“Always on the lookout for great processes, great television, and great pimento cheese.”
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was in 7th grade, my mom won a sweepstakes trip to London for a Harry Potter-themed adventure. (Not that I needed the extra reason, but I will forever love Harry Potter.) Also, I am an 11th great-granddaughter of Pocahontas.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Tennessee (Knoxville), Marketing and International Business
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Treetree Agency, Account Manager (OhioHealth and Nationwide)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In October 2017, I worked on a series of events focused on the opioid crisis in southeastern Ohio. My client was a major health care provider for the area, and we brought a nationally-acclaimed author to speak to various audiences affected by the epidemic. From police and local judges to patients and physicians, I met so many people who see different sides of this complex and devastating problem. In marketing and communications, it is often easy to distance yourself from the reality of the problem you’re trying to tackle. By essentially living in southeastern Ohio for a week, I became an honorary community member and feel proud to have created a local impact.
I recently found out that the event series was internally recognized at the highest level of my client’s organization, and I’m thrilled that my team deservedly received a prestigious award for their stewardship of the company’s values.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Genuine. I love that my cohort is full of unique and bold personalities. My classmates are confidently and authentically themselves—there’s no guarded apprehension or obnoxious posturing. Thanks to our small class size, we’ve all gotten to know each other quickly. It’s been so fun to find classmates who share the same interests, quirks, and eccentricities.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I chose Scheller College for its location in midtown Atlanta. The Georgia Tech campus buzzes with energy thanks to its proximity to major companies and exciting startups in the city. I knew that by attending Scheller College, I would not only benefit from companies easily and frequently coming to campus, but I would also have convenient access to seek out networking opportunities on my own. Our business campus is surrounded by delicious restaurants and most of my cohort live within the immediate campus area. There’s always something going on! Atlanta is a city of reinvention and renewal, and we’re all enjoying its current renaissance as a high-tech center and film production hub.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most looking forward to Business Analytics Club. This club helps us reach beyond the MBA program, as it includes students from across Georgia Tech and partners directly with exciting companies for events and networking. Georgia Tech’s leadership in business analytics was one of my other key factors in choosing Scheller College, as I want to develop my analytical skills with hands-on projects with the Business Analytics Center’s corporate partners.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In the past few years of my career, I’ve become increasingly interested in both the bigger picture, the strategic decisions of organizations as well as the nitty-gritty analytical capabilities within them. After working for six years in marketing communications, the time was right to bolster my experience with an MBA in pursuit of higher-level roles for my future.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? It’s a huge decision, not to mention the financial risk to step away from work for two years. However, I felt my career trajectory and salary were stagnating in a pretty saturated job function, and I was ready to take the leap. I wanted to fully immerse myself in an MBA program, and I felt like I would get the most out of a full-time experience rather than a part-time or online program.
Two things helped me recognize that Scheller College was worth the investment: first, Scheller has a best-in-class career services team. Its Jones MBA Career Center helps coach each year of graduates to their dream roles with impressive salaries that rival any other elite MBA program. Second, I was very fortunate to be awarded a full merit-based scholarship. This gave me financial assurance going into the program and made me feel valued for what I can bring to the classroom.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Emory University (Goizueta), Vanderbilt University (Owen), and Ohio State University (Fisher).
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I paid attention to how the different admissions teams and current students made me feel during the process. The admissions team at Scheller College made me feel like I was already a good fit for the program — I didn’t need to wonder or worry. In conversations with current students, I listened to the words they used to describe their communities, the activities they most frequently mentioned, and their comments about their cities and neighborhoods. While I wanted to surround myself with diverse classmates, it was helpful to gauge similar values, lifestyles, and motivations.
I always tell prospective students to be honest with themselves about what they truly want out of a program and out of their long-term career. You have to know yourself first before knowing what environment you will thrive in.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? At age 23, my now-husband and I decided to get married after only dating for two months. I shocked a lot of people — friends, family, and most notably my employer who had just offered to upgrade my contractor status to a full-time gig. I turned down the dream job offer knowing that I would soon be moving to a new state as my husband pursued his graduate degree.
It all sounds very dramatic looking back, but it wasn’t that difficult of a decision for me. It was the right choice, and it helped me learn early on in my career to ignore the noise and expectations of other people and to confidently pursue the path that’s best for me.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? After graduation, I plan to work in product management or marketing analytics. Given my marketing background and personal passion for media, I am particularly interested in how advertising is targeted, delivered, and measured. I’d love to work in ad tech or in a similar area of innovation.
Where do you see yourself in five years? If the past five years of my career have been an indicator, the future is very difficult to predict. In five years, I hope to be happy, healthy, and employed. Anything additional is a bonus.