M.S. in Commerce 2013 (Marketing & Management Track), University of Virginia
B.A. in International Studies and French 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
After: Appian, Associate Consultant (Reston, VA)
Now: Appian, Presales Solutions Consultant (London, UK)
Leveraging liberal arts with business
As an international studies major, I studied the connections between culture, political systems, and economics. I developed an understanding of how countries are becoming increasingly interconnected and how this interconnectivity influences the decisions made by business and political leaders. When looking at graduate school programs, I wanted to solidify my understanding from a business perspective. The M.S. in Commerce allowed me to do this. I developed a solid understanding of key business concepts and also had the opportunity to apply them during the Global Immersion Experience.
Preparation for a job in consulting
I wouldn't be where I am today without the M.S. in Commerce. Not only did it open doors for me professionally, but it prepared me well for the challenges that I face every day in the office. From learning how to communicate effectively with my team members, to discussing how to manage difficult clients in Professor Boler's Consulting to Management class, the Program helped me hit the ground running on day one. Having a basic understanding of agile project management and SQL has also been incredibly valuable in my current job.
Most memorable GIE cultural visit
I went to Europe for the Global Immersion Experience. My most memorable cultural experience was a walking tour of Berlin. I had read about how World War II impacted Germany, but walking around and listening to our guide tell the stories made the history come alive in a way that was incredibly touching.
Advice for future students
Constantly put yourself outside of your comfort zone and practice being comfortable with ambiguity! As a liberal arts major in the information technology consulting industry, I am constantly outside of my comfort zone and facing ambiguity on a daily basis. Learn to be okay with asking the “dumb” questions in class. Being able to walk into a room and strike up a conversation, or not getting worked up when the client changes plans at the last minute, will set you apart in this field. Also, network! Always put your best foot forward and be kind to others, for you never know who you'll run into again, especially as a UVA alum in Washington, D.C.
The connections you will make
Make the most of your year! As cliché as it sounds, the year I spent at McIntire is one of my best. The professors went out of their way to help us succeed. Walking the streets of a foreign city with some of your closest friends created countless memories. I am fortunate enough to work with two of my classmates now at Appian, and two others work in the building next door. We became very close friends during our time at McIntire and still see each other frequently. Go into the year with an open mind and be ready to work hard. I promise, you won't regret your decision.
Life after graduate business school
I am an avid traveler, golfer, and runner. I'm currently training for a half marathon and am planning a trip to China this spring.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
I loved waking up early on Saturday mornings for a hike and then going to the farmer's market.