As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we spent some time with a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate and MBA programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do with their degrees after Spring 2018 Commencement.
Meet Evie Owens of Winnetka, Illinois. Evie is a senior at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business with a concentration in Supply Chain and Operations. Evie describes herself as someone who enjoys solving complex problems, and shares “The bigger the challenge, the greater my interest!” Throughout her college career, Evie has been very active in and out of the classroom. She has served as the Corporate and Alumni Relations Project Manager, as well as the Executive Vice President and President of the Society of Women in Business. She is a Scheller College Ambassador and is the 2018 Chief of Staff for the Student Government Association. Evie is a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and a participant of the Leading Edge Leadership Training program. Achieving the Dean’s List every semester, Evie earned Faculty Honors and received the Scheller College of Business Faculty Merit Scholarship. She was recently named to Poets and Quants for Undergrads Best and Brightest Business Majors for 2018.
For the past two summers, Evie has interned with The Home Depot. In the summer of 2017, she was given the opportunity to travel to Toronto, Canada in order to benchmark current ordering practices and make recommendations. In the end, Evie identified improvements and estimated cost-savings of $5M annually, which she presented to the Outside Sales and Services EVP, Bill Lennie, and the SVP, Kelly Barrett. Post graduation, Evie will return to The Home Depot as the HDE Merchandising Analyst. The Home Depot’s Senior Vice President Home Services, Kelly Barrett, had this to say about Evie: “I have never seen the level of confidence that she portrays in a college senior. I have high performing associates at the Senior Manager level that would be hard pressed to compete with the quality of the work that she produced. We are blessed that she will be joining our team upon graduation and it will be a joy to watch her career progress quickly here at The Home Depot. I have never said this before about a college senior entering into our business to start their career, but I believe she will be an Officer of this company one day.”
I am confident that Scheller College has provided me with the skills necessary to make strategic business decisions that have enough foresight to have a positive lasting impact.
Who is your favorite professor?
Professor Karie Davis-Nozemack. She was my professor for Legal Aspects of Business, and is such an inspiration to any aspiring businesswoman. Professor Davis-Nozemack enjoyed a long, successful career in law before dedicating herself to teaching. She reminds me of a modern-day Elle Woods with her style, passion for the subject, and charismatic personality. Her class was interesting and dynamic, and she instilled a feeling of empowerment inside of me as I looked to my future as a woman in business. Professor Davis-Nozemack took an interest in me and my success long after I left her classroom, showing dedication not only to her work, but to the lifelong success of her students.
What did you enjoy most about your Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business?
I always tell visitors that Scheller College is a unique business school because it embraces the intersection of technology and business so well. The Denning Technology & Management Program allows students to minor in either engineering or computer science. By working with a diverse team of students from each school to complete real projects with companies in the surrounding community, Scheller College students are able to explore this intersection of business and technology firsthand. As part of the Georgia Tech community, Scheller College has done a fabulous job in the classroom with not only teaching us business skills, but also how to look toward the future and be able to consider how technological advances will shape the business landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed the close-knit community that the business school provided, as well as the interactions with students studying engineering, computer science, or public policy because it felt like I was constantly learning and growing through my interactions with others. I am confident that Scheller College has provided me with the skills necessary to make strategic business decisions that have enough foresight to have a positive lasting impact.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?
Never stop networking! Networking is the key to success and discovering your interests. From the very beginning, in GT1000 (a required freshman class), our professors encouraged us to grab coffee with faculty members, family friends, and Georgia Tech alumni. We were told you never know who you might meet and where that interaction might lead you in the future. The broader your network, the more you’ll be able to learn from others and about yourself. Networking has already helped further my career in ways I could never imagine. When I interned at The Home Depot, I was able to meet and be mentored by a fellow Georgia Tech alumna and Alpha Delta Pi member, Kelly Barrett (SVP of Home Services). Through her mentorship, I have been able to work on two large scale projects with her group and discovered my post-graduation career path. I’ll be joining The Home Depot team permanently this upcoming July.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?
Make sure that the business school you choose has a top-notch career services team, automatic admittance into the business school (so that you can start taking business classes right away), and proximity to a major city. Scheller College has all three of these things, which contributed to my undergraduate success. From day one, the career services team pushes entering freshmen to look for internships and network with alumni that have your “dream job” as a way to get a feel for what you might want to do upon graduation. Their dedication helped me secure internships each summer. My automatic acceptance into the business school allowed me to take core business concepts early, and as a result, I was able to intern my first summer. At many business schools, you have to wait to apply for business school admission and to start taking business courses in your second year. This one-year advantage provided increased opportunities for me to gain valuable, on-the-job experience. Situated in the heart of Atlanta, and more specifically in Tech Square, Scheller College’s location has been really advantageous. There are 17 Fortune 500 companies located here, and they drop in to conduct interviews, host info sessions, and sponsor class practicums. Our proximity to the vibrant business community around us allows convenience and companies take notice. We are constantly on the radar of top firms such as McKinsey, BCG, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Home Depot. It has served the student body well, because these companies are familiar with the prestige of our school, the quality of the students, and the strength of the curriculum—often elevating us in the interview process and providing access to first round interviews.
“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…”
If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in aerospace engineering (AE), because I’ve always had an interest in space. When I talk to AE majors on campus, I’m always amazed to hear what they’re learning in class and what they hope to accomplish someday. Several students have worked at NASA, and just the other day, I saw SpaceX on campus talking to potential employees. I’ve always loved learning about SpaceX’s new rockets and Elon Musk’s ambitions for Mars. I frequently joke that in another life I would become an AE major and work for SpaceX, becoming one of the first people on Mars.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business?
One of the biggest things that has surprised me is how analytical and calculated one must be when making business decisions. Business is similar to a game of poker; you don’t always know what your competitor’s hand might hold, but you have to put on your best game face and analyze your options to be able to make the best decision for your company.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
My dad influenced my decision to pursue business in college. I’ve always looked up to him as a successful businessman and wanted to pursue a similar career path. In all of the jobs he’s held, he has always been a leader and I’ve seen how his co-workers and bosses alike admire his work, his ingenuity, and his ability to work with all different types of people. His charismatic personality has served him well in the business world, and he has talked to me about business topics since I was young, which I’ve always found interesting. He knew that I loved interacting and working with a lot of different people and solving complex problems, so he encouraged me to pursue business.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of being Chief of Staff for the Student Government Association because it’s been a unique opportunity to lead and serve the student body. It has been a very difficult, but rewarding, position as my Cabinet and I strive to listen to the voices of the student body in order to drive change on campus. I am very proud of how my Cabinet and I listened to the grievances of the student body to figure out what we needed to tell Georgia Tech President, Bud Peterson, in order to solve the deeply rooted problems students felt our campus had. We were very successful in finding ways to show our student body that we not only listened to their concerns, but also took immediate action to fix the core root of the problem.
Who would you most want to thank for your success?
I would thank my parents because they have sacrificed a lot for my success and have given me every opportunity to have the resources needed in order to be successful. No matter how ambitious or lofty my goals have been, they have supported me and tried to help me find ways to achieve them. They have been such a positive and loving influence in my life, which has helped me reach my highest potential.
What does graduating from Scheller College mean to you?
A degree from Scheller College of Business is invaluable due to the supportive community that the professors and undergraduate office create for its students. This community is surrounded not only by the best and brightest business majors, but also engineering and computer science students, and it’s physically located in Tech Square in an ecosystem of innovation centers and start-ups. My ability to learn the language of business was enhanced through the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills, as well as understand the importance of technology in the years to come. In my four years here, I wasn’t just taught business, I was taught how to be an invaluable member of a company, equipped with the ability to understand all aspects of a successful business, from cross-functional interactions to key processes and technologies.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
1. Become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company
2. Travel the world and document it with my camera