Student Spotlight: Morgan Darby

Morgan Darby started her UConn career by commuting to the Waterbury campus and eventually arrived at the Storrs campus. Morgan is pursuing a Dual Degree of a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Balancing this 145-credit course load in 4.5 years required the ability to be malleable and pivot as necessary. The choice to pursue a Dual Degree erupted from a desire to gain a holistic perspective. Morgan understands the value of emotional intelligence in the workplace, explaining that “emotional intelligence or EQ is not only a required skill for life but necessary for effective teamwork and leadership. Now more than ever it’s clear that business doesn’t operate in a vacuum.”

Over the years, Morgan has totaled 7 part time jobs in different industries: retail (clothing, food & beverage), government/nonprofit, education, residential construction, environmental remediation, and research/academia. She explains that learning how to work under various management styles has been beneficial in her understanding of the governance of corporations. She states, “Recognizing where the decision-making power and funding trickles down from has allowed me to more effectively implement feedback as necessary.” One of Morgan’s most standout opportunities was serving as a Project Intern for Shelton Economic Development Corporation. “In a very fast paced environment, I had the privilege of learning how to perform the act of effective grant writing from the President himself.” Morgan recalls, “During my first two weeks, we had a 9-day deadline to successfully earn the city a $410,000 Small Cities Grant for their Sensibaugh Heights project. Seemingly learning on the spot how to acquire and produce 50 supporting exhibits/permissions was a learning curve. This effectively laid the groundwork for future projects which require tight-deadline management. This experience ultimately offered me know-how into navigating cross-departmental communication between the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), the Mayor’s office, and the local municipality’s Housing Authority. This experience ultimately offered me know-how into navigating cross-departmental communication.” These projects gave Morgan insights into the function and allocation of not only city planning, but an introduction to the expansive world of environmental remediation. As graduation approaches, she is seeking a Marketing position in branding or a role that sits in the realm of ESG/Corporate Responsibility. For students interested in these topics, she recommends the following courses: MKTG 3208 on Consumer Behavior; MKTG 3253 on Sustainability, Markets, Society; MGMT 4900 on Strategy, Policy and Planning.

As a first-generation college student, one challenge Morgan found breaking into the professional world was attaining networking skills. She advises students to discuss their career with everyone, even if it’s just to gain knowledge of a specific industries’ systems. She describes how this exposure can give you a competitive edge on landing your next role. “Being able to bring value to a brand through personal experiences can only benefit consumers and society on a macro level.” She states, “At first, I felt this pressure to fit a certain ‘mold’ of the standard corporate intern, but I found more success by bringing my personality to the forefront of every discussion. Critical problem solving requires thinking outside of the box. Ask questions and try everything!”