Written by Stephanie Cantu
Majors: Business Honors, Plan II Honors, Marketing
Company: BHW Group, Austin, TX
Topics: Online Publications, Creative Work, Music/Entertainment
Junior Eileen Bau is currently enrolled in rigorous academic courses for her joint degrees in Business Honors and Marketing as well as the Plan II Honors Program, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be creative too. “I’m currently working on a piece called ‘Why the Shrek Soundtrack Slaps.’ It’s an analysis of a couple of songs from the Shrek 1 and 2 soundtracks and why they went over so well with audiences.” This piece was eventually published in UT’s online music publication, Afterglow, where Eileen serves as a writer. She is also the design director for Apricity Magazine, which is an annual multimedia global arts magazine that competes at the collegiate level.
Eileen applied to these two publications because she didn’t feel like she was doing creative work that could go into her portfolio. She shares, “I never knew what I wanted to do growing up or coming into college, but I now know that I want to work in pop culture, media, entertainment, music, fashion. I realized that having experiences that were more creative and that could produce work for my portfolio was more conducive to interviewing and applying to more creative brands. I wanted to show that throughout college I had solid business experience for my first two years, but that I was also able to pursue passion projects.”
In the fall, Eileen continued an internship she started over the summer with BHW Group, a custom web and mobile app development company. Her job duties included building links between the company’s website and other websites in order to boost the page’s rank on Google. She served as the main point of contact between BHW and other websites and was also responsible for figuring out what kind of content to create. “I learned through this internship that while I can do SEO stuff, I really want to work in brand strategy. I really liked the content strategy part of my role, which was thinking about which content we should put out and what is relevant right now.” She credits the rigor of Canfield BHP and Plan II classes as the most valuable preparation for her internship. “Regardless of what you learn in class, you’re never going to be able to learn everything that you have to know for a certain role because roles are very specific and companies are very specific about what they want done. So, it’s more about how fast you can learn on the job and how well you can adapt. I think having to adapt quickly to my harder classes has helped with that kind of training.”
Despite the challenges of being in two honors programs, Eileen finds reward in the diversity of things she gets to learn. “Having a balance is really important because otherwise it’s really easy to get pigeonholed into just one thing. I think [being a joint major] also gives you a competitive edge because you have a very diverse viewpoint, and a very diverse way of looking at things and problem-solving.” Eileen also encourages current students to pursue what they are passionate about, which can aid in developing these diverse perspectives. “In college when you’re shorter on time, if you get roped into things that you are ultimately not passionate about, it will show up in your work; it’s not a silly thing to pursue what you like,” she advises.