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Meet the Next Generation of Women In Tech

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Here at Hitachi Vantara, we believe in cultivating hands-on opportunities for the younger generation to explore careers in tech.

This summer we had the privilege of welcoming two bright minds into the Hitachi family; Brooke Freitas and Isabel Wu joined the Hitachi Vantara marketing team and brought fresh perspectives to their internship roles.

Here’s a look at their internship experiences and takeaways.

Brooke Freitas, Marketing Intern, Public Relations, Hitachi Vantara

Brooke Freitas - Hitachi Vantara

Tell us about yourself.

I am an incoming senior at Santa Clara University pursuing a major in marketing and a minor in retail studies. I chose to study marketing because I find it intriguing that marketing can influence purchasing decisions in people’s lives every day, whether they realize it or not. Marketing can be as overt as a billboard on a highway or as subtle as a product placement in a person’s favorite TV show – each strategically planned to target a specific audience to drive awareness and sales. Every company needs marketing to connect to their consumers and show them what sets the company apart from their competition.

What did you work on during your internship at Hitachi Vantara?

During my internship I worked on several different projects with members of the PR team to help with strategic planning, research, and reporting. Some of my proudest work includes conducting research to identify various trending media stories that served as a resource to the team, researching and building an industry awards list, creating an internal newsletter with a coverage recap of stories the PR team secured, and working with the team to make improvements to the company’s online newsroom.

Were there any lessons learned from your internship that you think you’ll apply in your early career?

During my internship I learned what it was like to work on a global PR team.  I’m grateful I was given a seat at the table and was encouraged to share my ideas and be vocal. I was invited to meetings and gained firsthand experience in how an in-house PR team partners with PR agencies to collaborate and strategize in order to raise the profile of the company and help the company form a narrative and tell its story to its target audience through strong relationships with media.   One lesson I gained from this experience is that communication is the key to success in any team. My team members showed me how a successful and productive team operates.

What was the best advice you received during your internship?

I had the opportunity to speak with people on many different teams and get to know a little about what they do for Hitachi and how they got to their position. I received a lot of valuable advice but something that stuck with me is while you are young in your career, try as many things as you can and expose yourself to as many different activities as you can at your job because you will end up learning skills that you might not have otherwise learned.

Did your experience at Hitachi Vantara change your perception of working in tech? How do you think we can encourage the next generation of female leaders to pursue careers in tech?

I was fortunate to join a team that is diverse, which is not the general perception of the workforce in the tech industry. I learned that working in the tech industry requires an interest in technology and an understanding of technical concepts. That said, I think encouraging girls to develop an interest in STEM subjects at a younger age is a first step to having more girls pursue a career in tech. Additionally, I think it’s important for tech companies to continue giving women more opportunities at leadership roles as that will help encourage the next generation of females to pursue similar paths. At Hitachi Vantara, I talked with many women who proved to me that tech is not a male-only industry. The women at this company are an essential part to its success and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be mentored by them.

Isabel Wu, Marketing Intern, Customer Community, Hitachi Vantara

Isabel Wu - Hitachi Vantara

Tell us about yourself.

I am a recent graduate from SCU with a BS in Marketing and BA in Studio Arts. I chose to study marketing alongside art in order to learn how to enhance and support communication using visuals. My concentration for my BA focused on combining art and technology where I got the opportunity to work together with interdisciplinary teams to create multiple projects in mediums including digital 2D, 3D, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. I mostly worked with VR by utilizing its ability for full immersion to create experiences to aid education, such as learning ocean sustainability, Latin, and Chinese.

What did you work on during your internship at Hitachi Vantara?

On the Customer Advocacy team, I largely worked to define and create the upcoming Customer Community site’s visuals. This included the new site’s hero images, iconography, and achievement badges. I also assisted with the start of the QA process, as well as outlining and scripting tutorial videos for the new site.

Were there any lessons learned from your internship that you think you’ll apply in your early career?

Key lessons that I will be able to apply in my early career is how to be creative within a brand. By understanding the meaning behind the visual representation of the brand, designers are able to expressively create while still working within the boundaries of the brand. Additionally, collaboration is the most powerful tool during any development process as exploring and combining diverse solutions ensure the strongest and most effective outcome.

What was the best advice you received during your internship?

The first best advice I received during my internship was to be assertive and not be afraid to ask questions. This was important for me to hear as an intern because as I jumped straight into team meetings, I needed to constantly remind myself that it is not expected that everyone knows all the same lexicon, especially in meetings between different teams, companies, and/or vendors. Asking questions, even for simple definitions, ensures everyone is on the same page. The second-best piece of advice I received was to pay attention and learn from how individuals communicate during meetings, especially during disagreements. As conflicting solutions are inevitable and essential parts of the development process, it is important to learn how to communicate different opinions without offending the other person. Instead, we should aim to create a collaborative environment in which all opinions are heard and discussed in a productive and respective manner.

Did your experience at Hitachi Vantara change your perception of working in tech? How do you think we can encourage the next generation of female leaders to pursue careers in tech?

As a Silicon Valley local, I have heard both good and bad about working in tech, especially for women. Working at Hitachi Vantara, I believe that all the support I received and experience working with diverse teams has further solidified my perception that while the wider tech industry is still in need of improvements, change has already begun and is on the upward trend. How we can encourage the next generation of female leaders to pursue careers in tech is by creating a precedent of taking initiative and persistence in ridding the workplace of harmful practices. This encourages future generations by ensuring the tech industry is committed to their equitable change and will not revert on a whim.

Interested in an internship? Learn more about joining Hitachi Vantara.

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