Yue Qiao (SKEMA 2017), Marketing Manager of INTERDEE fashion brand

15 March 2024 Interview

Yue Qiao (SKEMA 2017) is graduated from SKEMA MSc IMBD (2017), and pursued a degree in Financial Management at Lille 2 University, obtaining dual bachelor degrees from China’s Wuhan University and Lille 2 University. She is currently employed in the marketing department of the French premium women’s fashion brand INTERDEE, with extensive experience in restaurant management. She has a well-known KOL on social media, currently with over 320,000 followers on Douyin and nearly 160,000 followers on Xiaohongshu. Let meet her !

Thank you very much for accepting the interview with SKEMA News Center. You began your journey in self-media at the beginning of 2021 and now have nearly 500,000 followers across various platforms. What encouraged you to become a blogger in the first place?

I've been interested in self-media for a long time, even before platforms like Douyin existed. My first exposure to live streaming and video content was on platforms like Meipai and Yingke. However, I was merely a viewer at that time, never attempting to publish my own videos. I enjoyed watching others share their lives and document their daily activities. As platforms like Douyin and Xiaohongshu emerged and self-media began to gain traction, I started experimenting with posting short videos. Initially, I didn't focus much on editing or captions; if I found something interesting or enjoyable, I would simply share it directly without much thought to strategy. However, during the pandemic when I had more time at home, I happened to join an online training program for overseas influencers. I enrolled in a course and achieved remarkable results, which marked the beginning of my systematic journey into self-media.


The success of viral content may rely on luck to some extent, but consistent growth of followers requires meticulous operation. Do you have your own "workflow" for topic selection, filming, editing, and writing captions? How did you master these skills?


I have independently handled all aspects of topic selection, filming, editing, and caption writing from the beginning until now. I believe the most important thing is to observe and think critically, as inspiration is crucial. While others might watch videos and move on, I often contemplate whether a particular topic is suitable for filming and if its style aligns with my own. As the saying goes, the more time you invest in a field, the more it will blossom. Once I have inspiration, the process of gathering material, filming, writing captions, and editing flows naturally. After posting a video, I pay close attention to my followers' reactions and preferences, seeking feedback to adjust the topic for the next video whenever possible. I've learned these skills through self-study, utilizing online resources to learn video filming, editing techniques, and operational strategies. Through consistent practice and application, I've honed these skills into my own expertise.


Have you considered the future direction of your social media accounts? Will you focus on a specific vertical niche? And are you considering commercial monetization?

My account will continue to focus on the food domain, featuring content such as restaurant explorations and homemade cuisine. My account has always maintained a highly vertical focus, with excellent traffic in cheese tasting, cheese-related culinary creations, and more. Given the significant interest from your followers, I will continue creating content related to cheese. Since reaching tens of thousands of followers, I have consistently received brand advertising invitations. I will selectively accept advertising opportunities, ranging from hundreds to thousands rewards . There has always been commercial monetization, which, for someone who is not a full-time influencer, yields considerable earnings.


Since joining the marketing department of the French premium women's fashion brand INTERDEE last October, could you briefly introduce your current daily work routine?


I am currently the head of the marketing department at INTERDEE. My daily work involves various tasks related to self-media. I manage the operation of our WeChat video account and Xiaohongshu platform, seeking collaborations with influencers to increase INTERDEE's exposure and promote our products. This includes finding influencer partnerships, coordinating live streaming sessions, negotiating terms, establishing collaboration mechanisms, and distributing product links. Additionally, I manage the personal video accounts of the brand's founder on both WeChat and Xiaohongshu, assisting with content selection, filming, editing, and publication of videos. I also serve as a live streaming assistant, responsible for assisting in product selection, linking products, assisting in live streaming, and conducting post-streaming reviews for each session.


Prior to this, you also had experience in the food and beverage industry. How have you always approached your career development?

Before this, I had experience managing and operating my husband's restaurant. In the future, I am considering entrepreneurship, opening a restaurant in Paris. I plan to promote it online through my food account and combine it physically. My goal is to introduce a new dining concept to France by integrating online promotion with offline presence.


During your undergraduate years, you participated in a joint programme between Wuhan University and the Lille 2 University in France, completing a 2+3 programme. This involved studying French for two years at Wuhan University and then pursuing a degree in Financial Management at Lille 2 University for three years. What are your gains and experiences during these years of studying in France?

As a graduate who studied in France, there have indeed been many gains and insights. Apart from mastering knowledge in academics, the formation of an independent and autonomous personality is even more significant. Previously reliant on my parents at home, embarking on the path of studying abroad alone exposed me to a completely different life, study, and social environment from what I was accustomed to in my home country. It felt like I matured in an instant, gradually developing my own opinions, expressing my viewpoints, and making decisions for myself. The ability to stand on my own two feet was my greatest growth.


Another profound realization is the cultural differences between China and France. Life in China is fast-paced, with everyone constantly rushing and busy, whereas life in France is much slower. They can spend half a day sitting in a street-side café, sipping coffee while observing passing vehicles and pedestrians. They can gather with friends by the Seine River, enjoying drinks and conversations until late into the night. Living in France for an extended period, one truly adopts the a peaceful mentality, or realizes there's no need to rush all the time; it's important to enjoy life when the opportunity arises.


After graduating from Lille 2 University with a bachelor's degree, you were accepted into the SKEMA MSc International Marketing and Business Development. From your own experience, what differences do you see between French universities and elite business schools?


I studied at a French university for my bachelor's degree, and I found it to be quite similar to the atmosphere of high school in China. The classes were mostly lecturer-centered, with students listening to lectures, completing homework afterwards, and taking exams at the end of the semester. There wasn't much social interaction with teachers or classmates, nor were there many projects or activities that involved teamwork or collaboration. Evaluation was primarily based on exam scores. Personally, I didn't enjoy this learning environment, so I chose a business school for my master's degree.


Business school had a more open atmosphere, with many presentations and almost all courses requiring group discussions. The course structures were very interesting, sometimes involving activities like crafts, drawing, or experiments, which made learning more engaging. I had more opportunities to interact with both lecturers and classmates, and many of my classmates became friends even after graduation. Particularly notable was the grading system, which included a combination of presentation grades, attendance, midterm and final exam scores, and regular class assignments, which I found to be reasonable and humane.


SKEMA also organized various activities such as boat trips on the Seine for Mid-Autumn Festival, job fairs attended by major French companies, grand graduation ceremonies, job search coaching sessions, successful businessperson sharing sessions, and even provided tickets to major tech exhibitions like Viva Tech. These activities greatly assisted students in their future job search and career development.


During my master's programme at SKEMA, were there any memorable professors, courses, or interesting anecdotes in your learning life?

The course structure at SKEMA was quite interesting. I remember one particular course where, after dividing into study groups, the professor handed each group an egg along with some plastic bags, straws, bubble wrap, and other materials. During class, we had to collaborate to design an egg protector. Once completed, we conducted real drop tests on the staircase. It was a lot of fun, and we all experienced the importance of teamwork. One memorable professor was our programme director Peter Spier. He made his classes lively and entertaining. On one occasion, he shared his hobby with us during class by playing a clip of a Hatsune Miku concert. It was quite amusing to see a professor in his fifties enjoying Hatsune Miku, creating a delightful contrast.


As a graduate, what advice do you have for current SKEMA students?


Graduation is when one realizes how precious student life is. I hope that younger SKEMA students cherish their time on campus. During this youthful and vibrant period, explore, learn, and play more, experiencing the vast world and acquiring different knowledge and skills to enrich yourselves and nurture inner fulfillment.


Furthermore, it's essential to plan for your future career path and strive towards it. For example, arrange internships each academic year to lay the groundwork for entering the workforce, engage in meaningful part-time jobs to gain social experience, and learn skills relevant to your future career.


Not only should you master the curriculum, but also utilize the school's resources, such as online libraries and research paper platforms, to read more and practice more. Making decisions early, having direction early, and achieving early success are crucial.


Wishing all SKEMA students a bright future and a smooth journey ahead!


Contact : Yue Qiao - Marketing department of INTERDEE fashion brand