Student Spotlight: Ariana Taylor, MBA Candidate 2015

 Ariana M. Taylor        

Full-time MBA Candidate 2015 

Concentration(s):  Marketing and Finance

Undergraduate Degree: English Studies    

Undergraduate School: Illinois State University

Career Goal: Obtain a position that fully utilizes my marketing and managerial skills

Organizations involved with: UIC GMARK (President), UIC MBA Association, National Black MBA Association, UIC Liautaud Student Ambassador

Internships: American Red Cross Communications Intern, Discovery Communications Social Media Marketing Intern, Target Executive Intern

Favorite Chicago Activities/ Places: I love going to see new movies, working out, and strolling along the lakefront

Favorite Chicago Restaurants: RA Sushi, Hamadas, & Giordanos

Favorite Part of the Day: I love sleeping because I honestly don’t get enough rest

Hometown: Chicago, IL.



Tell us about your personal and professional background?

I graduated from Illinois State University in May 2013; therefore, I began the MBA program directly following undergrad. Though I have little full-time experience, I have completed various internships in order to experience different professions in Marketing and Management.

What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?

After receiving my bachelor’s degree in English Studies, I knew that there was so much more I wanted to learn about the field of Marketing and Business in general. I figured that the best time to enroll in UIC Liautaud’s MBA program would be directly after undergrad while I was still in “school-mode.”

What factor(s) did you consider when choosing a master’s program and why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?

When choosing a master’s program, I considered the cost of the program of course, the proximity of the school to my house, the diversity of courses that were offered, and their career resources. Due to the fact that UIC excelled in all of these areas, I chose UIC!

We all know that people pursue graduate school to increase their business knowledge, but since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?

After studying abroad in Brazil, I gained much more knowledge about international business than I expected going into the program. Learning about Brazil’s culture, business organization, economy, infrastructure, and much more allowed me to gain lifelong friends and enhance my resume.

Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?

Professor Popowitz’s class has been my absolute favorite! I am much more confident when attending networking events and interviews because of the improvisation course and the advice that he provided our class with.

UIC Liautaud professors are continuously involved in researching new business trends and innovations. How have you felt the professors have been able to integrate their theoretical knowledge into practical applications? Do you have any examples?

Currently, I am enrolled in Marketing 560 with Professor Vernon Grubisich. He is not only an amazing instructor, but he shares a lot of his personal experiences that are insightful and relevant in class. Recently, we discussed how the marketing of medicine has changed in recent years and some felt that medicine is being marketed directly to consumers now instead of doctors. His scientific research allowed him to elaborate on the trends in the health industry and was greatly integrated into the class discussion.

What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why?

 I love Douglas Hall! It really is a beautiful building and it is comfortable. I usually go to Douglas Hall when I need to study or if I am unsure about my career path.

What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?

I would advise incoming students to ask questions if they are unsure of something. If you don’t want to ask a question in front of the class because you think it’s a stupid question, jot the question down during class and ask the professor after class. I also advise that students do informational interviews to figure out what they really want to do in life.

Many courses require students to complete a project that applies course concepts to real world situations. If you have had a course project that was very insightful, what course was it for and what did you like about the project?

Professor Popowitz course project required students to do something that they feared and to write about it. Well for my project, I booked a flight to Baltimore, Maryland to attend a career fair for Discovery Communications. This project changed my life because after attending that event, I received the social media marketing internship that truly helped me enhance my marketing skills.

Do you have an elevator speech? If so, what is it?

Hi, my name is Ariana Taylor and I am a lifelong intern. (*insert chuckle*) No, but as an MBA candidate that started grad school directly after undergrad, I have successfully completed 4 internships. Truly, I am an innovative leader with a passion for marketing communications and management.

What is the best part about your UIC Liautaud experience?

The best part about my UIC Liautaud experience is being a graduate assistant and engaging with various people in the College of Business daily. I enjoy the many networking events that Liautaud offers and the pleasant staff members.