Our Stories

Running in a Bigger Field

Owen widens French track star's world

Julien Bousquet
Senior Marketing Manager, PepsiCo

Vanderbilt MBA 2015

The first recruiter who contacted Julien Bousquet about his next move after college didn’t offer him a job. He offered an opportunity to join a college track team.

After earning an undergraduate degree in general management in his native France, Julien — an elite 800-meter runner (his fastest time is 1:49) — had received an invitation to his country’s Olympic trials. He accepted the offer to come to the U.S. and compete for the University of Southern Mississippi. “I decided to run at a high level for a year before pursuing an MBA,” he explains.

During that year in Mississippi, Julien split his time between training, studying international business, coaching track and field at a high school and working for several months as a door-to-door salesman. His experience in the South was one reason he took an interest in Vanderbilt.

“I really liked living where the people are laid back and the weather is nice,” he says. “I had heard about the really good reputation of Vanderbilt, so I decided to visit. I loved the vibe of Owen and the energy of its students and staff.”

At Vanderbilt, where he quickly developed an interest in marketing and brand management, Julien experienced a different kind of training. “I have developed the ability to look at a problem, analyze the issue and come up with different solutions,” he says. “I’m actually doing it every time I go to a store or look at a product or process.

His Owen experience led to another recruiter’s offer. During the summer after his first year, he earned an internship in marketing for Mattel in Los Angeles.

“Because of the incredible diversity of students at Owen — in terms of nationality, age, backgrounds and hobbies — I have learned way more than I ever imagined. Owen is widening my world every day.”