Colleen Betik is a current student in the M.S. in Global Commerce program, a social media intern and a student ambassador. After the Program, Colleen will join Amazon Web Services as part of their Product Marketing Leadership Development Program. Based out of Seattle, Washington, she will serve as a product marketing manager rotating through three different roles and products over the next two years.
I’m from Ennis, Texas, and earned my undergraduate degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University. I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree but didn’t know the type of program I wanted to do. When I received an email about the M.S. in Global Commerce Program from UVA, I was immediately intrigued. I had applied to a couple of full-time jobs in my senior year, but was not passionate about any of the prospects. What I really wanted was a way to expand my network on a global scale and leave the state of Texas. After meeting with an admissions counselor, I realized that the M.S. in Global Commerce Program was perfect—it felt designed specifically for me.
Upon arriving at UVA last fall to start the Program, one of my main priorities was finding a job before leaving for China and then Spain. Throughout the job search process, I was able to utilize a variety of resources offered by the McIntire School of Commerce and Commerce Career Services (CCS). One of the most valuable opportunities offered was that McIntire worked with the UVA Darden School of Business to match MBA students as mentors for McIntire students. It was through my mentor that I learned about the opportunity at Amazon. Through meetings and coaching with my mentor and CCS, I felt better prepared for the interview and recruitment process.
The CCS team was with me every step of the way, from proofreading my resume to doing mock interviews to even reserving office space for a virtual interview. CCS played a huge role in helping me feel fully professionally prepared. Career advisers really understand M.S. in Global Commerce students and help us better understand our strengths and weaknesses. CCS staff even connected me with McIntire alumni who also worked at Amazon so I could learn more about the company and their recruitment process.
My experiences in the classroom also helped prepare me to land my dream job. I soon realized that my global thesis project could be an asset during interviews. My team’s thesis topic is about how data privacy affects the adoption of smart home technology in the U.S. and China, with recommendations of how companies should market these products. I chose this topic because I am passionate about technology, so during interviews I am able to convey my enthusiasm as well as impress the company with my knowledge on relevant issues in the tech world today.
Having experience working on such diverse teams in the M.S. in Global Commerce Program is also an asset I leveraged in the interview process and will continue to use when I start my job. Managing different projects and participating in high performing teams is a key skill, one that employers are seeking. Getting the opportunity to work closely with classmates from all over the world and different backgrounds and cultures is what makes the Program so unique. Any institution can teach you how to run regressions or analyze data, but we learn cross-cultural communication and competencies by living, working, and studying across three continents.
If you are looking for a program that will give you two master’s degrees in one year, a great education for your investment, and allow you to gain a global perspective firsthand, then you should seriously consider the M.S. in Global Commerce Program.