Getting down to business
After graduating with majors in business administration/marketing and management and a minor in psychology, Julie worked as a manager at Starbucks while applying for marketing positions. While serving lattes and caramel macchiatos, Julie got to know a customer who is vice president of sales and marketing at Renewable Energy Group. She added him on LinkedIn, sent him her résumé, and in less than a week, her marketing career was brewing.
How well did Northwestern prepare you for your career?
I would never take back the opportunity I had to get a liberal arts education. My business career is strengthened by my foundation in history, theology, psychology, literature and other studies. Also, the professors in the business department helped my development tremendously. They taught me how to work hard, focus on my core values, and make my career my ministry. I left Northwestern with a passion to continue learning for the rest of my life, and it didn’t take me long to understand that employers look for team members with learning spirits.
What from your Northwestern education has most helped you in your job?
I was taught how to focus on what really matters. It has always been easy for me to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, but the professors in the business department taught me how to stay grounded and focus on the reason the Lord put me here in the first place. Since I have this focus, I am able to stay calm in situations that otherwise would make me panic. I am able to be bold and confident because I don’t have to rely on the approval of others. These qualities allow me to be a leader, organize project teams and execute our strategic marketing plan. NWC prepared me to be sure of my faith and abilities, which has really helped me in my career.
What did you most appreciate about the business department?
I will always appreciate that my professors took the time to challenge and develop me. They continue to show me they truly care about my success as a business professional. They have been extraordinary leaders and mentors for me.
What are some of your favorite memories from NWC?
I enjoyed reading economics articles from Dr. Lemke and Dr Elder’s classes. Many of them were about economic theory applied to interesting situations, which made class a lot of fun. I also enjoyed taking literature and history classes. Throughout college, I had a lot of fun late nights at the library or the coffee shop with my friends. What I loved the most about being at NWC was spending time with great colleagues—studying, going to class, eating, and competing in sports and intramurals. The academic side of college obviously taught me a lot, but what I learned from my friends and classmates is invaluable.
What are your future career goals?
I’m currently working on an M.B.A. part time at the University of Iowa. After I finish that degree, I would like to continue working in business for a few years. Then I may consider going to school full time, getting my Ph.D. and becoming a professor.