Our Stories

Finding Her Career Passion after One Class

Campus visit illuminated path to combine marketing and international studies

Elson Stewart
Digital Marketing | PEDIGREE, Mars

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2021

How good are Vanderbilt’s professors? In Elson Stewart’s case, enough to inspire her to embark on her career path. When she came for a campus visit and sat in on a class taught by Jennifer Escalas, she explains, she had taken only one college marketing class and “was still hesitant about how passionate I was” about the subject.

That quickly changed. “The class was so interesting,” Elson says. “I knew from the way [Professor Escalas] taught and the students’ engagement that I had found a new passion in marketing. Her background — her husband being from Spain, her international business, her bilingualism — also helped influence my decision because I knew she would give great advice about working in international business and marketing.”

One class, of course, wasn’t the only reason Elson chose Vanderbilt. She knew that the program would be academically challenging — but also that a graduate degree in marketing from Vanderbilt would combine well with her undergraduate majors in Spanish and International Studies to help her reach her career goals. The opportunity to take part in the Leadership Development Program — “investing in LDP is the number one best thing an Owen student can do,” she says in hindsight — was another draw.

But most of all, Elson was drawn to the community she found here. “I love the people at Vanderbilt,” she says. “Everyone is so friendly, and the professors are considerate and accommodating. During my visit, I got the sense that everyone at Owen really cared about the students and wanted them to succeed. I knew I would learn things and meet people who wouldn’t just ‘get me places’ but who would become part of my story.”

Fun Fact: Elson, an avid runner, has competed in four half-marathons from Tennessee to Valparaiso, Chile.

I knew I would learn things and meet people who wouldn’t just ‘get me places’ but who would become part of my story.