I left my home in Beijing, China and joined the Edelman Chicago office in May as part of the Edelman Global Fellows program. Working abroad has been an enriching experience for me. Take a look at my exciting adventures and things I’ve learned thus far:
1. The Edelman family is similar across the network: brilliant professionals, high-quality client work and great hospitality.
2. Chicago Digital has more than 80 people, which is 10 times the size of our Beijing Digital practice.
3. Preparation is needed for the Windy City. Can you believe that a girl of 120 pounds was moved by the wind (not a hurricane or tornado)?
Learnings from my first week:
At the Edelman Leadership Academy last year, I was told that “Living in a foreign country could be difficult. Please go out with friends and enjoy the social life.”
The Edelman Chicago team has shown me incredible hospitality and made me feel at home. If I had not been attending happy hours with the team, visiting Wrigley Field for a baseball game and going out with friends and colleagues, I would have ended up lonely and missing my family in China a lot.
Learnings from my first two months:
1. PR talent for the next generation is valued a lot at the firm. Edelman nurtures current talent, but also invests in tomorrow’s leaders. We recently hosted the 2012 Academic Summit, which is aimed to convey more communication knowledge to professors and deans in journalism, PR and the advertising industry. During this year’s Summit, “Navigating the Future of Communications,” I learned that visual storytelling is in renaissance, and journalism and technology must come together profoundly.
2. A Social Intelligence Command Center could be the answer social media listening & monitoring programs, as well as engagement programs. At the Chicago Digital meeting I learned about how Edelman has set up such a space for clients, as well as some of the considerations companies should keep in mind to act in real-time.
The Edelman Chicago office is turning out to be a great place to work as a global fellow, and CHI town is a wonderful place to live and to experience American culture.
I will keep exploring the western digital world and American culture, and will keep you posted along my fellowship in Chicago.
Cathy Yue is an Edelman global fellow in Chicago, from Beijing.