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How I Got the Job: Associate Brand Manager, Mars Petcare

Feb 21, 2023
Dan Slavin (MBA’23) pivots from accounting to marketing

By Arial Starks

Dan Slavin

Dan Slavin earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Maine in the spring of 2016. He worked in the accounting industry for 4 years with 2 different companies before ultimately deciding to return to school to pursue an MBA in 2021.

“Accounting helped me work on my analytical skills as well as my communication skills since I was the point of communication between teams,” Slavin said. “But, when I looked at my path in the accounting world, I felt like there was something missing for me. I wasn’t making as many hands-on decisions that were impacting business.”

Slavin wanted to take the skills he had already gained and pivot into a new career path. He decided the Vanderbilt MBA program was his next step towards achieving his goals.

“I was attracted to Vanderbilt Business because of the Leadership Development Program, the mixture of concentrations that the school offers, and the collaborative environment of the MBA program,” Slavin said. “The location of Owen in the center of Nashville was also a huge draw.”

Slavin entered the program in August of 2021 and immediately began preparing for the marketing recruiting cycle. After having his resume reviewed in mid-August, Slavin attended several informational sessions and coffee chats with recruiters to learn more about which companies he was interested in. In doing so, he had initial contact with Mars Petcare and knew the company was one of his top choices. 

He participated in a case competition as a member of the Owen Marketing Association and he had mock behavioral interviews with the Career Management Center team leading up to his Super Day with Mars Petcare in January of 2022. Slavin had his internship with Mars Petcare during the summer of 2022.

“I love that my internship project allowed me to work on a real-world problem,” he said. “I wasn’t just given busy work to do throughout the summer, but instead a strategic project that gave me access to work cross-functionally with people across the organization at all levels.”

Mars Petcare was impressed with the work Slavin had done for them and in August of 2022,  the company’s Franklin office extended Slavin a full-time job offer for the position of Associate Brand Manager. He is set to begin in the summer of 2023.

Slavin credits his involvement on campus for sharpening his leadership skills and the Vanderbilt Business coursework for equipping him with the tools and knowledge he needed to successfully pivot into marketing. He points to the Corporate Strategy course he took with Brian McCann, which helped prepare him for his full-time role with Mars Petcare. 

“Some of the concepts that we covered in that course like capabilities and the key resources of a firm will help me throughout my career regardless of the industry I am working in,” Slavin shared. “I think being able to apply those ideas to the larger context of Mars Petcare and the individual projects I will be working on will give me the frameworks to think through challenges, which will be helpful for me.” 

Click through the timeline below to see a visual of how Dan Slavin got the job.

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