Our Stories

Building Relationships to Build a Career

Supportive community made Vanderbilt stand out to Michaela Guillory

Michaela Guillory
Associate Global Brand Marketing - Licensing, Ralph Lauren, New York

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2021

Michaela Guillory was fortunate enough to discover her passion early, working in fashion retail during most of her undergraduate experience. “I knew I wanted to work on the business side of either fashion or beauty, specifically in brand management,” she says. “My minor in business gave me only a small introduction to marketing, and I wanted to learn more about the subject.”

As she began the process of researching and applying to graduate programs, she says, “Vanderbilt’s emphasis on how much support Owen gives their students really pushed me to favor it more than other options. I liked the idea of having a smaller class to be able to build strong relationships to last me throughout my career. And I liked how personalized we can make the experience.”

So she submitted her application to Vanderbilt first. When she learned that she’d been accepted, Michaela dropped all of her other applications. “I knew I was meant to be here,” she says. “I’m so happy with that decision.”

Just as she anticipated, the tight-knit community of students and faculty has been a highlight of her experience. “It genuinely feels like the faculty and the people at the CMC are 100% committed to making sure we’re getting the most out of the program; they’re always available for any questions we have.”

That community, Michaela believes, has been especially important for a woman entering what has previously been a male-dominated field. “The Master of Marketing program has more women than men, and learning alongside other MMark and MBA women has helped me gain the confidence I need to be ‘aggressive’ in pursuing the career that I want,” she says. “Being surrounded by women in my classes and even with the faculty has made me feel like I am not alone in what is a male-dominated industry. The relationships I have formed with the other women in the program are going to be lifelong friendships, and it gives me comfort knowing that I will have a network of women in the marketing industry to call upon for the rest of my career.”

Fun Fact: A dancer since second grade, Michaela once danced at an NFL halftime show.

It gives me comfort knowing that I will have a network of women in the marketing industry to call upon for the rest of my career.