Alumni Spotlight

UT Tyler Soules College of Business

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 Soules College of Business Degree help you with your current position?

My Soules College of Business degree gave me exposure to real industry experience and data analyzing.

What was your favorite Soules College of Business 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 Soules College of Business 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 Soules College of Business/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 Soules College of Business 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 Soules College of Business 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.