Jen Ratliff (MA ‘10), an account executive at Trone Advertising, was one of our initial bloggers. Here is her profile on the Wake Forest Schools of Business MA website. This is her MA story.
From an early age, Jen Ratliff knew she loved the study of society and cultural history. But it wasn’t until she was a freshman in college that she learned how she was going to make a career out of that passion. The following summer, she worked as an intern at a branding agency and grew fascinated by how people think and act, what ultimately drives them, and how the art of storytelling can influence their actions.
After attending Wake Forest’s Summer Management Program following her sophomore year, she knew that in order to pursue a career in advertising with a BA in History and French, she would need to gain the fundamental business skills that would complement her internship experience. After learning about the Wake Forest MA program, Jen decided to graduate a year early and apply to the program. She simply couldn’t wait to start her career in advertising.
Once in the program, Jen worked extensively with the Career Management Center and her mentor to determine a path based upon her passions and career goals, an experience she credits with helping her get the job she wanted upon graduation. “Career Management, what can I say? It’s amazing” said Ratliff. “They bring in so many companies for the students to meet, they offer mock interviews, they’ll sit for four hours on a weekend going over a resume ~ they train you to be the best candidate possible. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without them.”
While getting a job in today’s competitive market and uncertain economic climate can prove to be quite challenging, keeping one can prove be just as difficult. Like many people today, Jen found herself in the unfortunate grasp of corporate downsizing. But the training, knowledge, and relationships she built in the MA program helped her continue on her career path without missing a beat.
“When I was laid off 6 months into my first job, due to the economic climate of my industry, I was able to call my former Career Counselor and ask for advice. She pointed me in the right direction and was there for me when I needed an ear or personal recommendations. I was employed a month later. I have the job search training from the MA program to thank for that.”