Our Stories

Improving Processes and Career Prospects

English major learns to help organizations work better

Marley Schauer
Manager Enterprise Sourcing, The Walt Disney Company

Vanderbilt MBA 2014

Like many future leaders, Marley Baer Schauer came into business through a unique path. An English major at Duke, she worked after graduation in a research and publications group at Fidelity Investments in Boston. As she came to realize that significant portions of her job could be automated, she says, “I became completely hooked on the idea of improving processes and working smarter.”

Marley went on to spend six years in the financial services industry, including stints with two other firms, working with global strategic sourcing teams in professional services categories. “I had the opportunity to work with a broad range of business areas within these companies, from IT to marketing to legal services,” she says. “It provided a great overview of all the different roles that make a large corporation run.”

An MBA was the obvious next career step. “I wanted to formalize my education in areas that I developed an interest in professionally but didn’t study as an undergrad,” Marley says. “And I wanted to develop my professional network, learn about companies that are different from my previous experience and become a better leader and better collaborator.”

But the people at Owen cemented her choice. “The Owen community has empowered me to do more than I thought I could,” Marley says. “I have made the greatest friends and found an overwhelming amount of guidance and support in every area.”

After a summer internship as a business analyst with Mars Petcare, Marley landed a position with The Walt Disney Company after graduation. To her, working in a particular field or discipline was always less important than “the opportunity to do things I love in a fast-paced, collaborative environment where people care about each other and their community.” Her career aspirations haven’t really changed, she says. “But now I have a broader frame for thinking about them.”