Our Stories

Realizing Where He Wants to Be

Business major finds what he was looking for (and more) at Vanderbilt

Hayden Clark
Vice President of Digital Marketing, LGI Homes

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2017

Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing, Hayden Clark came out of college with job offers, he says – “just not the job offers I wanted.”

He recognized a gap between his academic credentials and his aspirations: “a lack,” as he describes it, “of advanced educational insights.”

As he explored his options, he kept coming back to Vanderbilt, the school he almost chose for his undergraduate experience. While Vanderbilt’s rankings and reputation were big factors, he says, sitting in on a class during a formal visit to Owen cemented his choice.

“It was a compensation course,” Hayden recalls, “and I felt like, despite holding two undergraduate business degrees, I was more inspired and stimulated by that one class session than I had been in any other course. That was when I knew Vanderbilt was where I wanted to be.”

He felt even more certain of his decision a year later as he neared graduation. “As a student,” says Hayden, “I felt we had major allies helping us along the way.” He cites the admissions and career management staff, the Leadership Development Program (“It gives me tools to thrive in difficult and unusual situations in the business world,” he says) and, in particular, his professors. “I find it hard to believe that there is a faculty anywhere that is more personable and supporting than the one you will find here,” he says.

In fact, he found the experience so rewarding that he might return. “The program helped me see clearly where I want to go and what I want to achieve,” Hayden says. “I may return one day to complete my MBA (a great feature of the MMark program). But in the meantime I feel completely equipped to succeed immediately."

Fun Fact: Building on an experience in college, Hayden served as a quality control intern for the Vanderbilt football team during the 2016 season.

“I was more inspired and stimulated by that one class session than I had been in any [undergraduate] course.”