Prior to joining TikTok's Global Public Policy team, Songyi Han worked in Korea's government sector as a Korean-English interpreter and social media manager. Although Songyi's original career path was focused on communications, she wanted to become more actively involved in driving public sector initiatives and building bridges between the public and private sectors, which led her to her role at TikTok.
We spoke with Songyi to learn more about how she managed the transition from government to global business, as well as how she is making an impact with her current projects. Songyi also shared with us her experiences as a member of the Global Public Policy team and why TikTok has been the ideal place to pursue her passions.
"As a Public Policy Specialist, I'm mainly responsible for creating TikTok for Good campaigns and initiatives that are in the public's interest -- for instance, raising awareness about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands more thoroughly. Looking back, I might be most proud of my very first campaign, #HeartThrob100. For this campaign, we worked closely with the National Fire Agency to raise awareness about CPR on TikTok through engaging music and choreography. The content ended up being so effective that it was later adapted into a video guide for vocational training!
In my mind, TikTok does good for the world by simplifying concepts that may seem complicated to understand. The #hashtag campaigns I create alongside the government not only serve to promote positivity, but also give people a chance to rally around a good cause. This opportunity to make an impact is what gets me excited to go to work in the morning!"
"My academic background is primarily in language and translation. I studied English Language and Literature and Business Administration as an undergraduate at Yonsei University, then went on to do a Master's in Korean-English International Conference Interpretation at the Seoul University of Foreign Studies. I've always loved picking up and even teaching new languages -- in addition to Korean, I speak English and Japanese! Before TikTok, I worked as an interpreter at the Office of the Secretary to the President for Foreign Press. I also managed the Presidential Office's social media accounts in English and interacted with people from around the world, which was both fascinating and challenging at times!
My lifelong goal has always been to become a global communicator and insight provider, so the opportunity to work with a global platform like TikTok -- which resonates with people of so many different languages and cultures -- was an incredible opportunity. Knowing myself as a creative self-starter, I also felt that TikTok would provide me the freedom and autonomy to design and explore my own projects, which I wouldn't be able to do as an interpreter in government. Fortunately I was right, and I'm so glad I made the switch!"
"Unlike larger tech companies where you have a narrow set of duties, TikTok is truly a start-up and encourages employees to plan, design, and explore new projects and initiatives. Especially since I was coming from a position in government, it was a challenge adjusting to a culture where hierarchy and seniority took a back seat to everything else! Fortunately, my team members helped make my transition into this fast-paced environment quite smooth. It's clear to me that TikTok is looking for people who aren't just bright and talented, but also embrace the 'Always Day 1' mindset of taking initiative and embracing change. These shared qualities allow us to build amazing projects together despite the fact that we're often working with team members in many different countries."
"As one of the fastest growing companies out there, TikTok actually welcomes people who embrace change as an opportunity rather than a challenge. In my experience, that made it much easier for me to take the leap and transition into a new role! Another highlight of working at TikTok is that if you want to make a real impact, nowhere else will give you as much freedom (or as many resources) to pursue and implement creative ideas."
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At TikTok, it's your turn to make a change!
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