Our Stories

Taking Her Best Shot

Student-athlete parlays extra year into graduate degree

Marnelle Garraud
Strategy Analyst, Deloitte

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2023

While earning a degree in business analytics and information systems at Boston College, Marnelle Garraud played guard on the basketball team. Because the COVID-19 pandemic cut short the 2019-20 season, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility for student-athletes. Undergraduate degree in hand, Marnelle decided to continue her education in business. 

“I grew up in Boston, so I wanted to explore somewhere I could have a new experience,” she says. “And I thought Vanderbilt had the best of both worlds. I could play basketball in the Southeastern Conference and be a student at one of the country’s best academic institutions.”

The Master of Marketing program allowed her to combine two additional interests. “I liked the math part of business, but I wanted to be in touch with the human side, too,” she says. “In marketing, I could merge the analytical and consumer-facing sides.”

Balancing the demands of basketball with business school was a challenging task. But it’s one that Marnelle had grown accustomed to handling over the previous four years. And in both realms of her life at Vanderbilt, she found help from teammates.

“I became interested in consulting because I learned it had a much faster track than other jobs in the marketing space,” Marnelle says. “My career coach at Owen helped me polish my resume and cover letter in preparation for job interviews. And then once I landed my first interview with Deloitte, she made sure I had enough resources through the alumni network of people who worked for Deloitte, and they all helped me prepare.

 “I got an interview and was offered a job within three months of joining Vanderbilt.”

As she neared graduation, Marnelle still enjoyed the best of both worlds. With opportunities to continue playing basketball overseas, she was able to defer her start date at Deloitte’s Boston office for a year. “I didn’t want to give up basketball just yet,” she says. “[At Vanderbilt] I was able to live in a different state for the first time, and now I can live in a different country, and then I can segue into the business world.”

Fun Fact: Marnelle was co-captain of her college basketball team. 

I got an interview and was offered a job within three months of joining Vanderbilt.