APRIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - PETER CHEN
This month we meet Binxuan "Peter" Chen- Graduate Student at the University of Colorado at Denver
Background: When you speak with BMA student member Binxuan Chen, known as Peter, you are impressed with his energy, vision and intuitive marketing acuity. Chen grew up in Shanghai, China, learning English at 14 years old and later attending Shanghai Gench University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising. In 2011, he was one of many Chinese students interviewing for an exchange program with The Walt Disney Company and one of few who landed a Disney internship in Orlando, Fla. That first adventure in the U.S. during his junior year gave him management and leadership skills that would inform his career direction.
He was as strategic about choosing a graduate school during a university tour as he had been about solving problems for businesses. He chose the University of Colorado at Denver for his graduate education based on three personal criteria: 1. a student population that seemingly was not over-populated with international students; 2. a city he liked for its growth potential and difference from Shanghai; and, 3. a marketing program that would provide real-world experience beyond the academics. This May 2015, he will be awarded a master’s degree in marketing from UCD.
Family: Peter Chen is single, living in Denver.
BMA Membership: Chen has been a student member for more than a year and has volunteered his photography talents for the Colorado regional conference and more. Photography is a hobby for him right now, as are his interests in martial arts (he is a Taekwondo Black Belt III), skiing and international travel. He has begun a nonprofit enterprise that offers videotaped interviews of young professionals, one-to-five years out of college, who describe their overall fields and current jobs for those researching opportunities and seeking entry. He also helps C-level executives with self-branding for early retirement.
How BMA Has Helped His Career: Networking with BMA members and speakers has helped Chen investigate job opportunities and strategize about optimizing his competitive advantages as a Chinese-born professional in today’s global environment. Chen has found BMA members to be incredibly willing to help and some of them have mentored him along the way. “They really want us (younger generation) to be successful,” he says.
Advice to Marketing Professionals: Chen is a strong believer in networking with BMA professionals rather than searching for jobs online. He recommends that young professionals have a mindset of going above and beyond expectations to prove themselves for the long term. He also believes that BMA Colorado’s educational events offer excellent opportunities to learn new ideas from incredible speakers who know the top of what’s trending at any particular time. His strategic nature tells students to try to get more involved and to take advantage of the low student membership rate while they can.
Indispensable Insights: Chen views marketing as addressing people’s needs and providing solutions in artistic ways. Here is how Peter Chen distinguishes marketing from sales: There are two ways to go about getting a girlfriend, he says. The sales way is to be direct and approach her directly, but the marketing way is to create something that attracts her, outdoes his competitors and focuses her attention on him. Then, he says, follow that with the sales approach.
Thank you Peter Chen and all volunteers for all you do for the BMA.
By Jill Lewis, president and marketing director for Integrated Writing LLC, a consultancy providing integrated marketing strategy, public relations and content, as well as social media and crisis communications services.