Deciding on the right school can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to figure out what motivates you. For Deborah Finestone, it was all about opportunities, and the sheer hopefulness that comes with starting a new adventure.
“I’m from Memphis,” she explained, “and I knew that I wanted to go to a new city for school because I was looking for a new experience. Living in a big city like Denver with access to so many companies seemed like a great opportunity. I also love to ski, so the mountains were a really big draw for me.”
Deborah graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and two business minors in 2016. When post-undergrad job searches turned up fruitless, she knew that she needed to give her resume a boost.
“When I decided that marketing was the field that I wanted to go into for my career, I realized that I needed more experience. I needed to take more classes in order to go into this industry and feel more prepared.”
Deborah didn’t waste any time in deciding what to do next: she met with the chair of the Master of Science (MS) in Marketing department at Daniels to find out more. She also took the time to speak with current students to learn what they loved most about the program.
“I knew that the MS Marketing program would be a good fit for my skill set because I could tailor the program to the areas of marketing I wanted to explore,” she said. “I also really liked the small class sizes at Daniels, and the opportunity to work with real clients.”
Thanks to the career-oriented curriculum, Deborah consulted with seven live clients during the 15-month program. Not to mention the invaluable hands-on experience she acquired while working in the Marketing Department’s Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Lab (CiBiC), as well as participating in several case competitions and student groups. The exposure to different industries and facets of marketing helped open Deborah’s eyes to a world of possibilities.
“I knew that I wanted to do more with analytics and insights because that’s where the marketing industry is heading,” she said. “Marketers need to be more data driven and insights driven, and I think having those skills is incredibly helpful.”
Before long, it was time to start applying for internships. Deborah frequented the Daniels Career Services department for help in crafting the perfect cover letter, refining her resume and practicing interview questions. She worked closely with Bob Kumagai, a career coach for MS Marketing students, to identify companies with a focus in consumer insights and analytics.
“Bob was fantastic! I felt confident going into the interview with the materials I prepared, and he was a great help all around.”
Her hard work paid off. Deborah accepted an internship at Danone North America, a consumer packaged food and beverage company located in Denver. During the 11-week stint, she focused on analytics for one of the company’s brands. Her ambition and analytic abilities were duly noted; she was soon offered a full-time job at Danone North America, which she eagerly accepted.
“I’m so happy and grateful for where I ended up,” she said. “One of my favorite classes at Daniels was marketing research and analytics, which played a very big role in shaping what I do now for work. I’m able to recognize the concepts that I learned in class and actually apply them in my day-to-day activities.”
So, where to go from here? For Deborah, the sky’s the limit.