Our Stories

Hitting the Ground at Full Stride

CMC helped runner Tori Mitchell get a strong head start

Victoria Mitchell
Manager, Strategy and Development, Tractor Supply Company

Vanderbilt MBA 2021

When she decided to pursue an MBA, family history inclined Tori Mitchell toward Vanderbilt. Her great-grandmother was one of the first women to enroll in nursing school there.

Even so, Tori might have wound up at an even more highly-ranked program, where she was also accepted, had she not chosen to visit Owen during Discover Weekend. “I immediately felt like I belonged here,” she says. “It was warm and welcoming. I brought my significant other along, and he was just as welcomed as I was. If you have a partner or children, they’re as much a part of the Owen community as the students.”

That was far from the only course-setting development that happened before Tori formally enrolled. Because she was awarded a Forté Fellowship from Vanderbilt, she had an opportunity during the summer before her first classes to attend a Forté Foundation event in Chicago—which also meant opportunities to network with numerous potential employers. Beginning in June, Owen’s Career Management Center worked with her one-on-one to help her polish her resume and practice her pitch.

The effort paid off. Tori’s networking at the conference led to an internship in Merchandising Operations with Walmart.

And that internship offer, in turn, enabled her to focus more time during her first year on both her studies and her participation in student organizations (she served as a board member of both the Operations Club and the Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series, sat on the Honor Council, and joined the Cork & Barrel Club “just for fun”).

Of all her classes, Richard Willis’s managerial accounting course was her favorite. “He memorizes all of our resumes and incorporates fun facts about his students into all of his lectures,” Tori says. “Comparing that experience against the 150-person classes I had in undergrad is what makes Owen special to me.”

Fun Fact: An avid runner, Tori competed in the Los Angeles Marathon in 2019.

If you have a partner or children, they’re as much a part of the Owen community as the students.