With commencement just a few short weeks away, two recent graduates of the MA in Management program returned to the Wake Forest School of Business to share advice with students facing new careers or entry into the workforce.
The critical thinking and problem solving skills we learn at Wake Forest are prized by employers,” said Gabriela “Gaby” Scarritt (MA ’12). “Businesses are starving for idea generators.”
Scarritt is from Winston-Salem and now works as a Marketing Specialist at Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Scarritt says she chose her employer because being part of a bigger picture was important to her. “Steelcase makes office furniture. That may not sound interesting, but think about it. People spend all day in their offices and my employer wants to make that environment as great as possible.”
“Find your allies in school and collaborate well. Learn how to work as a team, and then find your allies at your new company,” Scarritt told dozens of current MA students during an April 8 lunchtime presentation called “How did I get here?” She and Angelina Darrisaw (MA ’10), a member of the digital business development group at MTV Networks/Viacom, told MA students the business skills they learned through the MA program set them apart from other colleagues in entry-level positions.
Some of the students asked Darrisaw the most important thing she learned through the MA program.
“Two things. One: Quant,” Darrisaw said. “It’s what I used to set myself apart from other entry-level colleagues. I had analysis and business experience they didn’t. The second thing is networking. My partnership at Hanesbrands gave me valuable experience and more connections.”
Darrisaw said making new connections enabled her to gain her first job after graduation, and move to new opportunities as they came open.
Both women stressed connection and collaboration to the MA students. “You have to rely on coworkers and collaborate in the business world,” Scarritt said. “You can’t just work alone. It’s important that you learn to communicate. If you don’t, no one will take you seriously.”
“Be a good storyteller,” Darrisaw added. “Have confidence in your own value and look for opportunities to perform at a higher level.”