Sarah Lazun

M.S. in Commerce 2011 (Marketing & Management), University of Virginia

B.A. in English and Creative Writing 2010, Dickinson College

After: Drake Direct, CRM Manager (New York, NY)

Now: Nestlé Nespresso, Analytics Manager (New York, NY) 

Leveraging an English major with business

I loved my liberal arts undergrad education, but I owe my career success to the concrete, real-world skills I gained at McIntire. The M.S. in Commerce Program taught me how to collaborate, problem solve, and use data to inform all decision making. These skills have helped me add value to the companies I’ve worked for since graduating from McIntire.

Most memorable class: Marketing & Quantitative Analysis

I would definitely have to say Quantitative Analysis with Rick Netemeyer. Going into the program, I was searching for a career that would allow me to balance my creative and analytical sides. The fact that I could use statistical analysis to solve problems and support new ideas fascinated me and led me to a career in marketing analytics.

What makes the job great

I love boiling down data to concrete improvements for the business. While I focus on marketing, my analytics role allows me to work across departments to assess and improve the company.

Advice for future students

Be open-minded about opportunities. You might not find your dream job right away, but you should look for opportunities to learn new skills that move you toward your ultimate goal. I’m just starting my third job in three years since graduating, and although I don't recommend that for everyone, I wouldn't trade my experience. My first two opportunities were not perfect, but I learned so much and know they helped me get to where I am today.

Importance of the Global Immersion Experience

GIE was very interesting from a marketing perspective. I learned a lot about how companies alter their messages for different markets, particularly the United States vs. Europe. This experience helped me land a job in the U.S. marketing department of a European brand.

Most memorable GIE company visit

Going to the BMW factory was an amazing experience. It was incredible to hear about the company strategy from one of the company’s executives and go into the factory to see it in action.

Most memorable GIE cultural visit

I had the opportunity to go to Wimbledon during one of our free days in London. I will never forget waiting in the queue for hours with fellow classmates and making friends with some interesting characters. The tennis part was pretty cool too!

Biggest take-away

The most important thing I learned was the value of collaborating with others, especially those with different skill sets and backgrounds than yours. I’ve always been an independent worker, so working in a group was a challenge for me. But once I got used to it, I realized (especially in my jobs after the program) that the best ideas come from simple conversations and asking lots of questions.

Life after graduate business school

Most of my time outside of work is spent training for marathons. I am a member of the New York Road Runners and am part of Team Up! with Autism Speaks, a group of runners who fundraise for the organization. A couple years ago, I joined a young professional co-ed soccer league to meet more people in NYC.