The collegiate path taken by marketing senior Emily Broughton certainly isn’t a traditional one, but it is a path that helped her launch her professional career months before she receives her diploma.
After transferring to West Virginia University from Temple University, Emily wondered what the next chapter of her college life would look like. That is, until she took a sales class in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. From the first day in that class, she said, everything clicked.
“It was like everything came together simultaneously,” said Emily, a Clarksburg, West Virginia, native. “I was in the right area of study in the right school at the right university.”
She was an opera major at Temple before transferring to the Chambers College, and has been involved in the Miss America organization for the past few years. Emily earned the Embodiment of the 21st Century Woman scholarship from Miss America’s West Virginia chapter in 2018. And while she is definitely not a wallflower, she said the change to WVU and business was the right move.
“I was very lost before getting into business. I knew I needed to switch majors, and the faculty at the Chambers College were so helpful. Dr. (Michael) Walsh and Dr. (Emily) Tanner have been incredibly supportive in helping me grow within the sales program. They told me they thought I would be great at professional sales. I gave it a shot, joined the professional sales student organization and it was like a light bulb came on,” said Emily.
She stressed that what she has done outside the classroom has also fueled her success — from an internship at PepsiCo in Louisville, Kentucky, joining the student sales club and professional sales team to joining the American Marketing Association and being part of the winning team in the Deloitte Case Competition. Her role on the competition team was to present the solution in the case and relate the value back to the product, which yielded “a lot of positive feedback from Deloitte.” Emily strongly believes that she had access to great opportunities at the Chambers College, but that you cannot just wait for those opportunities to come to you. So she went and got them.
“I felt like I needed to have real experience to put on my resume,” said Emily, who has participated in several sales competitions along the way. “To get that great job, you need more than an attractive GPA. The Chambers College provided me opportunities to do that, and now I get to go into my dream job.”
This daughter of two WVU alumni landed a job at Gartner months before she will walk across the stage at the WVU Coliseum to receive her marketing degree. Gartner is a worldwide research and advisory company with offices in North America, South America, Europe, Latin America, Asia/Pacific and Japan, the Middle East and Africa.
“I love beating expectations,” Emily said. “Sales is still seen by some as a man’s world, and this is something that was really a great fit for me. I’m competitive, and the program has given me so much confidence.”
How much confidence? Enough to strike up a conversation with John Chambers last November when he was on campus for the naming of WVU’s business school. That conversation led to Emily’s Skype meeting with Chambers over spring break.
“I want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I feel like I can lead a company of people who will love working there,” she said. “And John Chambers is a great role model for that. He’s impacted public policy all over the world. He’s been an ally to various U.S. Presidents and world leaders, and he’s just a fantastic role model.”
With only weeks separating her from graduation, Emily said she has an abundance of gratitude for the Chambers College.“The Chambers College helped me find me,” she said. “And the faculty here truly care how students do. They’re truly invested. Having the resources to pave my own road is tremendous. Those are the differentiators.”