M.S. in Commerce 2015 (Marketing and Management)
B.A. in Advertising 2014, University of Georgia
After: Snap + Style, Social Media Coordinator (New York, NY)
Now: Capital One, Senior Associate Brand Strategist (Washington, DC)
Transitioning from undergrad to grad
I can't say the transition from being an undergrad to a grad student was easy, but I wouldn't change anything about it. I was faced with more challenging work and a ton of group projects, but quickly became great friends with everyone in my program because we were all so supportive of each other. We all wanted our classmates to succeed, and the professors wanted us to succeed too. They were always available outside of class for extra help or questions.
Leveraging liberal arts with business
My undergraduate major is advertising. Pairing that with the M.S. in Commerce is so valuable because I can combine the more creative side of advertising with the essential business skills and strategy taught in McIntire to make myself a much more valuable asset to employers. Knowing how to come up with creative ideas and to fundamentally execute them in a business setting has been very helpful in my professional life.
Most compelling class
It's so hard to choose! Looking back on the program, Professor Maillet's class really stands out in my mind because he encouraged my interest in the global economy. I learned so much in his Foundations in Global Commerce class and loved attending his extra optional economics course too. He took additional time out of his day to help us all understand the global economy and answer any questions that came up. This really demonstrated just how serious he was about helping students learn. Professor Maillet is absolutely one of the smartest people I have ever met and I feel honored to have been his student.
The M.S. in Commerce Program prepared me so much for the job I have now. It taught me the value of successful teamwork, gave me the strength required to overcome constant challenges, and instilled in me the importance of being honorable in the workplace and all aspects of life.
Commerce Career Services was extremely helpful in facilitating my job search. I had multiple meetings with Mrs. Egan in Career Services for help with my resume and narrowing my job search. Ultimately, she is the one who recommended I apply for the job I currently have. Without Commerce Career Services I wouldn't have the job I have today!
Advice for students interested in working in a startup
Anyone interested in working at a startup should understand that you must comfortable dealing with ambiguity. There aren't necessarily going to be mentorship programs or training programs in place; however, you get a lot of responsibility because of that, and it's really fulfilling. You will also learn a lot! Also, not many startups recruit on college campuses (although my company did), so do your research and reach out to the companies that interest you! Beginning my career at a startup helped prepare me for my role at Capital One today.
Most memorable GIE company visit and cultural experience
My most memorable company visit was Nike Shanghai. Nike’s business challenges in Shanghai are so different from their challenges in the United States. A big challenge for Nike in Shanghai is that not many people play sports because of nonexistent or inaccessible athletic facilities, and the time spent on education does not allow for children to have time for physical activity. Nike Shanghai’s efforts to start basketball leagues, build courts and fields, and hold women’s-only races are some of the creative ways the company is attempting to overcome the challenges it faces in China.
My most memorable cultural experiences were visiting the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City in China. Both places have so much history and significance. While we walked on the Great Wall of China, there was a thunderstorm. The storm passing through was so pretty, although we all got completely soaked as we watched!
Most important thing you took from your time at McIntire
The importance of being honorable in the workplace and all aspects of life!
Favorite Charlottesville activity
Charlottesville is one of the best places on Earth, so it's really hard to choose. Not every college is surrounded by beautiful vineyards, so don't leave Charlottesville before you visit them! If you need a break from your studies, spend the afternoon at a vineyard with friends. The scenery is beautiful and it's so much fun. My favorite vineyard is Pippin Hill!