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Adele Iacobucci (A&S ’23, M.S. in Commerce ’24): Charting a Path from the Field to Marketing Success

Balancing her rigorous academic pursuits with her passion for field hockey, and fueled by lessons learned on and off the field, the student-athlete has her eyes set on a career in marketing.

Adele Iacobucci

By Emily Lauletta

“My sisters are my biggest inspirations,” says McIntire graduate student-athlete Adele Iacobucci.

Hailing from Millbourne, PA, a suburb outside Philadelphia, Iacobucci went from playing field hockey and lacrosse at an all-girls high school to now looking ahead to a possible career in marketing.

After completing her undergraduate education in Media Studies at UVA, the star athlete decided to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted due to the pandemic and pursue UVA McIntire’s one-year M.S. in Commerce.

Iacobucci has been dominating the field hockey field since first grade, meaning that her athletic career spans over 15 years. When asked what inspired her interest in field hockey and then to continue on to become a student-athlete, Iacobucci gives the credit to her two older sisters. One won a championship at the University of Connecticut; the other played lacrosse at a Division I college in Philadelphia.

It’s no surprise then, but no less impressive, that after being recruited by UVA, Iacobucci bookended her collegiate field hockey career with two trips to the Final Four, once during her first year and once during her fifth. The road to these incredible achievements was by no means easy.

As Iacobucci explains, after her team made it to the Final Four the first year, she thought it was commonplace for a team to go this far. It wasn’t until later that she realized how special it was to make it to that stage once during an athlete’s collegiate career, let alone twice.

Charting Her Own Path

But while Iacobucci is following in the footsteps of her sisters and continuing her family’s legacy of incredible athleticism, she’s also charting her own path.

After gaining four years of experience in marketing and communications, Iacobucci realized her love for the marketing side of the field, and recognized McIntire’s potential in helping her become more business-focused.

Iacobucci says she was always interested in the Commerce School, but it was both the confidence she was able to build through athletics, as well as an allowance in her schedule, that paved the way for her to finally apply.

“I used to not even want to participate in class because I was so nervous. I’ve been able to build my confidence a lot,” the M.S. in Commerce student says. “I even represented our group in our class debate today.”

Looking to combine her love for field hockey with the tools she learned and honed during her undergraduate studies, Iacobucci was drawn to McIntire, seeing the graduate program as a bridge between these two aspects of her life that could shape her path toward a marketing career. She eagerly anticipates being able to apply the knowledge and skills she’s acquired in her previous and current programs.

“I’m so grateful for McIntire,” she says. It isn’t lost upon her that this is the first year that UVA field hockey players are able to apply to this program due to their busy fall schedules.

Her choice to join McIntire certainly did not come without its difficulties. “Being a student-athlete is like a full-time job,” she says. “Between trying to balance both field hockey and McIntire, the fall was challenging. But I can’t speak highly enough about the McIntire program; it truly changed the trajectory of my career.”

Given their hectic schedules and little free time between practice, games, and class, student-athletes often have to work overtime in order to make the time to find the same internships and work experiences as their non-athlete counterparts.

It would make sense that athletics and academics would be all athletes have time for, but that is far from the truth. Iacobucci has also built a rich and holistic life outside of academics and athletics and has also found time for her hobbies, which include reading, working out, and even producing her own music.

A World of New Opportunities

So what lies ahead for Iacobucci? First, she has a three-and-a-half-week Global Immersion Experience to Europe and North Africa to look forward to. She will be traveling to four countries—Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Morocco—as part of the M.S. in Commerce curriculum.

Iacobucci is enrolled in the M.S. in Commerce’s Foundations of Global Commerce course this semester, in which students build an understanding of the global business environment. “I’m excited for this trip to tie everything I’ve learned together,” Iacobucci says. “I could never travel abroad before because of sports.”

With this great opportunity, Iacobucci may even extend her travels to visit Greece. As for the rest, she is entering an exciting new phase of her life, while simultaneously enjoying a well-deserved break after a long semester of balancing the height of her season and an accelerated curriculum. “I’m open to opportunity,” she says.

Opportunities will surely not be rare for Iacobucci, who has learned valuable and transferable skills from her time as a student-athlete. She notes the similarities between the leadership roles she held as captain during her fourth year of field hockey and as a leader in a small group for a project in McIntire: “Accountability is a huge crossover between the two. You have to solve conflict; there are different goals and milestones you wanna hit. All of that relates to my semesters at McIntire.”

Now, as Iacobucci looks towards her future, she reflects on the transformative experiences that have shaped her journey. She credits her time as a student-athlete for instilling in her the values of discipline, teamwork, and perseverance, all of which she believes will continue to serve her well in her professional endeavors.

With her sights set on a career in marketing (while still keeping her options open), Iacobucci is poised to leverage her diverse skill set and passion for the industry to make a meaningful impact. As she embarks on this next chapter, she remains grateful for the opportunities afforded to her and eager to embrace the challenges and successes that lie ahead.

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