From STEM MBA to Walmart Marketing Career—How I Did It—BusinessBecause
STEM MBAs are great for those interested in getting behind the data and understanding how analytics can drive business and marketing decisions.
These STEM-designated business degrees offer a wide range of career opportunities for ambitious graduates that go beyond the traditional triumvirate of finance, consulting and technology.
Kayla Winter, MBA graduate in attendance California business schoolused his business insights to launch a successful Walmart marketing career; Here’s how he did it:
Launching a Walmart Marketing Career
When she received her acceptance email, Kayla couldn’t believe her luck. Not only did he land a top marketing job shortly after graduating from business school, he landed a job the leader US retail corporations.
It wasn’t by luck, though. It was a job Kayla had been working on for a while.
He used his STEM MBA studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Rady School of Management to stand out from the crowd.
In his marketing career at Walmart, he is the associate manager of marketing operations—eComm at Walmart Connect—over Walmart’s global advertising business in the US.
When you see ads appear on a website, they are not placed there without thinking. Kayla’s primary responsibility is to own campaign performance and implement optimization changes such as bid adjustments and targeting changes to ensure client key performance indicators (KPIs) are met and/or exceeded.
“I have a deeper understanding of this field from the courses I took at the Rady School of Management,” he says.
How my STEM MBA program equipped me with the marketing skills I needed
With a degree in psychology, Kayla is not your typical MBA student.
When he graduated, he had two different career paths in mind: clinical psychology or business. In the end, he chose the latter and became even more interested in the idea of completing an MBA when he was considering UCSD Rady. STEM MBA program.
“Rady stuck with me because it wasn’t a typical business program. The STEM approach was appealing because it reminded me of the reasons I took certain classes during my undergrad,” he says.
At Rady, some of the courses Kayla enjoyed most were Quantitative Analysis, Customer Analytics, and Research Methods. These classes took a necessary step in his psychology degree and considered the data from a business management perspective.
In her e-commerce class, Kayla participated in a real-world business project where she launched the Shopify website and helped create ads that could be picked up through Google search.
“This class really prepared me for my current role as I learned about key metrics, so I had a foundational understanding from my MBA,” he says.
He also says that he was able to tailor his business school studies to what he was interested in through the elective courses offered, including topics such as Decision Analytics, New Venture Finance and Business Innovation.
“I was able to get very good experience in different business areas.”
Building that important network of business schools
Most MBA programs attract people from a variety of educational backgrounds, but there are some programs that are particularly suited to non-business people.
“It was important for me to find a program with people from different backgrounds who came from a non-business background,” he says.
The UC San Diego Rady School MBA class is diverse in other ways, which it brings 52% international students
Kayla was also happy to see that she was placed among people with many different levels of work experience. He met people who were just starting their careers, along with those who had about 10 years of work experience.
“Because it’s such a small cohort, it’s helped me get to know my peers on a personal level,” she says.
On average, there are about 48 students in a UCSD Rady MBA cohort.
Use the career services offered at the business school
Several factors contributed to Kayla’s successful job search.
While at Rady, she participated in nearly every job club, met with career counselors for mock interviews, resume guidance and general career advice, and attended job fairs to find answers to questions about her chosen career path.
He used some of that career advice to conduct informational interviews with people who work at Walmart to find out if he’s a good fit for the role and what kinds of skills Walmart Connect was specifically looking for.
All of this helped Kayla walk into her job interview with a firm belief in the value she can bring to the retailer and how her MBA skills can help her advance.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get the job without the MBA; it has allowed me to solidify my knowledge while building a skill set that I use every day in my work,” she says.
This article is for illustrative purposes only.