One Last Toast to the Spring 2020 Graduates

When the Spring 2020 semester came to an end, 174 marketing students bid farewell to the Tippie College of Business virtually. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, this group of graduating students missed out on the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments on campus. To commemorate their successes, we reached out to a few of the graduating students to give them a chance to reflect on their experiences as Tippie Marketing students.  


What influenced you to pursue a degree/career in Marketing? 

Lauren Jackson: I have always valued relationships, creativity, and helping others throughout my life. When choosing a degree, I decided to pursue a business degree that would encompass all of those core values.

Derrick Johnson: I had an initial interest in business altogether. I felt like my creativity and content creation skills would be great strengths in marketing and promotions. Marketing stretches across all industries. I believed a marketing degree would be a valuable tool that’s applicable in a variety of areas.

Matthew Shellabarger: I chose a degree in Marketing because I wanted to solve problems that don’t have a clear path to the answer. I am an outgoing person, and I knew that Marketing would require me to always be working with others and align with my personality. I thought Marketing would give me the opportunity to find a job that is upbeat and everchanging.

Ashlyn Schumaker: I decided to pursue a degree in marketing because it gave me a consumer-focused view of business. The Marketing degree opens doors to several career paths in management, analytics, product design, sales, etc. Technology in the field is constantly changing, so it encourages strategic thinking and adaptability. 

Emily Studnicka: While I initially planned to pursue a B.A. in Psychology, I soon began to realize that the majority of my interests were centered around the emotional triggers to advertising and creative display. From a young age, my personal passions have been centered around fashion and innovation, causing me to develop a keen eye for creative appeal. After making the change early my Sophomore year, I quickly realized I made the right decision for myself. 


Reflecting on opportunities you took advantage of in college, what do you think best prepared you for life post-graduation?  

Lauren: I am so grateful I was encouraged to get involved in student organizations. They provided me with experiences and opportunities to grow as an individual. I was able to earn a leadership role within Dance Marathon as a Morale Captain. It built my confidence and brought forth key skills that I will use my entire life: public speaking, communication, and time management. Tippie Tech introduced me to leaders of various companies, and I was invited to interview for my new role at HPE through the membership.

Derrick: I’d say both the academic and extracurricular opportunities helped the most and prepared me for the pace and difficulty of marketing in the work force. Meanwhile, I met a variety of mentors and professionals in Tippie that helped grow my marketing abilities and gain confidence in my communication skills.

Matthew: Throughout my time at college, I participated in three different internships. My internships were in completely different business fields as well, logistics, IT, and sales. By working with different companies in different areas, this opened my eyes to what parts of business I really enjoy working for. Each position provided me with unique sets of skills and let me get a taste of what a real business job looks like. It was a great way to get out of my comfort zone, put my education to use, and build my resume.

Ashlyn: My internship with Leepfrog Technologies prepared me the most for life post-graduation. It allowed me to gain real world work experience in a professional setting. Leepfrog incorporated curriculum throughout to help us gain a better understanding of HR benefits, professional communication styles, and job shadowing. This helped me prepare for my full-time job as well as help me gain a better understanding of which career path I wanted to pursue.

Emily: I can confidently say that studying overseas in London left the greatest impact on my personal growth. As I reflect on my college years, I have come to realize that the most memorable experiences involved taking a step out of my comfort zone. My time spent in London flew by, filling my days with exploration and excitement. There’s no denying that I occasionally felt uncomfortable, but through this discomfort came the opportunity to grow. I developed a sense of needed flexibility, allowing me to live freely and explore at ease. The best memories ended up occurring spur of the moment, proving that you do not need a step by step plan for life.  The wisdoms gained abroad were lessons I could not have learned in the classroom. Opening myself up to situations, filled with new experiences and individuals, allowed me to gain a deeper understanding for a world less known.


What are 3 things you will miss most about Tippie and the Tippie community?  

Lauren: Three things I will miss the most about Tippie and the Tippie community are the people, the familiarity, and the smoothies in Pat’s Too. I have met some amazing people and become so comfortable with my college routine throughout my four years as a Tippie student.

Derrick: I’ll miss the marketing team and the professors that helped me throughout the years. I’ll also miss the friends I made and the sales competitions we participated in. It was all a fun and competitive experience that helped make me who I am today.

Matthew: The main thing I will miss most about Tippie is working alongside all of the other Tippie students and learning new things from them. Additionally, I will miss all of the friendships I made at Tippie throughout my entire college career. Lastly, I will miss all of the sources made available to me. Whether it be access to information or faculty members, I always felt that I was provided excellent help to prepare me for the real world.

Ashlyn: Seeing familiar faces in the hallways, Sigma Nu Tau, and Iowa JPEC.


How would you describe your job-searching experience in college? What did you learn throughout your process that you wish you had known sooner? 

Lauren: My job-searching experience was successful after I began taking advantage of the resources and opportunities provided to me. After many unsuccessful attempts at finding a job, I began reaching out to friends and the career center for help. The career center gave me great tips and resources. In addition, my friends and family encouraged me to attend Tippie Tech meetings to meet employers every week. I was fortunate to have gotten an interview, and later a job, after speaking with an employer at a Tippie Tech meeting. If it wasn’t for the guidance I received from the career center and my family and friends, I would probably not have been as successful and gotten a job early in November.

Derrick: The job searching experience has been tedious and disheartening at times, but I learned how to sell my skillset and showcase my strengths more effectively to employers. I wish I understood the job search more clearly in my earlier years, so I could’ve gotten a head start in networking and building my portfolio.

Matthew: I was very fortunate during my job search. I was offered a full-time position from the company I interned with the previous summer. However, I wish someone would have told me sooner in my job search that you need to go out and find a job. It is not just going to fall in your lap. While this seems a bit harsh, I originally thought if I got good grades and was in different activities then I would score a great job. That is not always the case. For anyone looking for a job, I would recommend reaching out to people through LinkedIn. Reaching out and building connections is the best way to get your name out there and score your dream job.

Ashlyn: There is a lot of pressure on seniors to have a job offer prior to graduation. I did not realize how time consuming the job search process would be. You must set aside a couple hours per day to apply for jobs and schedule phone calls and interviews. It is a very time-consuming process, but you have to learn to prioritize with your long-term interest in mind.

Emily: Despite the occasional discouragement that comes along with the job search, I have come to realize that perseverance, self-confidence, and a growing network of connections, are the keys to opening numerous doors. With the various paths available within Marketing, I had no idea where to begin. As I continued to connect with working professionals and alumni, gaining their perspectives on various roles and companies, I gradually began to recognize the career route that appeared fitting for me. If I could tell my past-self one thing, it would be to not take rejection to heart. It is okay to hear “no” more often than you hear “yes”. Take time to build your network and establish positive relationships to those within. The advice gained will speak volumes to your professional development.


What would you say was the most valuable lesson you learned throughout your time at Tippie? 

Lauren: I learned that you have the power to be your worst enemy or your biggest support. Become your biggest supporter by doing things that will overall benefit you in the long run.  Don’t be afraid to take advantage of office hours when you need help. Join that student organization you’ve been curious about. Create relationships with peers and professors. Those relationships will last through college and beyond.

Derrick: It’s important to find ways to differentiate yourself from others. Everyone at Tippie is smart, and we should spend more time building our strengths rather than just studying for tests.

Matthew: The most valuable lesson I learned throughout my time at Tippie was to focus on your weaknesses. By this, I don’t mean think about all the things you do bad. Instead acknowledge what you need to work on and practice developing these areas. For me, it was important to understand what my weaknesses were and turn them into strengths. This helped me build confidence and feel much more prepared to enter the workforce following graduation.


What is your last imparting wisdom to other marketing students on making the most of the college experience? 

Lauren: College goes by FAST. Make the most of your college experience by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Attend events on campus, create relationships with peers, and take advantage of the free resources that help your academic success.

Derrick: Join more marketing clubs. The networking and opportunities they present are crucial.

Ashlyn: Try to take advantage of every opportunity you get in college. There are a lot of ways to get involved, explore your interests, and step out of your comfort zone. You can share these experiences in the job search process and leverage the skills you gained whether technical or soft.

Emily: There is no timeline to life. Set the pace for your personal journey and realize that it is okay if things do not go as planned. Trying to control everything around you leaves nothing but unnecessary stress. Focus on what is in front of you and take it from there!


We want to extend our congratulations to the entire class of Spring 2020 graduates. Thank you for your leadership at Tippie and welcome to the Tippie Alumni Family!  


Meet the spectacular students featured in this article:

Lauren Jackson is from Peoria, Illinois and graduated with a double major in Marketing (Analytics track) and Business Analytics, and a minor in Psychology. She is now a Technology Consultant with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  

Derrick Johnson is from Council Bluffs, Iowa and graduated with a major in Marketing (Professional Sales & Management track) and a certificate in Leadership Studies. Derrick is currently a Retail Sales and Execution Specialist for Chobani. 

Matthew Schellaburger is from Muscatine, Iowa and completed hiMarketing degree (Professional Sales & Management track). Matthew now works for The HON Company as a Sales Development Associate. 

Ashlyn Shumaker is originally from West Des Moines, Iowa and graduated as a Marketing major (Analytics Track) with certificates in Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Management. Her current position is with Keyot as a Crew 212 Process Engineer. 

And last but not leastEmily Studnicka. Emily is from Frankfort, Illinois and graduated with a degree in Marketing (Retail Management track) and a minor in Psychology. 

McKenzie Fuller

Fuller, McKenzie - Graduate Research Assistant

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