Campus News

Robbie Zhang-Smitheram '11 Lands 'Cool Summer Gig,' Spot in Fortune Magazine

Story posted August 05, 2009

When Fortune magazine called asking about Bowdoin students enjoying cool summer jobs, Career Planning knew just the person.

A very enthusiastic Robbie Zhang-Smitheram '11 had just been in touch with the staff, reporting on his experiences interning at Ridge Asia, a consulting firm that helps Western companies enter Asia's markets, and working alongside the company's founder, Kyle Hegarty '99.

Robbie Zhang-Smitheram '11 in the Ridge Asia offices in Singapore

The folks at Fortune were sold.

Zhang-Smitheram leads off the Fortune/ article, "Eight Summer Interns Who Beat the Recession," which details an assortment of what it calls "cool summer gigs." The article notes the highlights of his summer, including redesigning Ridge Asia's logo and Web site, and using his language skills to communicate with CEOs of Chinese companies on behalf of the firm's clients.

He also helps Hegarty run full, end-to-end sales and marketing campaigns. "This is especially interesting given the international scope of the work," says Zhang-Smitheram. "For example, working with American or European companies but dealing within the APAC markets."

Zhang-Smitheram talks excitedly about how comprehensive the whole experience has been. "It's incredible sales and marketing experience — working on pricing models, promoting model reality TV, and thinking about how to grow and develop the business all at the same time."

The article reports that the economic situation in Asia has been much better than the U.S., which translates into opportunities. "We spent a lot of time looking at ways to find new clients in the U.S. who are looking to expand their sales and marketing into the Asian markets," he says.

The experience in Singapore was so inspiring that Zhang-Smitheram convinced his boss and parents to let him extend his stay a few extra weeks.

Read the article.

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