Manager, Innovation Analytics at Nielsen

What’s life like at a leading global provider of information and analytics around consumer behavior, also known as Nielsen? Join alum, Sarada Bheemineni, SEAS ’10, on Tuesday, February 11th when she tweets for @PennCareerDay.  Learn about her career with Nielsen, advice for joining the field of consumer behavior and analytics, and understand what it’s like to be part of the Nielsen team. Did you know that Nielsen will be at the Spring Career Fair? Well, if you didn’t, this is a really great opportunity to help you prep for a visit to the Nielsen table, too.  To learn more about Sarada, read her bio below. Don’t forget to follow her on the 11th, either!

SaradaSarada Bheemineni is an Associate Manager, Innovation Analytics at Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around consumer behavior.  In her role, Sarada advises clients on their brand and innovation strategy using data-driven insights.  This involves consulting clients on category and marketplace trends, as well as drivers of global consumer demand.  Key clients include Colgate-Palmolive, Hershey, and PepsiCo.

Sarada has been with Nielsen since graduating from Penn in 2010, where she studied Materials Science and Engineering and Economics.  Sarada currently lives in New York City and in her free time enjoys running, exploring the city, traveling to other countries, and watching Mad Men.

Send to Kindle

A Day in the Life: Marketing Research or Consulting? Blurred Lines…

by Dina Liu, WH ’12

I read an interesting article this morning on my train ride to Kraft in Northfield, Illinois, about the rise of agency-bred & raised consulting shops.  These “sexy” agencies are starting to realize that their advertiser clients are demanding more insights, more analytic prowess, and most importantly, more actionable recommendations for what to do in-market.  From trying to stem the hemorrhaging of lost market share to re-positioning an old network as the new Hispanic Millennial destination, these agencies’ clients are demanding more.  Interestingly enough, while the world of agencies is still playing catch-up and starting to understand that it’s not sufficient to just be a “media shop” or a “creative shop,” Nielsen has carved a spot out for itself that is now ingrained in our clients’ business models.  And this is why I’m making the claim (you heard it here first!) that marketing research has replaced traditional consulting.  Gone are the days where your “research vendor” sat in the corner and only serviced you when you had a problem that required immense data crunching.  Now?  Now we sit with our clients, have dedicated consultative teams that align to our clients’ business groups, and provide the ammunition they need to make real-time decisions that make the most impact on top-line revenue and bottom-line margins.  Nielsen is the foremost leader in this area of consultative insights provider.  It’s not enough for me to tout my company’s credentials in this guest blog & claim that I’ve got one of the coolest jobs ever.  Here’s a short story on what happened not a few months ago:

nielsenI did a tour of duty through product marketing for a digital ad effectiveness product called Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR for short).   Nielsen’s focus on digital advertising has sharpened over the last five years, as the industry continues to see TV dollars migrating across screen to Digital and Mobile.  Not only did I get the opportunity to understand the depth and chaos that is digital advertising in this day & age, but I got to be part of an incredible product leadership team that created this product, from concept & ideation to full-scale production & commercial release.  OCR is now one of, if not THE, accepted currency on which digital advertising will be traded on, similar to how the Nielsen TV Ratings serve as the foundation for the television advertising world.  Nielsen’s focus didn’t stop there.  Domestic?  Sure, we’ve got the US market…but what about our clients who span multiple countries and continents?  One of my major projects was the preparation for the commercial launch of OCR in the French market- a European country whose privacy restrictions are notorious in technology/telecom.  Working hand-in-hand with our incredible team of engineers around the globe, our own data provider partners, and our client service and sales teams, I got incredibly close to this product and was sent to Paris by Nielsen to train the local Nielsen team and host a client roadshow across the biggest publishers, advertisers, and agencies in France.  Never thought two years ago, that here I’d be in Paris presenting to the directors of digital strategy for Starcom Media Group, Carat, Havas, Microsoft, L’Oreal, and Yahoo on why OCR will revolutionize digital advertising as we know it.

Long story short: Nielsen as a company embodies this incredible transformation we are seeing in how clients use big data and their consultative partners.  We are no longer just a “data provider” or a “research vendor.”  To sit on our laurels & accept those descriptors doesn’t do Nielsen justice.  The culture, the mentality, and the senior leadership continuously push us to be THE solution to our clients’ problems.  Spread sheets and number crunching?  They’re most likely here to stay, but at least we can say that this is no longer the ONLY thing marketing research can provide.

Dina Liu graduated in May 2012, from Wharton with double concentrations in Marketing and Management.  Primary extracurricular activities: President of Penn Mock Trial and member of Sigma Kappa, worked at the Penn Housing Office 3 out of 4 years.  Junior summer, interned at Blackrock supporting their retail Defined Contribution business in their marketing and sales department.  Currently working at the Nielsen Company as an Associate Media Analytics Consultant servicing the Viacom and Discovery Communications accounts in our Watch business.  Live in Manhattan, have 2 goldfish, and enjoy foodie dates around the five boroughs. 

Send to Kindle

Day in the Life: Google+ Education Partnerships Lead

Have you Googled all the careers Google offers? In case you haven’t, they offer quite the array of paths. Not only do they offer careers in sales/marketing, software development, product development (like their nifty Google Glass), they have paths focused on community relationships and education. What better way to learn about their work in communities, and whether that is a path that may fit your interests, than to hear first-hand from a Penn alum who works in that area?  We couldn’t think of a better way, either.  Which is why we’re excited to welcome Lisa Jiang (WH ’08) to @PennCareerDay on Tuesday, October 15th and learn about her role as Google+ Education Partnerships Lead. To learn more about Jiang, read her bio below and be sure to follow her on the 15th!

LisaJiangIn her five years with Google, Lisa Jiang has gained experience across marketing, strategy & operations, and product, working on both B2B and consumer products (Search, Maps, GoogleX, and AdWords). In her current role as Google+ Education Partnerships Lead, Lisa works closely with partners like NASA, National Geographic, and The White House to provide new educational experiences for learners young and old on Google+. Leading a Partnerships team that spans K-12, STEM, higher education, and maker/DIY, Lisa is passionate about the intersection of education and technology, and about providing access to educational resources through tools like Google+.

Send to Kindle

Day in the Life: Software Engineer at a Silicon Valley Startup

Do you dream in code? Is Silicon Valley where you want to work after graduation? If you thought, “heck yeah!” or “…maybe…”, then you’ll want to follow @PennCareerDay on Wednesday, September 18th when Stanley Wang tweets about his day as a Software Engineer with BrightEdgestanley.  To learn more about Stanley, read his bio below and be sure to follow him on the 18th!

Stanley Wang graduated from University of Pennsylvania in May 2013 with a Masters in TCOM. Before that, he received his BS in Software Engineering in 2007 from Darlin University of Technology. When he started at UPenn, Stanley knew that he wanted to be a software engineer, so he took the majority of his classes in the CS department. He found classes like Network Systems, Computer Architecture, and Database Systems to be particularly useful for transitioning his skills to a real-world software engineering career.

While he had many options upon graduation, he chose to move to the heart of Silicon Valley to join BrightEdge, a fast-growing startup. Stanley liked the company’s emphasis on teamwork and fostering a collaborative environment, and he started at BrightEdge as a Software Engineer in July. He enjoys the challenging work like solving tough problems related to design and scalability.

In his free time, he enjoys the outdoor activities that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer, like rafting and skiing.

Send to Kindle