top of page

AAPI Heritage Month x HRCap Scholar Spotlight

Ziyi Zhai – 2024 HRCap Student Ambassador & Scholar

Published by HRCap, Inc. on May 23, 2024

On Monday, November 13, 2023, HRCap commenced our inaugural HRCap National Certified Student Ambassador Program. Through this program, we have identified, trained, and empowered a diverse group of students who embody our values and can shape the future of the recruiting industry as next-generation leaders. Student Ambassadors were selected based on relevant skills, interest in recruiting, leadership characteristics, and core values that embody our HRCap Brand. Our selection process identified an inaugural cohort of 7 Student Ambassadors out of over 150 applications from across the country. In two phases, our Student Ambassadors had the unique opportunity to act as leaders who represent both our brand and mission on campus and across social media platforms.

In Phase One, our cohort engaged in a training and onboarding process led by our SVP, Head of Americas, and CMO, Stella H. Kim in personal branding and recruiting best practices over the span of 6 weeks. All material, assignments, and recitations were curated to ensure proper preparation for the final certification assessment and future on-campus engagement. After passing the final certification assessment and obtaining their HRCap Recruiting Certification, ambassadors initiated their time as on-campus leaders at their respective universities by posting social media posts and holding bi-weekly peer training sessions to guide their peers on job applications, resume and CV writing, and interviewing skills.

Out of our inaugural cohort, Ziyi Zhai has stood out by proactively engaging her peers through her training sessions and social media, displaying timely communication, and attending mentorship syncs. HRCap is honored to appoint Ziyi Zhai as our inaugural HRCap Next-Generation Leadership Scholar as a testament to her dedication and commitment to excellence in the HR Industry through championing DE&I in our modern workplaces. 

My AAPI Journey as a Multilingual Family Advocate to an HR Diversity Advocate

Written by Ziyi Zhai

Ziyi Zhai, HRCap Ambassador & Scholar

When I started my education in the United States, my parents grew to rely solely on me for translation assistance in various professional and social settings– something many children of immigrants recognize as “language brokering.”

What began as a simple task of translating their mail from English to Mandarin turned into the role of managing my mother’s small business, a Spa store. In the blink of an eye, I transformed my role as my family’s sole “language broker,” to their business’ core communication bridge through utilizing diplomacy and tact. I handled various responsibilities from instructing her spa employees in effective communication strategies and customer service protocols. Many of her employees had newly immigrated to the States and were in the midst of acclimating to the American working environment. I witnessed firsthand the challenges that many immigrants experience in the myriad of language barriers and communication obstacles. My role as a communication bridge for my mother and her business operations unveiled the urgency of creating welcoming environments where everyone feels valued and understood, which instilled in me the value of diverse and inclusive workplaces.

As I worked to support our employees through their acclimation, I often reminisced about the initial struggles my family endured after immigrating to the States from China. We often struggled to adapt to this new culture and social environment. My parents had an especially difficult transition as immigrant job opportunities were often much more low-paying. However, our family persevered through hard work and dedication, eventually earning respect within our Asian American Pacific Islander communities. I found it deeply rewarding to create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing their challenges so they can also trust the information and tools they receive to excel together with our business. Witnessing the diverse experiences within my own family and our employees sparked my ongoing passion to bridge cultural divides by ensuring everyone has a chance at feeling valued and included. Through fostering open communication and equitable resources, I realized the impact I had on team dynamics and employee success, and, thus, the larger impact I can have on the HR Industry. 

To work towards my passion for HR, I embarked on my journey with HRCap, Inc. as a part of their National Certified Student Ambassador Program. The program provided all ambassadors with an initial six-week training period so we could obtain our HRCap Recruiting Certification to build a strong foundation in core HR practices like recruitment, sourcing, job analysis, and onboarding. The topic of week three, onboarding best practices, specifically allowed me to connect my learnings to real-life processes that facilitate a smooth integration for new hires. I learned that onboarding can set the stage for long-term employee experience and well-being, and ultimately influence someone’s decision to commit to an organization. This lesson sparked my interest in learning more about the comprehensive HR cycle, specifically in compensation and benefits, employee engagement, and employee motivation. Overall, I strive to learn more about how HR processes can best advocate for an overall better workplace experience for employees, especially considering unique cultural differences and barriers. 

HRCap has also empowered me to make a positive impact within my on-campus community. After completing the first training phase of HRCap’s ambassador program, I utilized all that I learned to lead monthly peer sessions focused on supporting my campus peers with their job searches and career development. In small-group sessions, I led discussions on topics such as crafting impactful resumes and cover letters, mastering interview skills, and staying up-to-date on industry trends. It felt incredibly rewarding to see my peers grow newfound confidence in their job search capabilities and to help them reduce their application-related stress. By empowering my peers, I was able to contribute to a confident graduating class that is ready to tackle the current job market. HRCap thus provided me with a platform that could help me explore my calling within my own communities by connecting with various individuals that I would have otherwise never interacted with. While supporting them, I learned with them and gained invaluable connections, fostering mutually enriching experiences. 

HRCap also helped me make strides in my career in the HR industry by connecting me with industry mentors who have unique expertise. Through bi-weekly mentorship sessions with Jaztyn Jacinto and Ping Chen Chen, recruiters at HRCap, I gained guidance and insights on their own unique career paths. Their stories have sparked new ideas for my own career path and helped me identify key skills that I need to develop. Additionally, their success stories have been a powerful motivator, as they fueled my own desire to pursue my long-term goals in HR. During my time with HRCap, I also gained invaluable guidance from the Head of Americas, SVP, and CMO, Stella H. Kim. Whether it was constructive and transparent feedback on my resume and cover letter or thought-provoking questions that honed my critical thinking skills, Stella's transformative leadership has empowered me to grow professionally, tackle challenges, and serve my community. In essence, HRCap has instilled in me the importance of patience and advocacy. Through their mentorship, I've learned to persevere and actively pursue what I'm passionate about. This valuable lesson will undoubtedly serve me well as I navigate my career path in HR. 

My journey began as a translator for my immigrant family, a role that fostered my appreciation for clear communication and the challenges faced by newcomers. Seeing the struggles of my mother's employees further ignited my desire to bridge divides and create inclusive workplaces. Now, fueled by the transformative experience with HRCap, I'm equipped with the knowledge and passion to pursue a career in HR. From learning best practices in onboarding to receiving invaluable mentorship from Jaztyn and Ping, the program nurtured my growth and leadership potential. Ultimately, HRCap transformed the learnings I gained as my family’s “communication bridge" into a springboard for my newfound and ongoing dedication to diversity in the HR industry.


Want marketing-leading updates on HR Trends, Recruiting Tips, and Career Advice?

Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube for leadership development strategies, career coaching advice, and talent analytics insights in the HR/Recruiting space


bottom of page