Our Stories

Getting to Where She Wanted to Be

For Alyse Bicknell, Owen opened doors to Nashville

Alyse Bicknell
Communications Specialist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2020

Coming out of college, Alyse Bicknell knew where she wanted to pursue a career in marketing: Nashville. A couple of hurdles stood in her way. “I had no idea about the job market here and no connections here,” she explains.

She also had no idea that Vanderbilt offered a Master of Marketing program. That changed—thanks to her sister, who works at Vanderbilt and who connected her to an MMark student—and Alyse’s plans changed as a result. Instead of pursuing an MBA at another southern university, as she had contemplated, she sought to make Vanderbilt her entree to Nashville and to her career. “I decided it was a better fit for me,” she says.

Alyse also found it appealing—and a different experience from her undergrad program—to be among so many other women as she equipped herself for her career. “The Master of Marketing program is dominated by women,” she says. “It was a fun and inviting environment. I feel better prepared to succeed as a businesswoman because I have taken the time to get an advanced degree and got to learn from some very accomplished women who are professors here, like Kelly Goldsmith and Jennifer Escalas.”

While she was gaining new skills, Alyse also was building a network thanks to Vanderbilt. “Owen alums are in amazing places, and those that I reached out to were more than willing to talk to me,” she says. “It helped me to open doors in Nashville and form a community with other people. And eventually, I will be able to help other people from Owen in the same way, which is nice to think about.”

Alyse won’t have to go far to connect with those future students (or with her sister). Upon completing the program, she accepted a position with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Fun Fact: Alyse is the daughter, granddaughter, and niece of professional football coaches.

Owen alums are in amazing places, and those that I reached out to were more than willing to talk to me.