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Seeking a Community that Communicates

Close ties to professors — and lifetime guarantee — drew April Hughes

April Hughes
Corporate Strategy, Emerging Businesses Intern, T-Mobile

Vanderbilt MBA 2019

April Hughes was already used to small communities. After all, fewer people live in her entire home state — Wyoming — than there are in just the Nashville Metro area.

But what attracted April to pursue her MBA at Vanderbilt wasn’t just the small size. “It was the one-on-one attention you receive,” she says — the virtue of helpfulness that grew out of necessity in a remote place like Lander, near the edge of Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation.

“There’s a magic happening here,” says April, who is focused on building a career in marketing with her MBA. “Accounting and finance will be the same at almost any business school, but community and friendships are what make the experience [at Vanderbilt] incredible. People here are so connected and collaborative and kind to each other.”

For April, even more important than the sense of community among students are the close relationships she enjoys with professors and staff.

She credits the Career Management Center staff for helping her with “the little things” — coaching her on whom to reach out to, what her emails should convey, resumé reviews, mock interviews, for example — and also with one very big thing: helping her land an internship with T-Mobile’s Emerging Markets division.

April was even more impressed with the help she received from professors. “The faculty are some of the most brilliant academic minds in the nation,” she says. “But when you reach out to them, they will email you back within minutes. It’s humbling and incredible.

“A lot of mentoring happens between students and faculty here. I’ve had many professors say to me, ‘I’m with you until you retire or I die.’ And they really mean it. Being able to have individuals who I can trust and who are on my side throughout my career has been an incredible experience.”

Fun Fact: In Wyoming, April lived in a 900-square-foot cabin, 10 miles from the nearest town.

“I’ve had many professors say to me, ‘I’m with you until you retire or I die.’ And they really mean it.”