Our Stories

I Had to Get Back, Whatever It Took

Cooper was sold on Nashville, then on Vanderbilt for marketing career

Olivia Cooper
Senior Client Relations Specialist, Green Apple Strategy

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2018

Olivia Cooper owed her presence at Vanderbilt to a fortuitous confluence of interests. From an internship in Nashville during her undergraduate years, she says, “I knew I had to get back to the city no matter what it took. It has the excitement of a large city like New York or Atlanta, but the people also have the kindness and sincerity of those I grew up with in southern Mississippi.”

Meanwhile, from several classes she took in earning a degree in Business Administration, Olivia knew she wanted to pursue a career in marketing. That combination, she believed, made the MMark program a “perfect fit” for her, and her campus visit only confirmed her opinion.

One of the highlights of her year in the program, she says, was the opportunity to participate in Owen’s annual Brand Week alongside MBA students, in which teams participate in a series of challenges issued by real brands, with only a few days (or even a few hours) to devise their plans and present them to clients.

“It was an incredible learning experience about teamwork,” Olivia says, “and taught me a lot about myself and how I work with projects that have a quick deadline. This gave me experience that was a huge confidence booster.”

Overall, she credits the program with equipping her with the knowledge she needed to earn a position with an advertising/marketing agency — and with improving her communication and leadership skills.

Upon graduation, Olivia was able to keep her confluence of interests intact.  She was able to land a job with an advertising firm but to stay in Nashville to boot. On a pretty day, she says, you might find her in her favorite perch — at the top of Love Circle Hill, where she can look out on the city skyline. “When I need a mental break,” she says, “it’s a great place to soak up Nashville and use your reset button.”

Fun Fact: Olivia, who recently obtained her motorcycle license, home-brews her own craft beer with her husband.

“[Brand Week] was an incredible learning experience about teamwork and taught me a lot about myself and how I work with projects that have a quick deadline.”