Our Stories

Driven to Marketing

Owen Put Brown on Road to New Career

Chris Brown
Associate Director of Marketing, Chattem Inc.

Vanderbilt MBA 2010

In the annals of Owen, Chris Brown stands alone. He's the only student or alum (so far) to have driven the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile for a living.

During the summer after he graduated from Penn State, Chris was selected over more than 1,200 applicants for the job of roving goodwill ambassador and Wienermobile driver. The high-profile gig—which involved radio and TV appearances—also required Brown to adopt a nom de wiener. To the public, he was known as "Ketchup Chris."

Though Chris parlayed his finance degree into a successful career as a financial operations analyst for Schering-Plough in Memphis, his travels for Oscar Meyer gave him a "passion" for marketing that led him to pursue an MBA.

Turning down a full scholarship for another top 50 MBA program, Chris chose Owen for its reputation—"a name that is recognized worldwide"—its emphases on leadership development and communication skills, an environment that is "competitive but also collaborative" and the school's penchant for developing well-rounded students.

After his first year, Chris won a product management internship with his old company, Schering-Plough, in New Jersey—an opportunity the former hot dog man, er, relishes. "Owen," he says, "give me a strong foundation to pursue my goals for a brand management career."