Originally from Tianjin, China, third-year advertising major Jane Congfei Lian has built cross-cultural connections in organizations like Women in Media, Talking Dog and International Student Orientation.
#ProfilesOfTenacity: Jane Congfei Lian
What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?
For me, tenacity means always staying positive when facing tough circumstances or situations. The most important difference I found between human beings and animals is that we are born to be adaptable. I came to the U.S. two years ago across the Pacific Ocean with two suitcases. Studying abroad during college is like uprooting a tree to an entirely new field. Tough times came, with everything being unfamiliar, strange, unexpected and different from what I used to. However, I always reminded myself why I came here. I tried to build connections with new people, get involved in organizations and learn different cultures. I strived to adapt to the new environment and improve my personal development skills. The biggest takeaways from my college experience is to never be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone, to explore all opportunities and to not underestimate how strongly adaptable we can be.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?
I have countless memorable Grady experiences. My favorite one was the moment I was awarded the New Media Certificate. Standing on the stage with my fellows and professors, I finally became a certificate alumni. This was the first degree I finished at UGA. This certificate not only proves the skills I’ve learned, but also represents the effort I invested in paving my career path.
What are you passionate about?
Serving people. I have a strong desire to serve as a bridge for everything I’m working on. In Grady activities, I aim to connect juniors who are pursuing media with people in professional industries. As a world leader for International Student Orientation, I aspire to help them make UGA feel like coming home and to connect cultures. When it comes to serving my clients, I want to help them to build relationships with their target customers. To put it briefly, I believe credibility builds relationships.
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?
Serving as the social media manager at Women in Media has left a deep impact throughout my UGA life. WIM’s mission is to motivate creative women in all forms of media. Through WIM, I have learned we can not only grow ourselves, but also help our peers grow. That is true women’s power.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’ve been a big fan of Taylor Swift since I was 10 years old. I have TS on my wall, my clock, my ruler and my blanket at my home in China.
Where is your favorite place on campus and why?
The first floor study area near Studio 100 inside Grady. That’s where I spent most of my time to complete my schoolwork. It’s quiet and easy to find a spot. You can see outside from the door and eat snacks from the vending machine when you are hungry.
What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?
Take an example of when I was serving as a Junior Research Strategist in the Talking Dog Agency. Our client JT Hanna is a family run screen-printing business. My job was to craft a survey on Qualtrics in order to help our client gauge the Atlanta market’s awareness as well as customers’ screen printing preferences. Although I have no previous knowledge on using Qualtrics or creating insightful research, I reached out to other colleagues to gain ideas about what questions I should set up in my survey to reach our client’s goal. Finally, I drafted the survey along with another strategist and got 215 responses. This ultimately helped our client to improve their brand position.
What are you planning to do after graduation?
I wish I could land on a job or internship with a structured advertising & marketing agency to enhance my skills. My dream job is to be a brand strategist because I believe brand storytelling is the future of marketing.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?
Last year I was unable to see my friends or go back home to see my parents. I cannot describe how much I missed home and I cannot see what comes next in the future. But I did not choose to stop, instead, I utilized the gap year to improve my resume, cover letter and portfolio to strengthen myself. I also started to use LinkedIn to build connections with alumni and reach out which helped me find many great school organizations that alumni are involved in. I began to apply to different organizations such as Talking Dog and Women in Media to find opportunities to grow. I couldn’t have reached where I am without the Covid year because it gave me more time to think about what I want to pursue and what skills I should develop to arrive there.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?
My father has influenced me in many aspects. He is the one who has strongly supported me to study abroad and pursue what I love. “Go and see the big world, and you will find yourself and who you want to be,” he always tells me. “You learn to be critical by immersing yourself in different places and hearing from a variety of people’s perspectives.”
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