Pictured from left to right are Mari Erdman (PacRim Marketing Group), Jihyun Kim (PRTech), May Kim (PRTech) and Nicole Mastrodomenico (PacRim Marketing Group)
Honolulu – Brought together in Hawaii through a shared interest in Asian culture, foreign language, and business, summer interns at PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech are learning what it takes to tailor brand messages and marketing for companies wanting to market to travelers from Asia.
“Hawaii, which sits almost exactly halfway between Asia and the United States, is a gateway to the Pacific and the perfect place to bridge American and Asian cultures and facilitate cultural exchange,” said Dave Erdman, President and CEO of PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech. For that reason, in part, PacRim and PRTech recruit interns from various places, cultures, and backgrounds, encouraging a diverse collective knowledge within the companies.
This year’s summer interns are no exception: Nicole Mastrodomenico, from central New Jersey, began her internship with PacRim Marketing Group this past May after studying abroad in Japan for her spring semester and interviewing at PacRim Marketing Group’s Tokyo offices. She will enter her senior year this fall at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where she is currently majoring in Studio Art, English Creative Writing, and East Asian Studies. Mari Erdman, a second year intern from Hawaii, is also studying at Bucknell University and will declare an East Asian Studies major with a concentration in business during her sophomore year. May, from Ulsan, South Korea, will enter her senior year at University of Hawaii at Manoa with a major in Travel Industry Management, while Jihyun Kim, from nearby Busan, South Korea, will be finishing his last summer session with Minnesota State University Moorhead this August with a major in Computer Information Technology.
Having studied Japanese, English, and Korean languages as well as cultures and business, the interns are equipped to take on work at PacRim and PRTech, where communicating the brand essence of a company goes beyond simple translation.
“When working in an environment where you’re marketing to Asian International Travelers, you have to know what they like, what they don’t like, what’s currently popular,” said Nicole. “You become better attuned to their aesthetics, and learn how to tailor messages and marketing that resonate with each culture.”
May said that living in different countries has helped her understand how others think, and enables her to better communicate and market to Asian International Travelers, while Jihyun noted that his work in both school and previous jobs has helped him prepare for the technological work in PRTech. Mari’s personal knowledge of Hawaii from growing up here, international background, and business education help her understand the Asian International Traveler market and how to communicate with them.
PacRim and PRTech support not only a full staff from different cultures, but an interesting range of work opportunities within their companies. Interns wear many hats. Apart from general office work, Nicole has attended events around Honolulu, taking photos and writing articles for the portal websites, while Jihyun focuses in PRTech on communications and web application development into the Asian languages. Similarly, May works in translation not only between Korean and English, but uses her Japanese as well, translating between all three. Mari, originally from Hawaii, is beginning her own set of videos focusing on things to do on Oahu.
“I’m excited to start working on my Reporter Series,” Mari said. “I’ll be going places and doing different things, and then posting the videos on YouTube and PacRim’s Asian language websites about Hawaii.”
"Selecting interns with diverse backgrounds leads to innovative ideas as well as smart marketing and design strategies,” said Dave Erdman. “It leaves the door open not only for cultural exchange, but for a mix of ideas and thought-processes from around the world.”
Wanting to facilitate a program for students to come into PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech, Dave made sure to have an active intern program in the hope of offering the same opportunities he had to the next generation. When recruiting, PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech look for students who not only exhibit an interest in East Asia and skill in another language, but those who have taken on leadership roles and who may have visited or lived in other countries. Their programs have varied over the years, with interns taking on anything from office work, to field work, to web responsibilities, proving that working in PacRim Marketing Group or PRTech can provide a wide range of experiences and opportunities to shine.