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Rachel Luckcuck

Program:
Undergraduate Information Technology Administration and Management
Class Year:
Spring 2020
Employer/Title:
Performance Marketing at Procter & Gamble

Where are you from?

I grew up in Irvine, California, and then moved and went to high school in Marietta, Georgia.  

 

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?

 My mom is the reason I wanted to pursue business in college—she’s worked in sales, marketing, and operations roles and has loved all of her jobs for as long as I can remember. I didn’t even learn that it was uncommon for women to hold positions of power in business until I was a teenager. I had no reason to think there was any glass ceiling when I watched my mom wear her suit to work every day. My career goal is to be like her—to earn and love challenging roles at companies that touch the lives of millions of people!

 

Why did you choose the Scheller College of Business?

Georgia Tech had been my dream school throughout high school. Ever since I stepped foot on campus for a tour, I knew Georgia Tech was where I wanted to be. I remember touring Scheller and being in awe of how confident and happy the students giving me a tour were. I immediately wanted to be like them, and I hoped that if I came here, I’d be one step closer to being as smart and confident as they seemed. Fast-forward four years, and I’m now friends with those students who gave me that tour  and I have given tours of Scheller alongside them!

 

What concentration did you pursue and why? How has this helped prepare you for your future?

 I pursued a concentration in information technology management (ITM). I remember taking Dr. Florin Niculescu’s introductory ITM class when I was a first-year student and being so happy to finally learn the basics of how the internet works. It felt amazing to finally understand the actual mechanics of the thing that drives and powers nearly everything in our lives. That class made me super curious and excited to learn more.

 In my higher-level ITM courses, I learned the field of managing information systems is much broader and even more exciting than I had first anticipated! To name a few, I learned how to design and build a SQL database in my Database Management class. I learned to write Python for data analysis in my Business Programming class, and I learned about platform wars, adoption curves, and more tech industry terms and trends in emerging technologies. All of these courses not only prepared me for a successful career in IT, but more importantly, they taught me how to be a self-starter and figure out technology and business problems on my own.

 

Where did you intern/co-op during school? 

 My first internship was with Procter & Gamble the summer after my second year as a student, and I returned there for a second internship the summer after my third year. I started the second internship one day after returning from a five-month exchange program in Sydney, Australia! The jetlag didn’t bother me at all. I was so excited to start my internship in the hair care category as a marketing technologist intern.

 

Where will you be working after graduation?

 I will be working at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati as a marketing technologist for the hair care category (Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Aussie, Old Spice, and more).

 

Who was your favorite professor (and why)?

 Dr. Tatiana Rudchenko is my favorite professor because of her infectious, happy attitude. She cares about her students’ education and well-being. She was my professor for two classes, and I looked forward to class on Fridays for those two semesters because she’d make every single Friday special. She would ask all the students to stand up, shake hands with a new student that we didn’t know, and tell us to wish each other a “happy Friday!” In addition to how happy and comfortable she made me feel, I loved what I learned in her classes. I’ve used the quantitative analysis tools and models that I learned from her in some of my other classes and for a capstone project that I did for Siemens. Dr. Rudchenko, thank you for all that you’ve done for me and all of your students!

 

What was your favorite course?

 I think my favorite was Foundations of Strategy with Professor Pian Shu. I learned a lot in that class about how a company’s actions and goals must be in alignment for both the short term and the long term to gain a competitive advantage to survive and continue to grow in the long run. What I loved about that class is that Professor Shu encouraged us to apply what we learned about business strategy to our personal lives.

Because of that class, I began to view my time as my most valuable resource and I tried to spend it only on activities and tasks that meant the most to me and that I got the most enjoyment out of, that is, were in strategic alignment with my long-term goals. This prioritization of happiness made me a better student, and I’m certain it will make me a better businesswoman. I also need to give a special shout-out to my GT 1000 class with Stan Broome—that class was fun and set me up for success throughout my time at Scheller. GT 1000 taught me that any career goal is possible if you put in the work — a lesson continuously taught in all of my classes!

 

As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller embodies the intersection of business and technology?

 Looking back on my internships and job searches, I think my positive experience of being recruited by companies is a great representation of how Scheller embodies the intersection of business and technology. It was so easy for me to market my degree, courses, skills, and experiences to about every company that was recruiting at Georgia Tech and Scheller. Technology companies were attracted to the soft skills I was learning as a business student, and the consumer goods companies I was drawn to were interested in the technical skills I was learning as an IT concentration and as a student at Georgia Tech. The blend of technical and strategic lessons I learned throughout my degree was, in my opinion, perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about the major, minor, or concentration I chose. 

 

What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?

 I did a lot in college that I loved and am so grateful for, but I’ll focus on what has been the most significant part of my college career: the Georgia Tech Excel Program, which is a four-year inclusive program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I held several different roles within the program throughout college and helping Excel was very rewarding, but the friendships I made are what I’ll always remember and have for the rest of my life. I think the confidence my business classes gave me helped me be a better advocate for inclusion and respect for my friends in Excel and simultaneously, those same friends taught me lessons in patience and empathy that made me a better business student.

 

How did the Scheller undergraduate career education program assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?

 I have Stan Broome’s words of wisdom and inspiration to thank for giving me the confidence to go after my dream company. In his GT 1000 class as a first-semester, first-year student, I saw how fun it can be to do an extracurricular recruiting event such as the case competition we did in that class. That experience inspired me to apply to Procter & Gamble’s leadership weekend for freshmen that was sent out in Scheller’s weekly career opportunities email.

That leadership weekend is what led P&G to invite me to apply to its IT internship, which then led to my second internship, which then led to my full-time job offer with my dream company, working in my dream role. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Stan, Craig, and everyone else in the Undergraduate office for encouraging and helping me along the way. Also, thank you to Anne, Bob, and John in the T&M office for supporting me. It takes a village to secure that dream job, and I had the support of the Scheller village!

 

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?

 Yes, and these projects taught me so much. I highly recommend seeking out recruiting events, case competitions, leadership camps, etc. that companies put on. These are great experiences as interview and case practices and can lead to internship and full-time job opportunities.  In my second year as a student, I competed in Deloitte’s Undergraduate National Case Competition. We won first place at the Georgia Tech level, which meant we moved on to the national level. Deloitte flew us out to their corporate resort, “Deloitte University”, in Dallas, Texas. There, we were assigned coaches who helped us compete against other teams from schools across the country. My team had so much fun that year that we applied for and moved on to the national competition again the following year. That time, my team did so well that we all earned interviews and got internship offers!

 The final course and culmination of the Denning Technology and Management (T&M) program is a capstone project with one of the companies that sponsors T&M. My team worked with Siemens, who came to us unsure about what its return on investment was for the many tradeshows it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on every year. The company wanted to know if it should continue paying to participate in tradeshows, and if so, which ones to invest in. I used linear optimization models that I learned from Dr. Rudchenko’s quantitative analysis classes to weigh several variables and create a model that predicts an optimal calendar of particular industry tradeshows annually. At our final presentation, the Siemens audience said they would be using the model, which was rewarding for my team.

 

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller?

A phrase that I think about often is, “nothing worth having is easy to get.” This was certainly true for me when it came to getting into Georgia Tech, but wow, was all the hard work, studying, and application essay writing worth it. If you’re passionate about coming to Georgia Tech, I recommend reading up on the traditions, values, and news about what students and professors are doing. The more informed you are about Georgia Tech and Scheller, the better you’ll be able to write about how you’ll be a great fit for our community.

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