As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we are interviewing a few soon-to-be graduates from our Full-time MBA program to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2020 Commencement.
Meet Jasmine Howard, Full-time MBA
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
I interned within the Product Marketing team at Mailchimp in Atlanta, supporting growth and merchandising initiatives. For my core internship project, I evaluated the Mailchimp.com conversion experience using qualitative and quantitative methodology and recommended a condensed acquisition strategy for the website. Thanks to the empowering atmosphere at Mailchimp and the advocacy of my manager and director, my summer activities also included conducting user interviews, solving an overdue web analytics issue, editing departmental strategy decks, mentoring undergraduate interns, and presenting my project to the entire company.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I am delighted to be returning to Mailchimp as a Marketing Manager. Alongside my internship manager and cross-functional partners, I will continue to evolve the Mailchimp.com experience.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
In addition to the inclusive community, forward-thinking curriculum, and exceptional career outcomes, 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 lives within the immediate campus area. There’s always something going on!
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
My favorite MBA professor was Sam Bond, whose Consumer Behavior class I took last spring. Professor Bond’s course perfectly blended classic behavioral economics, social psychology with modern applications, and research methodology, which was all elevated by his enthusiasm and attention to course design. His class was essential to my internship success at Mailchimp, as my project relied on effectively designing research plans and using behavioral insight to develop recommendations.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
In addition to Consumer Behavior (noted above), my other favorite class was Marketing Research, taught by Cem Ozturk. This quantitative class was the perfect balance to the qualitative focus of Consumer Behavior, and I used both in my internship. In Marketing Research, Professor Ozturk introduced us to many analytical models including regression, clustering, factor analysis, and other machine learning methods. My biggest insight is that we shouldn’t be intimidated by the big data buzzwords! As marketers or other business leaders, it’s critical to understand how to use the data we have and how to interact with analysts and data scientists.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
We say Scheller is at “the intersection of business and technology” all the time, but it really is true! Beyond the physical location in Tech Square, I feel the intersection is embodied best in MBA coursework. Every professor has incorporated innovation into their class content, often with cases and examples revised each semester to keep up with business and technology trends. I saw the benefits of this academic approach in my summer internship, when I felt prepared and competitive thanks to Scheller’s applied, relevant coursework.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Be yourself, but be prepared. Throughout the admissions process, they truly want to know you, your interests, and your goals, so they can advise you on a best path forward. The best way to be yourself is to know yourself, so I always advise prospects to dedicate time to introspection. If you know what you want out of a program and are ready to commit to the rigors of a Full-time MBA, then you’ll maximize your chances of admission and satisfaction as a student.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I don’t think there is a prevailing myth about Scheller, but I do think we have a solid reputation for expertise in technology and analytics. I found that reputation holds true! We have a fantastic core class that combines digital strategy, analytics, and IT management, and it sets all Scheller MBAs up for success in later elective courses and internships no matter their specialty or focus area.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model?)
My success in business school can be attributed to my family, friends, and previous teachers and managers who supported me throughout my education and early career. However, it’s my mother’s encouragement that stands out the most. Whenever I was stumped or frustrated by something growing up, she would tell me, “You can do hard things!” It sounds simple, but the reinforcement that I could be resilient, creative, resourceful problem-solver has served me very well in business.
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 the Athletics Committee, MBA Ambassadors, Marketing Club, Women in Business, and other groups, and I was a graduate research assistant for the Marketing and Admissions departments. In my last semester, I’ve been thrilled to put some of my new business analytics skills to use for the Admissions team. In an effort to refine the MBA recruiters’ email strategy, I have completed A/B testing of messages and regression analysis of behavioral data. Without my MBA classes in Big Data and Marketing Research, I would not have been able to successfully complete the project.
How did the Jones MBA Career Center assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?
My advisor Lauren Porter was a tireless coach and advocate as I navigated both on-campus and off-campus internship opportunities. From career development workshops in orientation and one-on-one mock interviews and feedback sessions, Lauren and her colleagues made sure I was as competitive as possible for my dream role at Mailchimp. Thanks to all the preparation, I landed the internship in Product Marketing and will be returning to a full-time position after graduation.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?
I worked with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) for the Strategy Practicum. Our clients challenged us to introduce technology and automation into the manual operation of hotel auditing. It was a new world for our entire team, but we each leaned on each other’s strengths to present a satisfactory recommendation to the client. Learning both from the clients and my teammates made the project memorable, as I took away improved presentation skills and a better technological understanding of structuring data for analysis.
Additionally, I completed the International Practicum, which was essential in preparing me for my internship in product marketing. I worked with PlayerMaker, an Israeli sports technology startup, who challenged our team to outline a go-to-market strategy for the U.S. soccer market. Thanks to this experience researching key audiences and developing messaging, I felt more confident in my internship interviews and, ultimately, at my position at Mailchimp.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How this helped prepare you for your future?
I chose classes that appealed to me due to the topic or the reputation of the professor, but I ended up with concentrations in IT management and marketing along the way! Given the hands-on projects and exposure to new tech tools, these classes have prepared me well for my post-MBA role in marketing analytics and strategy.
Fun fact about yourself:
When I was in seventh grade, my mom won an all-expenses paid sweepstakes trip to London for a Harry Potter-themed adventure. (Not that I needed the extra reason, but I will forever love Harry Potter.)
I love watching television, reading about television, and talking about television. It’s a thrilling time to be a TV fan, with new content networks and storytellers sprouting up almost daily. I’m also an avid home cook, crafter, and dancer.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…"
… likely still trying to make the jump from a tactical marketing role to a strategic one—but without the additional skills or improved salary expectations that the MBA has given me.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
Someday, somehow, I want to win an Emmy! I can’t act or write or anything, but I discovered there are special business Emmys. It would be incredible to make enough of a difference to the business of television to be rewarded with its top prize.
My other (equally silly, yet very serious) item would be picking the brain of Jimmy Buffett. I may be a biased born-and-raised Parrothead, but I truly think he was one of the first successful masters of the celebrity brand extension phenomenon we see today. Turning a single genreless hit song into an empire is no easy marketing feat.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
My friend and classmate Evan tells me I’m “fun and competent,” which is a pretty solid combo in my book!