M.S. in Commerce 2012 (Marketing & Management Track), University of Virginia
B.A. in Classics 2011, Stanford University
After: Wildfire (Acquired by Google), Account Development and Digital Strategy Representative (San Francisco, CA)
Now: LinkedIn, Advocacy and Government Team (Washington, DC)
Leveraging liberal arts with business
Earning a business degree before starting my career in Silicon Valley was very helpful. In particular, my understanding of basic marketing concepts has helped tremendously since I began working at a marketing company selling products to marketers. From an overarching perspective, there's really something to be said about getting a group of very bright art history, economics, classics, and French majors in a room and asking them to analyze a business problem. The diversity of perspectives results in interesting, creative solutions, and I've tried to apply similar thought processes to how I think about helping my current company succeed.
Most memorable class: Global Immersion Seminar
Every professor was wonderful at McIntire, and I truly mean that. If I had to choose one professor and one class, however, it would be Peter Maillet's Global Commerce class that led into GIE. It was hands-down the most valuable and interesting class I've ever taken on any subject, and the program was worth the cost of tuition just for the Global Immersion Experience, of which this class was an integral part. The opportunity to add a global perspective to how I considered the business world has not only made me more thoughtful about my job, but it has also made me much more curious about the world in general. It was very appropriate that shortly before leaving for China, The Economist started featuring a section focused solely on China. I can now read it and contemplate the dynamics of China, along with the various changing aspects of the global economy. Not only have I been there and witnessed its growth (and struggles) firsthand, but I've also had this amazing class that taught me how to contemplate business problems within a global context.
Preparation for a job in sales
I think I was prepared to empathize with the challenges facing any business leader. As a sales professional, my job is to listen to problems and diagnose them in the best way possible. Having studied everything from organizational behavior to marketing gives me a perspective that I find extremely valuable when I'm thinking of how to best convey value to clients and prospects.
A typical day at the office
In 2013, I left Google to join a company called Bizo, which was acquired by LinkedIn about a year later in 2014. I work on our Marketing Solutions Division and Advocacy & Government team. The reason I'm excited to go to work every day extends from LinkedIn's mission: to connect the world's professionals and make them more productive and successful. LinkedIn has taken on the daunting task of building what our CEO Jeff Weiner calls "The Economic Graph." The end goal is to build a digital graph of the global economy, listing every company, worker and job in the world, so that all types of capital resources can more efficiently flow throughout the world. It's the kind of big, hairy and audacious goal that inspires me every day in my job, and there's no other team on Earth that's better-equipped to take on this challenge.
Advice for future students
First, move to California! This place is bursting at the seams with tech companies looking to hire smart, ambitious young talent. Second, read Andy Rachleff's Silicon Valley Career Guide. It's the most valuable collection of information you'll find on companies to watch for, how to negotiate a fair salary, and how to think about stock options.
Most memorable Global Immersion company visit
We visited local government offices in Guangzhou, and it was fascinating. To have the opportunity to speak with government leaders and Communist Party members about a variety of issues, ranging from U.S./China relations to GDP growth goals, was an incredibly unique experience for me as an American student.
Most memorable Global Immersion cultural experience
It's a flat tie between Mt. Qingcheng National Park and the panda conservatory in Chengdu. I actually lost the group at the park and ended up hiking a mountain entirely by myself, making it to the temple at the top and enjoying its amazing view of the valley below. I love hiking, so that was a great experience for me. At the conservatory, we were able to see the pandas when they were awake and very active. It was awesome.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
Besides eating at Take It Away, I love to float the James River or hike in the Blue Ridge countryside!