Our Stories

Finding a Warmer Climate

Welcoming environment for women helps Jones change careers

Stephanie Jones
Senior Consultant, Deloitte Consulting

Vanderbilt MBA 2021

At ESPN, Stephanie Jones did everything from producing highlights for SportsCenter to creating video content for a wide variety of sporting events – including the Indy 500, college football and basketball, Wimbledon, and the Heisman Trophy Ceremony. She was even nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on the 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. But after six years, she concluded she needed to make a move, both geographically and in terms of her career.

“If I was ever going to reach my full potential, I was going to need more business acumen,” explains the Florida native. “And I was tired of winters in the Northeast!”

The opportunity to return to a warmer climate led her to consider Vanderbilt as a potential next stop. The welcoming climate she encountered when she visited campus during the women’s forum cemented her choice. “[The forum] had a strong impact on me as I felt like I really connected with the women. It was an easy way to picture myself as part of the Owen community.”

Stephanie’s first year brought her deeper into that community through her involvement in student clubs, from the Women’s Business Association to the Owen Student Government Association and the Owen Culinary Society. She particularly enjoyed becoming more closely connected to her international classmates during Cosmopolitan Week and through a student trip to Israel. “Owen has provided me with a network of people I can rely on, and hopefully contribute to, in the future,” she says.

While she is gaining skills that can take her to a new career in consulting—she won an internship in Deloitte’s Atlanta office—Stephanie also has gained new confidence in herself. “My experience has helped prepare me for the future by strengthening a lot of innate skills I possessed,” she says. “Now there is ‘proof’ that I possess them and can execute them. I feel confident that I can handle anything thanks to what I have learned at Vanderbilt.”

Fun Fact: Though she grew up two blocks from the beach in Florida, Stephanie spent a month each summer at her grandparents’ farm in Ohio, where she showed animals at county fairs.

I really connected with the women. It was an easy way to picture myself as part of the Owen community.