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Discovering Nashville

Owen opens up whole new world for NY native

Gabriel Stone Jansen
Finance Manager, Amazon Web Services

Vanderbilt MBA 2014

For many international students, coming to Nashville is an introduction to an unfamiliar American culture. Gabe Stone-Jansen had a similar experience — except that he came from New York.

“Coming to Owen is the first time I have lived outside of New York City,” says Gabe, who in four years at PepsiCo rose from an intern to become a senior analyst in the beverage planning department. “I knew very little about the world outside of the Northeast.”

During his first year, the New York native says he appreciated how much there was to learn. “At PepsiCo, I had just barely scratched the surface in learning about corporate valuation, pricing strategies and other financial instruments. At Owen, I have had expert professors bring clarity on all these subjects and many more.”

He also enjoyed the acculturation process — and the discovery of “how much fun Nashville is.”

“Like most people,” says Gabe, “I was terrified of leaving a job and coming to a part of the country I had never been to with people I had never met. After my first day of orientation, I knew without a doubt that I had made the right decision. Vanderbilt is a community that takes care of its own. I quickly found a great group of friends and Nashville has no shortage of activities, with everything from rock climbing to live music at one of a hundred venues.”

Gabe’s classmates, meanwhile, got a little taste of New York. “I like to make my own pizza from scratch,” he says. “Some people, maybe even some New Yorkers, say it’s the best they’ve ever had.”