M.S. in Commerce 2014 (Finance Track), University of Virginia
B.S. in Civil Engineering 2013, Clemson University
After: Zubie, Customer Success Manager (Charleston, SC)
Now: Clutch Technologies, Director of Growth (Atlanta, GA)
Leveraging engineering with business
As a civil engineering student, I learned how to analyze patterns, make decisions based on formulas and statistics, and use fundamental project management skills. Those skills, combined with my finance and business skills from McIntire, have given me the ability to apply my engineering thought process to business problems.
Most memorable class: "Foundations in Global Commerce"
“Foundations in Global Commerce” with Peter Maillet was absolutely my favorite class. The class opened my eyes to the intricacies and opportunities of conducting global commerce—all with tangible steps on how to make it a reality as an M.S. in Commerce student.
Preparation for a job with a startup
Working in a startup since graduating, I have been able to work closely with the company’s leadership team and see how they make strategic decisions about the future of the business. My experience at McIntire has given me insight into why they make certain decisions, which I would have not had without my business training.
The value of Commerce Career Services
Commerce Career Services (and Kelly Eddins in particular) was extremely helpful in my job search. The McIntire network is very strong, and Kelly was instrumental introducing me to McIntire alumni and employers even before I first stepped on Grounds. She continues to be very helpful even after graduation.
What makes the job great
As with any startup, it's "all hands on deck" to get the job done. Because my company is so small, I have had the opportunity to contribute to many areas of business from marketing and sales, to financial modeling, to project and account management—all in the same day. I love being able to wear many hats in my company, and it makes every day interesting and exciting.
Challenges on the job
Working at a startup is exciting, but there is an element of uncertainty. Will our company be around in a year? Even if we build the perfect product, will the market be ready for it? These questions run through your mind every once in a while—but if they didn't, I guess it wouldn't be a startup!
Advice for future students considering a startup
Go for it! Working in a startup has taught me so much about the realities and difficulties of building a business. Being in the trenches, I have been able to see how difficult it is to turn an idea into a sustainable product. You also have to be patient in the job search.
Importance of Global Immersion Experience (GIE)
Two of our main accounts are in Europe and South America. The M.S. in Commerce Program’s GIE emphasized the importance of recognizing cultural differences; if you aren't aware of them, you are setting yourself up for a misstep that could negatively affect your business.
Most memorable GIE company visit
My most memorable visit was with Bubbly in Singapore. It was really cool to see a thriving startup ecosystem outside of the United States.
Most memorable GIE cultural visit
My most memorable cultural experience was riding motorbikes between pagodas in Bagan (central Myanmar); it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One of the biggest takeaways from my time at McIntire is the importance of group work. McIntire puts a significant focus on teamwork, which was excellent preparation for the real world.
Life after graduate business school
Outside of work, I travel and play basketball and golf.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
My favorite activity in Charlottesville was visiting the local wineries on a sunny Friday afternoon.