Meet Alexander Lee: Top International Student Marketer

The Climb to the Top

My proudest achievement so far has been placing Top 20 internationally in a marketing competition. I competed in DECA in the Sports and Entertainment Operations Research category where I had to act as a marketing consultant and research an existing business and develop a marketing plan to help the business. In order to get there, I had to beat out over 400 competitors to represent Ontario as the provincial champion. Later at the international level, I was competing against over 500 competitors from across the world that had also topped their respective regions, and I never imagined that I would advance to the finals given the level of competition.

Why Marketing?

I want to pursue a career in marketing because it is an area that I excel at and I also thoroughly enjoy it. I feel I am quite lucky as I found my passion for marketing quite early in high school and thanks to DECA and other case competitions I quickly realized I had a knack for it. Even in University the non-marketing courses I enjoy taking such as Psychology and Sociology tie in quite nicely and are relevant as they help explain behaviour and how and why people react in certain ways. My favourite assessments in school have always been research presentations and I enjoy presenting and researching topics, which also aligns with marketing.

Marketing Consultant

Currently, my dream job would be a marketing consultant. While I do enjoy marketing in general, I find it more interesting to work on a case basis as it gives me opportunities to be exposed to different types of businesses. With every new case comes a new situation, allowing me to use a variety of marketing strategies, and while I find it more challenging, I also find the result much more rewarding.

Beyond Marketing

In addition to marketing, I am also very passionate about technology. I have personally invested in some technology companies and enjoy researching the latest technology developments in my spare time. I hope to be able to use some of the technologies of the future within marketing and hopefully trailblaze and innovate with some creative uses of our newest technologies in a marketing context.

What is the biggest challenge that you face when applying for internships and/or entry level marketing jobs?

I think my biggest challenge as a lower-year University student is meeting the qualifications for the marketing jobs and internships that I really want. Summer internships are already in high demand with many University students only able to work during the summer months between terms. In addition to the high competition, many summer internships have minimum requirements of a bachelor's or even a master's degree for jobs. As a 1st or 2nd-year University student with little qualifications, it is difficult to assure employers of my competence and value. Without a way to show my skills, it is extremely difficult to compete for any sort of entry-level marketing jobs.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?

My biggest inspiration is current NBA player Jeremy Lin. As a minority myself I am impressed in his perseverance and positive attitude in the face of all the obstacles he had to face to make it into the league. I also just admire his attitude of never giving up until he reached his dream, as even after repeated failed attempts to sign a contract with an NBA roster he continued to try.

Are there any other defining moments in your life thus far that you would like to share with us?

My aforementioned success in my marketing case competition was truly a life-changing experience for me. While I always had some confidence in myself that achievement really boosted my self-esteem and reinforced in my mind that I could succeed in the field of marketing.

 

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