When Katie Bridge, a Brookline, MA native, chose to pursue her degree from UMass Dartmouth in 2016, she mapped out a multifaceted plan to gain a return on her investment.
Her strategy included taking time to explore which business degree option was right for her, gaining practical experience, and boosting the number of credit hours she completed each semester to make earning her degree affordable. Here's her success story.
Aligning my major with my career goals
Studying at the Charlton College of Business influenced my personal and professional goals. The wide variety of classes to choose from allowed to me learn about all aspects of business. From there I could narrow down a major and find out which classes I liked the most leading me to my internship.
I chose marketing as my major because it opens you up to a lot of opportunity in business. I believe that marketing is relevant in all aspect of business, even your life, and I choose to master the art.
Earning my degree at an affordable cost
One of the things I am most proud of is my commitment to completing my degree program in three years, vs. the traditional four or more years. This was an important step for me because I have always been goal-driven.
I will not say that finishing school in three years was easy, but if you put in the work, you get the reward. Once I learned that I was on the fast track because I look six classes a semester, not only was saving money on my mind, but being able to accomplish something not a lot of people could say they had was an achievement for me.
Gaining real-world experience with an internship
I also knew that completing an internship would enhance my chances of landing a job as a fresh college graduate. I gained an internship with Avalonbay Communities. As a property operations intern, I assisted in handling resident issues, learned the ins and outs of the leasing process, and became very familiar with Salesforce, which is helpful at any job. I benefited because I had to get used to talking to prospective residents and sealing the deal. Because my internship was with a great recognizable company, I also learned useful transferable skills.
Advancing my professional skills through athletics
I learned many skills as a field hockey player for UMassD, including time management, teamwork, and that hard work equals success. I can carry these lessons everywhere I go in life, especially in the work world.
Being well prepared for my career path
I recently started my role as Client Development Representative at Seismic Software. In simpler terms, I am in sales. I love what I am doing because I have combined my marketing degree with my former customer service experience and so far have had success. Marketing classes at UMassD such as Market Research taught me that it is okay to get rejected, and anyone who takes on a sales role after college should be prepared for that.