Yu Zi

Communication, emotional intelligence, and teamwork

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Yu Zi and I graduated from the Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester in 2021 with BSc Management (Marketing specialism). Currently, I am working as a negotiator in the partnerships team of a media agency in London.

How are communication, emotional intelligence, and teamwork important in your current role?

In my current role, I am always in close contact with my company’s key stakeholders. These include clients, media partners, and colleagues from other teams and departments.

My day-to-day tasks include understanding client briefs (i.e. their objectives and target audiences), briefing media owners, and presenting proposals to both internal and external teams. These require me to be clear across e-mails, presentations, and meetings. Therefore, it is fundamental for my role to have strong communication skills.

Networking and maintaining good relationships with all key stakeholders are challenges I face almost every day in my role, which requires me to constantly be in communications with other teams. Therefore, within interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence (or emotional quotient, EQ) is another important one, not only for my role but also for the media industry in general.

Lastly, I believe teamwork is perhaps the most important skill. In my experience so far, there has been no campaign or project that has been brought to life by one individual. Behind each project, there is a team and so it is essential to have teamworking skills to achieve the best results and being successful in each project.

How did you develop each of these skills during your degree?

During my degree, some modules included group assignments and/or coursework. I had the opportunity to gain and develop all three skills mentioned in these modules – teamworking, interpersonal (including EQ), and communication skills.

In addition to group assignments, being part of a student society also helped me further develop and strengthen these skills.

How did these skills help you get your first graduate job?

Most employers include personality assessments, situational judgement tests, and other psychometric tests within their hiring process. Besides these tests, some employers may also have assessment centre days before the interview stage. In each of these situations, the three skills mentioned above usually form part of the key hiring criteria. Therefore, I strongly believe that developing these relevant skills during my degree has helped me with receiving job offers and getting my first graduate job.

What were the main factors that influenced your choice of first graduate job?

One of the mandatory modules in my second year was related to media and communications and the group assignment was about responding to a brief. Throughout the course, I enjoyed learning more about traditional and digital media channels, how communications work in media, and how a campaign is brought to life. I also enjoyed being part of a team; working together to find a creative solution that answers the brief. These helped me build interest in the media industry. Besides enjoying the course, my team also achieved a great result in this coursework, which gave me confidence in entering this industry.

Other factors that influenced my choice in accepting this job offer are specific to the flexible working and inclusive policies that my current company has in place, and the benefits and perks that it offers.