Northeastern student Wanqi ‘Kiki’ Yi is a fourth year Communication Studies and Media Production student in the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD). She recently completed a global co-op in Singapore at NBCUniversal, an American mass media conglomerate owned by Comcast. In her role, Kiki worked specifically with E! News Asia where she had the opportunity to incorporate her passion for creativity into her work, and even had the chance to be an on-camera host for celebrity interviews. Before taking this job in Singapore, Kiki also had experience working at the United States-based NBCUniversal Media, New York. We caught up with Kiki to learn more about how her experience on a global co-op and her role working in the entertainment industry! Read the Q+A below to find out more.
Tell us more about your role at NBCUniversal Media, Singapore, and how it compared to your previous role with NBCUniversal Media, New York!
My role at NBCUniversal, Singapore, was a Creative Services and Production intern; my role in NBCUniversal, NYC, was a Marketing and Production intern, where I focused more on marketing television programs and producing short promos (an amazing learning opportunity as a newbie in the field). I would say that I was able to get more hands-on production experience and creative freedom in my role in Singapore, compared to my role in NYC.
What did a typical day working at NBCUniversal, Singapore look like for you?
My daily responsibilities varied between acting as an editor for the Creative Services department, where I would use Adobe Premiere Pro to produce, script, and edit videos for E! News Asia and monthly promos for DIVA, a NBCU affiliate station. I also served as the Production Intern, where I had weekly field shoots with my producer and supervisor that mainly comprised of celebrity interviews and fashion events. Aside from that, every morning, I would check my email to ensure that I am aware of all future tasks/projects assigned by my supervisor.
How did you prepare for role in NBC Universal, Singapore, especially with it being a global co-op?
I am glad that I got to experience my first media production co-op in New York, with COZI TV, NBC’s national multicast network headquartered in 30 Rock; this was where I was able to fully experience and learn NBCUniversal’s work atmosphere and company culture for the full six months I was there. The work atmosphere and company culture carried over to the Singapore office, and to me, it was simply just switching office locations but still working with the same company despite it being halfway around the world. I would suggest students who are planning to undertake a global co-op to thoroughly research the company’s culture and environment among other things. I would also highly suggest learning about whatever culture you’re going to be immersed in for half a year.
What are some challenges, highlights, or other notable facets of living and working abroad?
A big challenge for me was experiencing culture shock! It was my first time in Singapore and I did spend a lot of time getting used to their culture, the spoken accents, and the eating habits, however, Singapore is a multicultural and multiracial country which makes the community, and everything in it, vibrant and diverse. Local Singaporean cuisine originates from around the world, and varying cultures, customs, ethnicities, and religions co-exist in harmony, which was beautiful to experience. Additionally, I was also able to travel around Asia, as Singapore is a travel hub in the region.
What’s the most important thing you learned at NBCUniversal Media, Singapore?
Be passionate about what you love, be professional about your work, be confident in what you believe in.
I would say that NBCUniversal gave me a lot of opportunities to express and present my thoughts as a producer – it has given me opportunities to work with international celebrities, experienced producers and directors, and creative talents. Working with NBCUniversal has definitely broadened my professional career and allowed me to push myself beyond my limits.
What interests you in particular about the entertainment industry?
I have always been interested in the entertainment industry ever since I was in middle school – I remember spending my teen years reading entertainment news and watching television shows. Personally, I find that I am interested in creating rather than repeating the same routine at work daily. When I entered Northeastern, I found my calling in production. Professor Michelle Carr’s “TV Studio Production” course, Professor Tim Ouillete ’s “SPX for TV Post Production” course, and Professor Antonio Ocampo-Guzman’s “The Professional Voice” course all played a huge role in my decision to pursue a co-op in the entertainment industry. The more I learn from class and professional experiences, the more confident I am in creating/working on projects!
What were your favorite projects that you have worked on while on your co-op in Singapore?
My favorite project(s) while working with NBCUniversal, Singapore, would be interviewing Hong Kong actors, Moses Chan and Kenneth Ma for E! News Asia as a host for one of their programs.
This was my favorite project during my time there because it was the first time I was given full responsibility to cover all bases – from pre-production as a producer reaching out to PR agencies and researching for interview questions, to hosting the interview on camera, and finally post-production as an editor. I put a lot of my own designs, ideas, and thoughts into the project so it was very rewarding, especially since the interview went smoothly.
What is your final message to students who are applying for a co-op or internship?
If you are passionate about something, then go for it. It will never disappoint you.
We wish you continued success Kiki; thank you for sharing your global co-op experience! To view more of Kiki’s work, visit her portfolio.