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Student Co-op Experiences

Jintao Zhang

Jintao Zhang HeadshotJintao Zhang is a fifth-year Marketing PhD candidate in the LeBow College of Business. His research is focused on consumer behavior, specifically their reactions to repeating numerical digits in product information.

Tell us about the project you were involved in.
Jintao: I was involved in several projects with DSI. The first project involved helping a local utility company investigate consumers’ perceptions and evaluations of different pricing strategies. We used various methods including focus group interviews and national survey panels. We also used neuro-technology such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS, a device that measures the change of oxygen in the blood when an area of the brain becomes active), electroencephalograph (EEG, a device that records brain activity using electrical signals) and exploratory data analysis (EDA) to gauge different reactions to the various pricing strategies. The second project involved helping a local law firm evaluate the effectiveness of its advertisements by using eye-tracking technology and survey questionnaires. The third project I was involved in, and perhaps the most interesting one, was to help a local communication company explore how playing e-sports games would benefit employees’ teamwork performance and mental well-being. We used neuro-technology such as fNIRS, heart rate sensors, and EDA to conduct the analysis.

What did you learn by working with external partners?
Jintao: I was able to collaborate with leading scholars from different disciplines at Drexel University and learn various methodologies for research. I was also able to practice and improve my communication skills as a result of making presentations before industry partners.

For you personally – what is the value of participating in projects that involve external partners?
Jintao: It has been valuable to bridge the gap between research in academia and research in industry as well as to implement findings from academic research into practical business problems. At the same time, it has been rewarding to work with scholars, colleagues, and even undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds.

How has this opportunity impacted your Drexel experience?
Jintao: The opportunity to work within DSI broadened my horizon of research and further motivated me to connect academia with industry partners in my future career.

What was your favorite part about participating in this opportunity?
Jintao: This project was full of challenges at different stages of the project, but ultimately, every team member would contribute as much as possible to achieve the goal and deliver an impressive outcome.