Our Stories

Finding the Right Balance

For ballet dancer, marketing was the ideal career mix

Kate Albritton
Digital Marketing Specialist, Fourth Capital Bank

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2022

One thing Kate Albritton learned about herself early on: She has always drawn equally from both the right and left sides of her brain. She’s creative but also analytical. That’s what drew her to marketing, which is both art and science.

At her undergraduate institution, marketing was taught through the School of Journalism. “While I had taken courses in accounting and finance,” Kate says, “I felt like I was lacking the hard business side of marketing.”

In the Vanderbilt MMark program, Kate—who is classically trained in ballet—found that balance between analytics and creativity that she prized. For her, Brand Week had it all. As Kate explains it, “Real-life brands come to campus, and we do consulting work for them over a one-week period. In teams, we get to work with each brand for one day and then present our projects. From that rapid-fire immersive consulting experience, I really learned to be confident about myself and my abilities. It was so much fun to quickly and effectively solve these problems as groups. It was amazing what we could accomplish.”

Kate also appreciated the program’s flexibility with incorporating self-directed studies into coursework, which enabled her to focus on the particular industry—financial services—where she wanted to pursue a marketing career. She was also able to take on a part-time marketing job with the Vanderbilt Center for Entrepreneurship during the program. “The days were sometimes long,” she says, “but it was so rewarding to be able to immediately apply class topics to my work and vice versa.”

More than anything, Kate appreciated the faculty in the program. “We joked that we [students] were their passion project because they each have amazing careers outside of being a professor, and they do amazing research, but they really dive into each of us and are always available. A lot of times, they give out their personal cellphone numbers so we can reach them whenever about any problems we may have,” she shares. “Even after we’re out of school and in the workforce, they have made themselves very accessible and are always welcoming.”

Now, Kate is working in Nashville, the city where she had long hoped to begin her career. “This program has shaped my future personally and professionally,” she says, “and I have met some of my best friends who will be there for life.”

Fun Fact: Kate loves cooking and baking, which she finds therapeutic. She is on a quest to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

It was so much fun to quickly and effectively solve these problems as groups. It was amazing what we could accomplish.