Hello, my name is Shuya Zheng, and I’m the Social Media Intern at the Starlight Social this summer. I’m a senior studying in emerging media at the Missouri School of Journalism, where I discovered my interest in social media and video production.

I was born in southeast of China and my hometown is a seafood paradise. When I was still a little girl, my mom often took me to markets to buy fresh seafood; I used to hate the smell in those markets, but didn’t realize I would miss it one day.

When I was studying communications at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, Guangdong, I attended a 2+2 program with the cooperation of the Missouri School of Journalism. Thanks to the program, I had the chance to continue my study in journalism in America.

Since the barrier of network between China and America, I didn’t have access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other popular social media applications in America. (We actually have other similar applications, such as Weibo, Wechat, and so on). I explored these new tools for both personal and professional use. I’m not the type of person that shares daily life on social media, although I do enjoy “observing” my friends’ happiness and “liking” of content. For private use, I like Instagram the best. The biggest reason might be the simple surface and functionality. In other words, it has good foreign user experience.

Besides my own accounts, I was taking charge of the local newspaper Columbia Missourian Facebook and Twitter accounts when I was interning at the outreach team. Only when I took a look at the social media analytics, did I realize the power of speaking on social media. My colleagues and I did several social media campaigns based on typical holidays.

I remember that on the Mother’s Day this year, we collected “the greatest lesson I learned from my mother” from our readers on Facebook. We got excellent responses and put them in an article. I posted the article on Facebook and hours later, one reader comments: “It reminds of my mom, she exactly said the same words. So sweet.” At that moment, I felt that’s exactly the reason media outlets speak on social media.

This May, I got the opportunity to have an interview with Rachel Wynn, Founder and CEO of Starlight Social. And I was hired to to learn about social media in America! I’m excited to explore the business side of social media, which is brand new for me.

Last but not least, check out my blog at www.zhengshuya.com