Feature Stories 2023: Jess Buchanan '23: Gaining confidence

Senior marketing major Jess Buchanan
Feature Stories 2023: Jess Buchanan '23: Gaining confidence
Jess Buchanan '23: Gaining confidence

Senior marketing major credits on-campus job in developing business acumen

Why UMassD? 

Describe UMassD in one word 


What brought you here? 

"I came to UMassD because it was both a financially smart option for me, and an education that I would be satisfied with. My sister had graduated from UMassD prior, and she received a job before she graduated. After seeing this, I knew that I could succeed here too."

How did you decide on your major? 

"I found a passion for business in my junior year of high school. I knew I wanted my future to involve business and working with people, so I thought marketing would be a good fit for me. I find that business comes easy to me because I analyze businesses based on what I would want to see from them. I also love talking to and meeting new people, so I knew I had to find a major that would encompass that."

Real-world experience 

Over a four-year period in which many people saw face-to-face interactions diminish as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jess Buchanan developed vast interpersonal communications skills as an Admissions Ambassador. During the summer of 2022, Buchanan complemented this experience in the private sector as a Recruiting Intern for an employment agency, Alku. 

What did your day-to-day at Alku look like? 

"Each day I would call and communicate with prospective candidates in order to place them on available projects and consulting work. I worked in the Systems, Applications, and Products (SAP) department, which included many engineers who would integrate software and IT infrastructure for companies. Each day I drafted persuasive reports to validate the candidate's skills in relation to the position and participated in daily team meetings to discuss strategy and essential roles to be filled."

Did you learn anything about yourself in these roles? 

"I did learn my capability of succeeding when diving into a new role. I found that we did not receive much guidance on cold calling, and before I knew it we were alone on the phones. Not only was this intimidating, but I felt unprepared and nervous. However, I used my nerves to build my confidence. I knew that the more calls I made, the more confident I would feel. By the end, it was easy.

"Even though I was successful, I realized cold calling was not for me. I like talking to people, but I much prefer the personal aspect of things. Cold calling felt too monotonous for me."

Why should other students look for internships?

"So that you can better understand what career path you’re looking for. I had always considered sales, but I wasn’t exactly sure what 'sales' actually meant. After completing my internship, I found that I did not like cold calling, but that I would still be interested in another type of sales that offered more face-to-face interactions. Internships allow you to see how life after college looks, which helps you find a career you’ll love."

How has your on-campus job assisted your career development?

"When I started my role as an admissions ambassador, I was scared. I knew nothing about giving a tour. Once I got started, I quickly developed capabilities for public speaking and communicating with new people. I found that I could have a conversation with anyone. Starting this as a freshman, I met most of my friends in this role, and made money learning a ton about our campus. I’m very thankful for my experience and how it shaped me into a confident individual."

Looking back 

Have you had a favorite class or professor? 

"One of my favorite professors here was Steven White. I took multiple classes with him and enjoyed each of them. As a student, you could see his passion for business, but also his understanding for students. He is a professor I will never stop recommending." 

Do you have a favorite memory here? 

"A favorite memory would be hard to choose. If I had to pick one, I would say it’s the day I became an admissions ambassador. I had no idea I would meet forever friends that day, and I am so grateful to have made best friends through this position."

How do you know UMassD was the right choice for you

"I do believe I made the right choice coming to UMassD. I am thankful for my time here, and grateful for the financial aid and scholarships I received. I will be exiting school with little debt and a stress-free experience. I leave with confidence and leadership qualities I am thankful to have received from my four years here."

Is there one thing you’ll miss most about your time here at UMassD?  

"I think I’ll miss the people at UMassD. Each person I have met here has been so open-minded, respectful, and understanding. I will miss how friendly people are, their willingness to help, and I will miss the UMassD community."

Looking ahead

What's next for you?

"Right now, I am in the midst of applying for jobs. I hope to get a career in social media marketing or sales, working in Boston or Providence. When I can, I also want to get my real estate license. I have always been passionate about real estate and would love to do it part time if I get the opportunity to."

How prepared do you feel to enter the next phase of your life?

"As I apply for jobs, I find that I am confident and motivated. If I find a role I may not seem qualified for, I still apply because the worst they can say is ‘no.’ I am ready for the next phase of my life, even though I am nervous. However, I know that things will work out and I will find success with my degree."