Once Hana Kim started her internship, all those classroom lessons began to finally make sense.
“It was in that last semester, when I was doing my internship, I began seeing things,” said Kim, who interned with Design Angler, a Bemidji-based advertising and marketing agency. “This is why I’m learning about email marketing in class, this is why I was assigned homework to prepare a marketing plan. It definitely helped to experience that as a student.”
Kim worked as an intern during her final semester at Bemidji State University, and upon her graduation in spring 2016, she was hired full-time as a digital marketing strategist full-time at Design Angler, an agency founded in 2008 by Bemidji State alum Randy Syverson.
“The projects I enjoy the most (involve) working with data,” Kim said, “doing the market research with pre-existing data, and then reporting at the end of the month, like maybe through Google Analytics.”
Kim was born in Utah but spent much of her life in Korea, where her parents still live. Kim, who served as the marketing coordinator and then president of the International Student Organization at BSU, ended up moving in a friend of her mother’s who lived in Woodbury, Minn. She lived there for about a year, graduating from Tartan High School in Oakdale.
She then began looking at colleges in Minnesota, ultimately deciding on Bemidji State University, though she was not initially sure of what she’d major in.
“I had no idea, but because I was interested in human minds I went for psychology, and then, like a lot of psych majors, I learned it’s much more than just understanding what other people are thinking,” she said.
Next, because she has long been interested in international business, she considered pursuing a degree in business administration.
“But then I learned about marketing communication, which is a rare hybrid,” she said. “I took a couple of business courses, a couple of mass comm classes, and I really got into it.”
Kim credits her experiences with BSU’s Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions, a program that provides marketing services such as feasibility studies and focus groups for private clients, with solidifying her career aspirations.
“I think that’s how I found that I really like to analyze data,” she said. “It was tough but it was a very, very good experience.”