M.S. in Commerce 2013 (Marketing & Management), University of Virginia
B.A. in English 2012, University of Virginia
After: Adidas, Running Tech Rep (Jacksonville, FL)
Now: Adidas, B2B Analyst (Portland, OR)
Leveraging an English degree with business
As an English major, I was regularly required to convey an idea or make an argument and back it up with evidence, and I've found myself doing that on a regular basis at adidas. Presentations are the lifeblood of communication, and learning how to give an effective presentation that started as an idea has been invaluable. Every student can understand why something makes sense in his or her head, but the rubber really meets the road when you can help others understand the same concept. The great thing about McIntire is that all the professors present you with real-life scenarios and almost every lecture reflects on something taken out of The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times. So as an English major, I was already used to reading content not just for content’s sake, but searching for an underlying meaning and really digging out the valuable nuggets in articles and being able to concisely summarize them for fellow classmates.
What was your most compelling class and/or professor and why?
Professor Rick Netemeyer's course on quantitative analytics was definitely one of my favorite classes. As an English major, I never really got to play with numbers, but the way Professor Netemeyer explained the subject made it seem almost intuitive. I still use the statistics concepts we learned in that class when discussing ideas with my colleagues at work. Another professor whose words you should fully digest is Professor Brendan Boler. His experience at Accenture as a consultant really threw us head first into the world of consulting that many of us longed to pursue. Professor Boler always brought such energy into the classroom, to the point where even sitting down, we would get fired up about the intricate details of a case study.
How do you think the M.S. in Commerce Program prepared you for the job you have now?
There's no way I'd be where I am today without the M.S. in Commerce Program. My boss will say something like "Let's focus in on that idea" or "I'm gonna push back," and I remember back to Professor Peter Maillet's class, when you never knew how he would respond to a comment and you’d need to be prepared to think rationally and quickly in a business context.
How helpful was Commerce Career Services in facilitating your job search?
CCS was so wonderful in helping me find alumni with whom I could conduct informational interviews and even allowed me to use one of the CCS conference rooms when all others at McIntire were reserved. The CCS staff members really know their stuff, and so many of us owe them a great deal of gratitude for all the work they put in.
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
I get to talk to runners about running all day, every day.
What advice would you give to current or future M.S. in Commerce students who are considering a job in your current field?
Do something to show you’re passionate. Everyone likes sports; that's a given. Everyone in a job interview says they're passionate about the field, but if you really want to stand out, find a way to prove it.
Have you been able to leverage or reference your Global Immersion Experience during your professional career? If so, please give an example.
Absolutely! Working for a German company, I meet a lot of people who are from our international headquarters overseas, and being able to talk about traveling in Europe is an area of common ground, as well as being able to eloquently discuss the impacts of currency conversions on our bottom line. While it’s cool to say that we studied abroad after our time at UVA, I’ve found that understanding the constraints European companies face operating in the EU has added a great deal to my business lexicon and my understanding of the world. My boss actually mentioned to me the other day that my experience over in Germany has permanently propped the door open for opportunities at our international headquarters in Herzogenaurach.
Where did you go on GIE?
What was your most memorable company visit and why?
BMW. The amount of integration and coordination that go into building "the ultimate driving machine" was so impressive, and the systems at work were truly awe-inspiring.
What was your most memorable cultural experience and why?
During dinner in Barcelona with Professor Ira Harris, we compared the leisurely pace of our meal with our rapidly paced and precisely timed brewery tour in Berlin. We then spent the next hour discussing how two countries in the EU could have such drastically different perceptions of time and what that meant in the context of conducting business, when it comes to considerations like delivery dates and dealing with the triple constraints for project management.
What was the #1 most important thing you took from your time at McIntire?
There's always going to be someone in your group or at work who is smarter than you, but you can ALWAYS work harder.
Is there anything else you would like to tell current or prospective students about program?
If you're considering McIntire, then clearly you're a hard worker; make sure to always excel at what you're doing now so that doors always stay open.
What else are you involved in outside of work?
I pursue running passionately and am coaching my fiancée in her attempt to qualify for the Olympic trials.
What is your favorite activity to do in Charlottesville?
Spending time in the mountains. Every time I visit my family back in Charlottesville, I make a point of going on a run on a quiet dirt road.