Our Stories

Gaining National Reach from the Southeast

Morris found the marketing program—and job—she was looking for

Makenna Morris
Growth Analyst, DTC, Constellation Brands

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2019

As Makenna Morris tells it, she made her first marketing presentation when she was eight years old. Taping pieces of paper on the front of the family television set, she walked her parents step by step through the reasons why she should be allowed to have a pet bunny.

The pitch failed, but Makenna knew the field in which she wanted to make a career. Unsurprisingly, she chose to major in marketing in college.

During her junior year, she came to a realization. Based on the preparation she was receiving, she would not stand out against other students applying for the positions for which she was qualified. “The curriculum,” Makenna says, “hadn’t been updated to take into account the rise of market research, social media, marketing analytics, and big data.”

At the same time, she says, “I really wanted to avoid accepting a job for which I felt overqualified. I wanted to gain more experience in the digital marketing arena so that I was better suited for a job that I wanted and felt matched my potential.”

As she explored graduate programs, Makenna wanted to find a school in the Southeast with national reach—and one “where companies come to recruit and sell themselves to students, not the other way around.”

When she visited Vanderbilt, she says, “I was able to experience the small class sizes” (a refreshing contrast to her large undergraduate classes). She also appreciated the opportunity to take classes with, and learn from, MBA students.

Less than 10 months later, Makenna landed the kind of job she was looking for, with Infosys. “Vanderbilt opened doors for me all over the country,” she says, “and now I am moving to New York and working for a company rated by Forbes magazine as one of the best management consulting firms in 2018. I would not have had this opportunity without Owen.”

Fun Fact: After graduation, Makenna visited Peru and hiked the Inca trail up to Machu Picchu.

“Vanderbilt opened doors for me all over the country.”