Our Stories

Learning How Much She Needed to Learn

Katie Pisarek found supportive environment that helped her move into marketing

Katie Pisarek
Senior Manager, Media Services at New Engen Inc.

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2018
Vanderbilt Accelerator 2017

Katie Pisarek graduated from college with two insights about her career direction. First, she knew, from an undergraduate internship experience, that she loved marketing. Second, she wasn’t equipped for a career in that field. “I lacked the business foundation that I thought would allow me to be the most successful in my professional life,” says the Southern California native.

She already knew about Vanderbilt; for undergrad, she almost chose Vandy over Notre Dame. When she looked more deeply at options for a graduate business degree, Katie says, “The Master of Marketing program provided classes directly related to my interest, along with a wide range of professional development tools and great faculty.”

Once she entered the program, Katie had another insight: “I realized how much I had to learn in the field of business,” she says.

She also soon realized how valuable that Owen’s supportive environment could be for someone like her. “Every time I have needed help with something, no matter the topic, I have reached out and been met with immeasurable support, she says.”

Katie particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work and interact with MBA students, most of whom already had several years of career experience. “I have loved learning from the MBAs and have also loved seeing them learn from me,” she says. “The MBA/MMark relationship was intimidating, but it’s great to compare the end of the year with the start to see how much that relationship has grown and benefited my professional development.

“While the curriculum provides a substantial foundation for growth, so much personal and professional development occur in all the other activities that Owen provides. Looking back at who I was in July, I can’t begin to explain how much I have learned in such a short period of time.”

Fun Fact: During her college study-abroad year in London, Katie visited seven countries and hiked in the Swiss Alps.

“Looking back at who I was in July, I can’t begin to explain how much I have learned in such a short period of time.”