Getting down to business
After graduating with majors in business administration/marketing and management and a minor in psychology, Julie worked as a manager at Starbucks while applying for marketing positions. While serving lattes and caramel macchiatos, Julie got to know a customer who is vice president of sales and marketing at Renewable Energy Group. She added him on LinkedIn, sent him her resume, and in less than a week, her marketing career was brewing. Since then, Julie has had experience working in sales, marketing, business strategy, project management, and product management as well as managing teams.
How well did Northwestern prepare you for your career?
I would never take back the opportunity I had to get a liberal arts education. My business career is strengthened by my foundation in history, theology, psychology, literature and other studies. Also, the professors in the business department helped my development tremendously. They taught me how to work hard, focus on my core values, and make my career my ministry. I left Northwestern with a passion to continue learning for the rest of my life, and it didn’t take me long to understand that employers look for team members with learning spirits.
What from your Northwestern education has most helped you in your job?
I was taught how to focus on what really matters. It has always been easy for me to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, but the professors in the business department taught me how to stay grounded and focus on the reason the Lord put me here in the first place. Since I have this focus, I am able to stay calm in situations that otherwise would make me panic. I am able to be bold and confident because I don’t have to rely on the approval of others. These qualities enable me to lead teams and deliver consistent results at work. NWC taught me to have a holistic approach to learning which has set me up for a lot of success in my career.
What did you most appreciate about the business department?
I will always appreciate that my professors took the time to challenge and develop me. They continue to show me they truly care about my success as a business professional. They have been extraordinary leaders and mentors for me. Every student at NWC should take advantage of and cherish these relationships!
What are some of your favorite memories from NWC?
I enjoyed reading economics articles from classes. Many of them were about economic theory applied to interesting situations, which made class a lot of fun. I also enjoyed taking literature and history classes. Throughout college, I had a lot of fun late nights at the library or the coffee shop with my friends. What I loved the most about being at NWC was spending time with great colleagues—studying, going to class, eating, and competing in sports and intramurals. The academic side of college obviously taught me a lot, but what I learned from my friends and classmates is invaluable.
What are your future career goals?
I completed my M.B.A. at the University of Iowa and have always kept the option open to continue on to get my Ph.D. I would love to teach someday and share the many experiences I've been fortunate to have. For now, it's clear that God is calling me to continue to be a Christian business leader, and my goal is to continue to excel in business strategy roles and lead a business unit.