Career

M.S. in Commerce Success Story: Erin McMahon

Current M.S. in Commerce student Shannon Simko catches up with 2019 graduate, Erin McMahon, to discuss how McIntire helped her with the job search process.

Erin McMahon, M.S. in Commerce 2019

M.S. in Commerce 2019, Business Analytics Track
Undergrad: B.A. in Economics and German 2018, University of Pittsburgh
After: Hilton Worldwide, Corporate Rotational Analyst – Data & Analytics (Washington, D.C.)

For some students, the job search begins within the first month of arriving at UVA. How does McIntire prepare students for the job search over the summer?

I used the summer to figure out where I wanted my career to go. I spoke with Kelly Eddins, the Associate Director of Commerce Career Services early on (she connects with students before the Program even begins), and she was helpful in fine-tuning my resume so I would be ready to start the job search when I arrived at McIntire. I also used the summer to explore what industries interested me and started a list of potential companies that matched my career goals.

How did Commerce Career Services (CCS) help you in your job search?

CCS was incredibly helpful during my fall semester and it helps they are located in the same building where we all take classes. They answered all my questions, from interview prep to post-interview thank you emails. They were my go-to for navigating the recruiting process. CCS also offered mock interviews, which really helped me build confidence going into the real interviews.

Would you say the M.S. in Commerce made you more competitive in the job search?

The Program’s curriculum has made me a much more well-rounded candidate compared to where I was just out of undergrad. McIntire emphasizes the development of both hard and soft skills, and I have benefitted from improving both. For hard skills, I have learned more quantitative and analytic skills like SQL and R, which I will be using at Hilton. As for soft skills, I learned how to better present myself in a professional environment. I’ve learned things like how to make an elevator pitch and successfully present a business idea to top executives. It was through these experiences that I developed confidence in myself, which proved invaluable during my job search.

What networking opportunities did McIntire provide you with?

CCS hosted Commerce Career Day in mid-September which officially kicks off On-Grounds recruiting at UVA. This was a great way to meet companies who are looking to hire McIntire students. The M.S. in Commerce Program built in several days where industry leaders and alumni met with us. We had the opportunity to learn about what industry leaders are doing on a day-to-day basis, and to network in a smaller, less intimidating setting. Some examples of companies that we were able to network with included EY, Capital One, Deloitte, CarMax, General Mills, and Applied Predictive Technologies. The industries ranged anywhere from traditional consulting to consumer goods companies and more niche marketing analytics companies; pretty much any industry that you could find interest in was represented.

How did the M.S. in Commerce build upon what you learned in undergrad to turn it into a career path?

I double majored in Economics and German as an undergrad at Pitt, gaining an appreciation for international business. I was able to leverage my background and transferable skills when interviewing with Hilton since the hospitality industry is very global. By joining the M.S. in Commerce Program, I’m able to combine my academic interests with quantitative and analytical skills in the Business Analytics track. I’m excited to use all of these skills on the job next year as a data analyst.

What are you looking forward to most about your job?

I am very excited about the rotational aspect of my job. Rather than being stuck in one specific area of the company, I will have the opportunity to experience different departments, which will help me learn a lot about Hilton as a business in a short amount of time. I also am looking forward to joining an exciting team. Overall, company fit was a really important factor for me when choosing where I wanted to work, and I felt that Hilton’s corporate culture aligned well with my own values.

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