Venture hosts Building Extraordinary Partnerships workshop

Lucas Cohen-D'Arbeloff and Julia Im

ByteDance employee Dawn Yang spoke to students about networking and building business relationships in an event sponsored by HW Venture on Jan. 21.

HW Venture hosted Dawn Yang, who works for the parent company of TikTok.

Yang works in the global business department at ByteDance, the parent company of the video-sharing service TikTok. She previously worked for six years at Paramount Pictures and received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Yang began the meeting by playing a TikTok video, showcasing her interests and speaking about her role at ByteDance.

“My team builds strategy and partnerships for TikTok and also ByteDance’s other suite of apps on the more news-oriented side,” Yang said. “We’ve worked with sports leagues, entertainment companies and media companies to bring more premium content onto our platforms.”

She then moved on to a presentation that included a step-by-step approach to networking.

“I would say almost 30 percent of my job is to help build a network and see what opportunities it can present for the company,” Yang said. “I’m not a natural networker, per se, so I don’t think that’s something that everyone is wonderful at from the start. It took me a while to get to where I am today.”

Yang discussed many aspects of networking, from setting goals to creating elevator pitches.

Yang explained the difference between interactions for the purpose of getting a job and creating connections with companies, especially those geared toward generating investor interest. She also asked attendees what current goals they had in networking, to which Sophia Evans ’23 responded with her plans to explore business as a student.

“Right now, we’re at the stage of making friends [at school],” Evans said. “But I’m also thinking about maybe getting an internship this summer and using these skills for college during interviews.”

After answering questions about her roles at ByteDance and emphasizing the importance of making connections and reaching out, Yang invited students to make “elevator pitches,” quick descriptions of one’s background and experience.

Venture Alumni Coordinator Hsieh said Yang taught her the importance of communication in relationship-building.

Venture Alumni Coordinator Hope Hsieh ’23 said she appreciated Yang’s acumen in connecting with others both in and outside of the business world.

“I thought it was really interesting how Dawn spoke about utilizing those around you to learn and relate with others,” Hsieh said. “Whether it is family, friends or alumni, communication is an intrinsic part of relationships.”