Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie-Marie Sullivan ’16

April 12, 2022

Stephanie-Marie Sullivan (UCONN Marketing , Class of 2016, MSBAPM 2023) recently spoke to the Business Connections Learning Community Marketing students about her marketing career journey since leaving UCONN. Stephanie entered the Hartford’s Early Career Marketing Leadership Development Program and completed rotations in brand, digital and customer experience, and found a real passion for consumer behavior and customer experience marketing. She recently moved to Sage Sure, a late-stage FINTECH start-up that focuses on high-risk home insurance, where she is heavily involved in understanding and improving the customer experience.

During her conversation with students she also touched upon important topics such as the value of networking and internships, as well as the highlighting the many different areas of marketing that students can pursue post-graduation. Stephanie answered questions that 1st and 2nd year students had from a marketing professional’s perspective, and gave students the direction and confidence needed to take advantage of the many opportunities that lie ahead at UConn. Her time and dedication to the UConn School of Business Marketing program is greatly appreciated and we are thankful to have such a wonderful alum as part of our Husky family.

Alumni Spotlight: Hannah Sugrue ’20: Enterprise Account Manager at Dell EMC

April 1, 2022

Hannah Sugrue‘s summer internship with Dell turned into the start of a career in sales with one of the largest tech companies in the world.

From an outsider perspective, tech sales is assumed to be a more male-dominated industry, but through her internship Hannah found that almost all of the leaders she met were women, something that still holds true today two years later. As a rising senior, seeing those women succeeding and leading inspired her to take a full-time role.

Hannah has a set of steps to consider when it comes to ensuring a successful start to your professional career while you are still completing your undergraduate program. First, she emphasizes the importance of listening, using the resources available in the School of Business and connecting with your professors. Additionally, learning is important, going out of your comfort zone to find a new area that sparks your interest. Finally, she says, “Lean in, when it comes to a job search, you get back what you put in, so raise your hand and get involved, do your research, attend a networking event, and get engaged.”

In Hannah’s current role as an Enterprise Account Manager, she can enjoy flexibility, with the ability to work from home, maintaining a work-life balance that works for her. She works with several field teams based in New York and New Jersey to support 12 Enterprise accounts. Although she works a normal 8-5, every day is different depending on individual customers and their needs.

Thus far, she has been able to get more involved in the inner workings of the company by joining several Employee Resource Groups (ERGS). Just recently, she was named a Pillar Leader for Future Women of Sales. In this position, Hannah organizes and supports mentorships between the women of Dell’s inside sales program and those in the field. Not only has this helped the group itself grow, but the mentorships have made a difference for so many women.

Finally, Hannah advises undergraduate students looking for internships or full-time roles to be open to different opportunities. “You might be surprised by what you you find,” she says, “it’s easy to be influenced by those around you so make sure to check in with yourself and allow for some self-reflection along the way.” She stresses the importance of asking yourself what you want out of your experience, what is the most important and what are non-negotiables. “There’s no wrong answer or justification needed when it comes to what you want,” she says, “Whatever it is, make sure you have your answer before you limit yourself or commit to any offer.”

Undergraduate Spotlight: Inside Whirlpool’s Real Whirled Sales Development Program

Last year, Anna Mecca ’22 began the Real Whirled Sales Development Program at Whirlpool, a multi-week immersion training experience that would prepare her for her a role in the company that would see her working with several teams.

As an intern, Anna was assigned to work with the Sales Execution Team on the Real Whirled Training Continuous Improvement Project. The main responsibility was discovering, creating, and implementing a new process for better delivery of training content to Sales Execution Representatives. While working on this project, her main goal was delivering training content in “digestible pieces” while elevating SER readiness and confidence in the market. She was able to make a lasting impact in the company, as her new approach maps out a two-part strategy that is applied over the course of 8 weeks, focusing on learning, enhancing, and applying knowledge obtained.

Aside from this main project, she was also a participant in the INNOVA Competition, a 3-day shark tank style competition where she worked with a team of 7 other interns to produce innovation that addresses sustainability and water waste in the home and laundry space. One of her biggest takeaways from this work was the importance of challenging oneself beyond the scope of project objectives. “Take ownership of your hard work and lay it all on the line,” she says, “it’s important to take risks and step outside your comfort zone to truly show your company what you are capable of.”

Anna worked cross functionally with the Sales Execution Team, Sales Execution Representatives, Channel Leads, Sales District Managers, and Field Merchandising Managers, exposing her to many people within Whirlpool Corporation. She speaks highly of her team, mentioning how supportive they were, exemplifying a positive company culture despite a remote work environment. With activities like virtual lunch and learns, coffee breaks, and other team bonding experiences, she was able to stay connected and engaged.

As for students looking for internships or full-time positions, Anna has several pieces of advice. First, “network, network, network!” Especially in a large company like Whirlpool, making connections is so valuable for future career aspirations. Next, she emphasized the importance of confidence and being aware that there is always a learning curve that comes with new experiences, “Be confident in yourself, landing the internship was the hardest part of the process, during it trust your experiences and be your true self!”

Undergraduate Spotlight: Mitchell van der Noll

Mitchell van der Noll is a senior Marketing major with an interest in sports and entertainment. This past summer, Mitchell interned at City Football Group, the owner of football-related businesses in major cities around the world, including Manchester City Football Club and New York City Football Club.

As a Partnerships Intern, Mitchell assisted his supervisor in reaching out to new partnership prospects and establishing connections. He would research companies and brands leading up to their meetings with his supervisor, and used this information to help in creating outreach emails to further establish a knowledge base on potential partnerships. Major projects are where he feels he learned the most, as himself and another intern went through the full process of researching 2 companies, Logitech G and Airbnb. Their research culminated in a presentation on CFG and partnership activations between themselves and other brands, given in the form of a roleplay to everyone on their team who gave them constructive feedback to help them in similar settings moving forward.

Mitchell worked with about 10 people regularly in his position, collaborating closely with his supervisor, the department head, and the Director, Partnership Sales. The team covered all the responsibilities associated with partnerships and sports, with tasks ranging from current partnership activations to social media and event marketing. Mitchell found himself welcomed in quickly, and found the team to be ambitious and passionate for what they do.

One of the biggest takeaways from Mitchell’s position was recognizing the value in asking for feedback and advice. Throughout his projects, there were times where he was unsure of next steps, but through connecting with his colleagues he was able to stay on track, and learned more in the process.

Outreach and networking were key factors in Mitchell securing this position, and he emphasizes the value of reaching out to people at brands you are interested in working for directly. “Completing an application is great, but it doesn’t establish a personal connection,” he says, “To anyone looking for an internship or job, consider finding someone in your department of interest and sending a short introductory email. It might lead to something more, and it might not, but if you don’t try, you’ll never find out.”