UT Tyler

UT Tyler College of Business and Technology

Student Spotlight

 Alec de Jong

Alec de Jong

Tell us a little about you.
I am a recent graduate from from UT Tyler with a degree in Marketing. I am married to my beautiful wife who is currently a student in the Fast Track BSN program at UT Tyler. I would consider myself as an outdoorsy nerd. Which means I love video games, movies, and comics just as much as I love camping, hiking, sports, and most other things outdoorsy. I really enjoyed my time at UT Tyler.

What did you do right after graduating?
I attended the Category Management Association in Las Vegas and Interviewed with multiple companies.  

Tell us about your current job and what you do.
I am a Marketing Business Analyst at Oracle in their Oracle Data Cloud division. It is a consultant role so I get to do all the fun parts of marketing. I mainly analyze many forms of data and create creative marketing strategies based off of those analytics.

How did your CBT Degree help you with your current position?
It gave me exposure to category management and data analytics which were some of the reasons I got the job with Oracle. It also provided me with real industry experiences through working with 7-Eleven and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

What was your favorite CBT class and why?
My favorite class was the Special Topics in Marketing class. We partnered with 7-Eleven and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits to increase wine sales in 7-Eleven stores. This class provided me with very valuable industry experience in data analytics and working with a corporate client. At the end of the course I was one of the people who presented our recommendations to executives form both 7-Eleven and Southern Glazer’s.

Any CBT/UT Tyler memories you would like to share?
Being able to attend the Category Management Association Conference as a CBT representative was an amazing experience. I learned so many helpful skills and gained valuable knowledge that will help with my career. Also, I gained some very valuable contacts with some very big companies and organizations that will be beneficial in the future.

Were you involved in any student organizations white a student here?
CBT Ambassadors

What advice would you give current CBT students?
Talk to your professors and listen to their advice! A lot of them have over 20 years of industry experience and they know what they are talking about! Don't be afraid to meet with them after class. They love talking to students and that can lead to opportunities you did not know were available.

What insight do you have for CBT students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job?
Use LinkedIn and be creative with your resume. Recruiters only look at a resume for about 5-10 seconds so if it doesn't stand out your resume will be tossed out. Also, do not be discouraged if it takes a while to hear from a company. Things take a long time to process especially with big companies. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone at the company and get their advice.  

Crystal Traylor

Crystal Traylor

Tell us a little about you.
I graduated from UT Tyler in Dec 2013 with my BBA in Marketing and I am currently a Pricing Analytics Analyst with Ingersoll Rand (Trane/American Standard) and have been with IR for 3 years. I will also be publishing a novel before the end of the year.

What did you do right after graduating? 
I worked many temporary positions right after graduating and that was the perfect way for me to test the waters in many companies/industries without obligation. If any of those positions were to have extend an offer on the first day, I would have jumped at the opportunity, but (with the exception of my current employer) by the end of the assignment I was happy to be able to move on. That experience was able to help me narrow down what I was looking for in a position/company as well as manage my expectations.  

Tell us about your current job and what you do. 
As a Pricing Analytics Analyst, I support the retail and project-based pricing teams at Ingersoll Rand with reporting and analytics for all residential HVAC products in the US. We use a combination of different data manipulation software programs, including Tableau and Alteryx, to accomplish this.

How did your CBT Degree help you with your current position?
More than anything, my degree helped me prepare for the mindset that would be needed in my current position. Luckily for me, I chose a degree that has a broad range of applications. One may link analytics to Mathematics before Marketing but, going down to the fundamentals of marketing with the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion), pricing is also in my job title. Like fingers on the same hand, those fundamentals are all connected and my job encompasses, in some form or fashion, all of them; even though it wasn't in the traditional marketing realm of sales or advertising. 

What was your favorite CBT class and why?
I knew I chose the right degree when every marketing class was my favorite! Just when I thought I loved a class the most, I took another class and it was like, “But wait, there’s more!” in the best possible way. My all-time favorite class was Marketing Research. But close runners-up were Retailing, Consumer Behavior, and Operations Management.  

Were you involved in any student organizations while a student here?
I was involved in the student organization ENACTUS and was able to participate in their second Rising Phoenix Project event. I loved being able to connect with the community in a way that was encouraging and instilled hope for a brighter future while giving real tools and practical advice.   

What advice would you give current CBT students?
My college experience was not the typical experience. I am a first-generation college graduate and was a mother of three children under 5 years old when I began taking classes. I would tell students that college is difficult but not impossible and totally worth it! Take advantage of the opportunity to learn and use it to challenge yourself to grow. Get involved in student organizations. Talk to your professors. Ask questions. Pay attention and keep in mind the classes you love and seek out advice to find employment in those areas. Keep in touch with good study partners, they will be a good networking resource later.  

What insight do you have for CBT students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job?
Talk to your professors! I asked advice on which local companies to look at for the areas of skill that interested me. I remember saying “This is what I would like to do but I don’t know what companies do this.” Those conversations were invaluable to me. I would also say not to discount or dismiss opportunities for temporary positions, even if it's in an area outside of your field of study. I was able to network through connections with past assignments and a temporary assignment was how I was introduced to the company I currently work for.  

  Jeffrey Fannin

Jeffrey Fannin

Tell us a little about you.
My name is Jeffrey Fannin and I currently work as a Category Development Manager at Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits. I am a big tennis and basketball fan and play both sports whenever I can. I attended UT Tyler from 2013 to 2016 and graduated with a bachelors degree in marketing. 

What did you do right after graduating?
I wasted no time and started hunting for jobs as soon as I could. I sent many applications to various companies for many different positions. I was blessed to find one as quickly as I did.

Tell us about your current job and what you do.
I currently work as a Category Development Manager on the dedicated HEB account team at Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits. In this position, I use data and analytics to develop insight to improve our business, as well as our customers (HEB).

How did your CBT Degree help you with your current position?
My degree helped me with my job in various ways.  I took multiple courses during my time at UT Tyler that allows me to do the job I do today. Retail analytics, 7-Eleven Case Study, and the course for Microsoft Excel taught me many things that I use on a daily basis when analyzing data.

What was your favorite CBT class and why?
I had the opportunity to be a part of the 7-Eleven Case study class at UT Tyler. That class was my favorite class because it introduced me to category management, and allowed me to gain some tangible experience in the field. The best part was being able to develop a strategy for 7-Eleven and present it to their merchandising team at their corporate office.

Any CBT/UT Tyler memories you would like to share?
The 7-Eleven class had some fun times interacting with professors and students, and presenting our findings to the merchandising team was a great experience. Their feedback was also very useful.

What advice would you give current CBT students?
Gaining work experience is just as valuable as an education. My 6 years of experience in a grocery store helped differentiate me from other candidates. Get to know your professors! They are a useful reference when applying for jobs! 

What insight do you have for CBT students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job?
Be willing to branch out when applying for jobs after graduating (ex. moving to new areas/cities). Don't be afraid to apply for positions were you don't meet all the qualifications (Ex. My job required a masters degree and years of experience in category management. I had just received a bachelors degree and only had roughly 5 months of category management experience. I was able to convey my knowledge of the field and retail during my interviews). Don't be afraid to reach out to the recruiter regarding the position. I reached out to the recruiter to let him know I wanted to interview and apply for the position I have now.

Ericka Reina

 Ericka Reina

Tell us a little about you.
My name is Ericka Reina, I am a very happy, adventurous person who likes to travel and try new things. I spend most of my free time drawing or painting, and when I get a chance I go for mini road trips. As a DACA recipient and a Faulconer Scholar, I was able to complete undergraduate school and obtain a job in my field of study. I graduated from The University of Texas at Tyler in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

 

What did you do right after graduating?
I started job hunting right away and interviewed with different companies in East Texas. 

Tell us about your current job and what you do.
I am an Advertising Associate for Brookshire Brothers in their corporate office in Lufkin, TX. My role is putting together the weekly ad, in-store audio messaging and music for all of Brookshire Brothers retail locations. I also work closely with category managers and graphic designers and write the employee newsletter for our private label brands.

How did your CBT Degree help you with your current position?
My CBT degree gave me exposure to real industry experience and data analyzing.

What was your favorite CBT class and why?
Special Topics in Marketing. We partnered with 7-Eleven and Southern Glazer’s Distributors to increase wine sales in 7-Eleven stores. It was an amazing experience to see how we took everything that we learned from all of our CBT courses and combine them to a real life scenario. I was able to strengthen my data analyzing skills by understanding how to read and interpret the data, do in-depth research, and it also helped me improve my presentation skills.

Any CBT/UT Tyler memories you would like to share?
7-Eleven/Southern Glazer’s Case Study. It was a challenging course but I learned a lot and It was a great experience interacting with the professors and being able to present our findings at the 7-Eleven Headquarters.

What advice would you give current CBT students?
College is not easy, but it’s not impossible! On my last semester, I took 19 hours and worked full time, so I know how critical time management is when you have a busy schedule. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors, they have the best advice to give you. Try to apply to internships – it’s a great opportunity to gain experience while you work on completing your degree. Experience is just as important as education.

What insight do you have for CBT students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job? 
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a job right after graduation. Apply to the company you want to work for, even if you don’t meet all the qualifications – it never hurts to try. Be creative with your resume, make it unique and let it stand out. Your resume is a representation of yourself. Also, take advantage of LinkedIn, employers do actually look at your professional profile. Be mindful of what you post in social media – it shows a lot about who you are, and in a lot of cases employers search for you before you interview.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 


 

 

 

 

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