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John Steidle

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

B.A. in Biology and Chinese 2010, University of Virginia

After: Government Executive Media Group, Marketing Associate (Washington, DC)

Now: Design with Adobe, Senior Program Manager (San Francisco, CA)​

Most memorable class: Consulting to Management

One of the classes that was thoroughly enjoyable and that I took quite a bit away from was Consulting to Management with Professor Raj Doshi. In the class, Professor Doshi leveraged his significant background in real-world consulting to push us in our approach to problem solving. The class culminated in our identifying and creating a solution to a real-world problem, ending in a mock client-facing presentation. To deliver a compelling presentation, we pulled from our full year's worth of experience. It was a true accomplishment, and we had the work to show for it.

Preparation for a job in marketing

The M.S. in Commerce Program gave me the business fundamentals needed to hit the ground running once landing my first job. Instead of needing to ramp up my business know-how as well as the specifics of the industry, I was able to quickly, easily, and most importantly, intelligently join the conversation. McIntire’s focus on participation also kept me from sitting in the back of the room and not asking questions. The ability to confidently speak up and ask questions is a skill that any rising business professional must have.

Teamwork in the classroom and the workplace

One of the real differences I saw after starting the M.S. in Commerce Program was the focus on group work, which I rarely had the opportunity for while pursuing my undergraduate degree. Similar to my time in M.S. in Commerce Program, in the workplace, a day never goes by without the need to engage with my coworkers in the variety of projects we are working on. In the M.S. in Commerce Program, the students’ diverse backgrounds enhanced the experience. One team member might have a degree in economics, another in biology. The workplace is like this, in that you are constantly working with others who have different perspectives and backgrounds, even more so once you start engaging with your clients. 

The importance of Commerce Career Services

One of the best things Commerce Career Services does is teach students how to write a great resume. I can't tell you how many resumes I’ve seen that would have greatly benefited from just 15 minutes with CCS. Creating—and maintaining—an effective resume is a skill you will need throughout your career.

Advice for future students

First, when looking to find your place in the marketing field, be sure that you are passionate about what you are marketing or how you are marketing it. For me, it's all about driving real change in people's behaviors in a positive way. Being passionate about what you do makes every day a challenge you can’t wait to tackle. Second, leverage the McIntire network. McIntire has alumni in every business hub across the globe, and the McIntire name carries weight. When looking for a new job, or just exploring new industries, look to your McIntire network.

Most memorable Global Immersion company visit

My most memorable company visit was to Darwin Marketing in Shanghai with company founder TR Harrington. It was fascinating to hear how he leveraged his skills and expertise in search marketing and social publishing tactics for a Chinese market. I have always found localization to be fascinating process, and having seen it firsthand in my current job, I have all the more respect for what Darwin Marketing has accomplished.

Most memorable Global Immersion cultural experience

I tell everyone who is thinking of making the trip to Beijing to go to Wangfujing Street. You can think of it as the Times Square of Beijing, with all the shops and bright lights, but the best part is the markets along the side streets. You can find an unbelievable amount of souvenirs to bring home, and haggle for five minutes to buy each one, and eat just about anything. We had scorpions, ostrich, octopus, seahorses—you name it, and we probably ate it! We went one of our first nights in Beijing, and it was a perfect welcome to the city.

Life after graduate business school

When not at work you can usually find me in the kitchen attempting a new dish. If not there, I'm with a good book or out on a run. 

Favorite Charlottesville activity

Eating! Charlottesville has so many great restaurants. Whether it’s on the Corner at Take It Away or Littlejohns, or Mas in Belmont, any trip to Charlottesville always includes an itinerary of places to eat.