As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Caroline Cusick:
Caroline is completing her BSBA at Scheller with concentrations in Strategy & Innovation and a certificate in Marketing. An Atlanta native, she describes herself as “enthusiastic, energetic, vivacious, fun-loving, driven, motivated, intense, goal-oriented, sensitive, empathetic, servant-leader.” Caroline will be working at Accenture as a strategy analyst in their Atlanta office. About interning/working for one of her top choice companies Caroline responds, “I cannot wait to start working full-time at Accenture!!”
Fun fact about yourself:
I am getting my yoga teacher certification post graduation!
Where did you intern/co-op and when? What projects did you work on during your internship(s)?
I interned at both The Coca-Cola Company and Accenture. I interned at The Coca-Cola Company as a part-time intern during Spring 2017 on the Global Marketing Agency Operations team. During my internship I implemented a new contract management tool through Salesforce to automate the scope of work creation process between Coca-Cola marketers and Coca-Cola hired agencies. The following summer I interned on the Coca-Cola North America Strategic Marketing team. I implemented this tool in North America as well, led agency and marketer training sessions on how to use the tool, and led a cost benchmarking project to evaluate the costs associated with external Coca-Cola marketing agencies against Coca-Cola’s internal marketing agency.
During Summer 2018, I interned as a management consultant analyst at Accenture. I was on a digital strategy project at a global consumer products firm creating a new operating model and evaluating the impact, effort, and scalability of Coca-Cola digital marketing, e-commerce, and data and analytics projects.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I chose to attend Georgia Tech because of the Scheller College of Business, and because I received the Dean’s Scholarship. Scheller has an unmatched location and community, paired with some of the best professors, students, and facilities. I learned about cutting-edge technology, strategy, and business elements because I am in the center of a buzzing business world – what many refer to as the Tech Square ecosystem. I knew that if I went to Scheller, I would be exposed to a multitude of real-world learning opportunities, countless interactions with future employers, and grow alongside future world leaders who would also empower me.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
My favorite professor was Bill Todd. I loved his class, Management in the Healthcare Sector. I learned so much about the healthcare industry, and the knowledge I gained, I have been able to use in other classes and interviews. I learned I was extremely interested in this industry, but I also realized how much I enjoyed Professor Todd’s lectures. The cases we discussed, the issues we untangled, and the way he carried himself made it an absolute joy to sit in his 8 a.m. class on Tuesday/Thursdays. Professor Todd wanted to get to know all of his students, and I met with him multiple times to discuss my career goals, seek advice, and simply chat. He cares so much for his students, and he will do anything to help them succeed and achieve their goals.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
My favorite course was Strategic Brand Management taught by Aaron Hackett. The class pushed me personally and professionally, which I appreciated. For the class, I had to present my personal brand pitch as well as pitch my professional brand including my career aspirations and professional goals. The final project was to consult a local Atlanta brand/business. My team chose to develop a strategy to increase brand perception and overall customer awareness for a local Atlanta company. I learned so much about overall branding, the power of effective marketing strategies, as well as myself, and my personal brand.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller constantly hosts industry experts for panels, discussions, and invites practitioners to speak in classes. Tech Square is a hub to startups, some of the largest, most successful companies, and is inundated with cutting edge technology, processes, and ideas. This knowledge is spread so easily, and students are constantly pushing the limits to learn more since opportunity is at our fingertips. Most of my classes have had projects requiring students to form consulting teams and work for real, local businesses to help them solve business problems. This is the ultimate intersection of business and real, business-world technology.
Did you travel abroad during your time at Scheller? What were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
I studied abroad on the Oxford Program! It was an unbelievable experience and my favorite summer of all time. I gained incredible perspective and my worldview exploded. I made some of the best memories and friendships and fell in love with travel. I also was able to take marketing, computer science, art, and music. One of the biggest takeaways was understanding how much opportunity is available, and that my life is anything that I want to make it. I felt so empowered having my eyes opened to all that exists in the world, and I also realized how small I am. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the details and over-analyze so many elements in my life, but it forced me to zoom out and embrace the phrase “be where your feet are”. I realized what things make me feel most alive, and how adventure and learning are vital sparks to my life.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
One of the reasons Scheller is so special is because I was more than a number when I was admitted and offered my scholarship. Scheller wanted me to be part of its community because of my prior leadership, world experiences, and my aspirations. That is something to remember- you are not just your ACT score. It is remarkable that you are valued far beyond your high school GPA at Scheller.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College? (And how was it the same or different than what you experienced?)
The biggest myth is that the Business School is lesser than the other colleges on campus or the classic question, “Why would you go to Georgia Tech for business?” Well, why would you not? It’s the number one business school in Georgia, places me with the most fun, exciting, intelligent classmates and friends to work and learn with, while stamping my education with the Georgia Tech brand.
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here?
Scheller Business Ambassadors was my favorite organization I was a part of during my time at Tech. I was able to serve as President my senior year, and as VP of Administration and VP of Prospective Students during my 2nd and 3rd years. I have gained the most wonderful friendships, developed professionally and personally, and have been able to serve Scheller and the community in the most rewarding ways. I have been able to meet elite business leaders, prospective high school students, and other Scheller students during my time in SBA. I have been so fulfilled through this organization, and have learned about servant leadership, working in a team, and have been pushed to pursue my passions because of my fellow ambassadors. They have had the largest impact on me as a student and woman in the business world, and I am so grateful for their constant support.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I was involved in GT Ambassadors, Scheller Business Ambassadors, Alpha Delta Pi, Executive Round Table, The Society of Women in Business, Tech the Halls, Buckhead Church, and took up yoga! My business degree constantly makes me consider all of these organizations as businesses that provide a service, need to make a profit, and ultimately serve customer needs. I found that the last time I went to Whole Foods, my friend and I were discussing their estimated margins, daily customer traffic, and their entire supply chain. It was in that moment I knew that the community I have found through Scheller and the education I have received has pushed me to be a complete nerd and absolute business geek. We laughed and realized we were not like other college students – and that is something to be proud of!!
Did you utilize any of Scheller College’s diversity initiatives? How did they help you during your time at the College? (Women in Business, Excel Program, Veteran programs, LGBTQ, etc.)
I was a member of the Society of Women in Business! I was connected to top employers and elevated because I was a hard-working business woman surrounded by elite, female peers.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model/mentor?)
My parents! Both of my parents went to Tech, have worked for large businesses, and constantly discussed work and business with me. I have always been fascinated in working with people, developing relationships, solving problems, and being able to make a tangible difference in the world. These passions are all at the heart of business and overall management.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…
Hosting my own talk show or cooking show, or I would be a yoga teacher or owner of a holistic wellness business in California. However, because I have been to the greatest business school, I will be able to open my own wellness business in California in the future!
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
Hike Machu Picchu and learn how to fly a helicopter (and own it!!)
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I hope that my peers remember me as the friend and leader who encouraged and supported them to pursue their true passions. I hope that my peers remember the legacy I left at Tech and in Scheller. I hope that they remember me as the enthusiastic peer that pushed them to believe in themselves, and that I invested in my relationships, education, and community. I hope that I helped my peers know they are valued and never alone!
What are your hobbies?
Running, yoga, hiking, travel, cooking, photography, discovering new restaurants and fun Atlanta activities and things to do, as well as spending time with my family and friends.