Getting students to open their email is not any easy feat. Just ask Emily Saeli ’16, who is responsible for seizing the attention of college students in just a few words as an Email Marketing intern for Chegg®.
The California-based company, overseen by President and CEO Dan Rosensweig ’83, specializes in online textbook rentals, homework help, online tutoring, and scholarship and internship matching. Saeli secured her position with the company after consulting with the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education at HWS, who matched her interests in writing and desired location with the internship opening.
“Subject lines are the only communication we have with a student to try and get them to open an email,” she says, “which is one of the ways we measure our success.”
Keeping this in mind, Saeli challenged herself each day to come up with hooks that would appeal to students like herself. “Save on supplies, buy more fries,” she types in the pre-header line of one email, speaking to the bottomless stomachs of college students.
“In the Silicon Valley, there’s a real appreciation for a liberal arts education and the ability to handle complex situations and attack questions yet to be answered,” says Rosensweig. “HWS provides a wonderful way for students to develop these skills.”
Though crafting catchy subject lines can be challenging, Saeli finds that it comes rather easily having had extensive practice in language arts as a writing and rhetoric and international relations double major. Most importantly, she was able to channel her natural sense of humor in the process, differentiating Chegg® subject lines from those that are mundane and conventional.
“I got to have fun with it!” she says about her work for Chegg® which was founded in 2005 by Aayush Phumbhra and Osman Rashid.
The inventive name of the business, a mashup of the words chicken and egg, reflects what Rashid referred to as the students’ quandary after graduation: a conundrum between needing experience to get a job and needing a job to gain further experience. The question thus arose, what comes first?
As demonstrated through Saeli’s summer internship involvement, the company helps answer this loaded question by ensuring that students are brought into a professional environment, merging work and experience into one coherent and mutually beneficial journey. Her work in particular exemplifies what can come of a unique balance achieved through collaboration.
“The people I interviewed with were adamant about how important interns are at Chegg®,” confirms Saeli. “In the office, we represented the voice of students, and students are our business. Every email relies on the work of each member of our team, from the writers to the brilliant design team. It’s an awesome responsibility.”
Other assignments that Saeli was tasked with in the office included writing blog posts and tracking success through pulling and analyzing numbers and comparing to past performances and standards. She also stepped into the world of modeling, posing for Chegg® image advertisements which are featured in company emails and Facebook posts.
“I have quite a lot of autonomy here,” she says. “I also learned how to code HTML! It wasn’t in the job description but it’s a fun skill I picked up along the way. It’s just one of the perks of working for Chegg®.”
Apart from day-to-day tasks, Saeli was involved in brainstorming the ways in which the company uses push notifications. She was in charge of putting together and presenting a proposal for the push notifications that will be sent out, including the goals each message would accomplish as well as the draft.
“By the end of summer, each intern presents in front of the whole company on the projects they have been working on and what they have accomplished,” says Rosensweig. “Nearly 10 percent of Chegg’s workforce during the summer is interns, and our program is designed so that whatever role they come in as, their work is pushed. If they are a marketing intern for example, their communication gets pushed out to millions of students. Every intern gets the opportunity to work on a specific project, have their work fully utilized, and then see the results of their work. They’re our customers so it’s great – we love them here.”
With graduation looming in the coming year, Saeli looks to what new opportunities might lie ahead while wistfully preparing to wrap-up her projects at Chegg®.
“I know that I want to work for a business that, like Chegg®, asks itself ‘is this best for students’ before it does anything. My experience has only amplified my passion, and the working environment is nearly irreplaceable. Chegg® is all about making education easier.” She hopes to share her passion about education with the HWS community as a returning Writing Fellow and avid HWS Debate team member, ensuring that students have all the tools they need to succeed.
“Emily has been a great member of the intern, marketing, and Chegg team,” concludes Rosensweig. “Her passion has been energizing for the entire team.”
In the photo above, Emily Saeli ’16 poses for a Chegg® advertisement. The image recently appeared in a company email which also featured a pre-header text she scripted, reading “Save on supplies, buy more fries.”?