Our Stories

Leveraging the 'Three C’s

Community, curriculum, and career success draw marketer to Vanderbilt.

Riley Blair
Consulting Analyst, Accenture

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2022

Riley Blair was drawn to Vanderbilt by what she calls “the three Cs: community, curriculum, and career.”

As she considered graduate programs after earning a degree in communications and entrepreneurship, Riley concluded that “the community at Vanderbilt was small and close knit, with a lot of group work, which is how I learn best. The curriculum was very comprehensive, and I liked that we could take analytical courses such as Statistics or Marketing Analytics. And the career paths of previous alumni aligned with companies I was interested in.”

All three of the C’s, plus a couple of others, overlapped and meshed together to make Riley’s experience highly rewarding. For example, the curriculum drew on community during the Marketing Madness case competition, in which teams work with real-world clients to tackle real business challenges.

For their client, Mars Petcare, Riley’s team was tasked with figuring out how DentaStix dog treats could experience long-term share growth in e-commerce. “We decided to introduce a new brand called Pearly Bites, which would be a high-functioning, high-quality dental care treat catering to high-paying dog parents. I am proud of this project because I had never done a case study before, and it was fun to work with my peers to solve a real-world problem.”

Meanwhile, community and career overlapped through opportunities to network with and receive advice from Owen alumni—including one, whom she met during her job interview process, who had gone to work for the same company Riley was applying to. “She was incredibly helpful with everything from general advice to nit-picky questions,” Riley says.

“I’ve also met some incredible friends through the program,” she adds, pointing to another way that community and career overlapped at Vanderbilt. As she prepared to graduate, Riley mentioned her plan to live with two of those friends after they left Nashville. “All three of us have consulting jobs in New York,” she says.

Fun Fact: Riley has been skydiving in Switzerland and ran a half-marathon on her 21st birthday “just to prove that I could.”

I had never done a case study before, and it was fun to work with my peers to solve a real-world problem.