Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Using Digital Marketing to Recruit International Students


MacKenzie Hizon (MATESOL '06) has been working in the field of international education for over 10 years.

April 19, 2012

MacKenzie Hizon has been working in the international education field for more than 10 years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Marketing and a Masters in TESOL from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She has held positions in both public and private educational institutions and has experience in program development, marketing, and the recruitment of international students from various regions around the world.

Where are you currently working?

I am the Head of Program Development and Digital Strategy at CRCC (China Recruitment China Consulting) Asia. I started there as a consultant writing reports for the internship program.

What are your main job responsibilities?

I am responsible for three main areas: strategic partnership development, marketing & digital content strategy, and developing a U.S. internship program for Chinese university students.

Strategic partnership development in the U.S. involves forming relationships with universities and finding opportunities for organizations that want to go to China, and being the company that can provide those opportunities.

Marketing and digital content strategy requires increasing CRCC’s presence in the media, ultimately seeing application numbers go up.

The U.S. internship program encompasses various responsibilities such as marketing, recruitment, placement, strategy, and budget management.

What prompted your career change from your original job at i-Student group to CRCC Asia?

At i-Student group I finally hit a max point and I didn’t have a desire for another position within the organization. I analyzed what I wanted – I didn’t want to be president – I wanted something smaller, more innovative. I liked the smaller companies because there is more push to get things done, and I felt I was better suited for faster-paced environments. (Working at) large organizations has a comfortable feel, but I wanted to push myself.

How did your experience at MIIS prepare you for what you’re doing now?

I treated (school) like a job instead of school. I dressed up every day, which made me feel like this is my work. Instructors gave me positive feedback and wrote letters of recommendation. I then got a job (at MIIS) after graduation with Student Affairs/International Education. My interest had always been program development, and I had some idea of where to go. I also had a TESOL degree for the option of going overseas.

One thing I liked about instructors (at MIIS) is they are willing to allow students to think outside the box, customize their degree, and be creative. There were varied teaching styles - some extreme – which was beneficial to see such a diverse approach to language education and the practical elements of it.

What is your fondest memory of your time at the Monterey Institute?

Meeting my language partner in Samson center. I met with her every week; she was a T&I Chinese student. I felt like (the conversation partner program) was the micro example of what happens on campus everyday, where students from different backgrounds come together from outside the academic world. It’s what this place is all about.

With your extensive experience in the field of International Education, what advice would you give to current students on how to prepare themselves for a future career in this field?

Go to conferences, especially regional ones which are cheaper (for example, NAFSA or TESOL). At conferences, develop your niche – find a group of people with similar interests.

Stay organized and keep on top of things. I have technology tools such as e.ggtimer for time management, and Trello.com to keep track of multiple projects. My favorite app is Awesomenote.  

Success in finding a job is  about being out in the real world and not being too focused on just doing the work here (in school). If you have choice between doing homework/reading or going out and doing something practical related to your field, do the latter. 

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