Student Profile: Melissa Berry
Melissa Berry had reached a career impasse. She knew she wanted to become a better leader, decision maker, and strategic thinker, but didn’t know how to get there. The Virginia native with a background in economics and events management had a passion for marketing, but also wanted a strong foundation in business fundamentals.
She knew Wake Forest had a reputation for exceptional staff and faculty committed to creating an atmosphere of learning on a personal level. “The Wake Forest School of Business professors care deeply about their teaching and the experience they create for students both within the classroom and outside in the real world,” Berry said. “I knew that I would receive individual attention and thrive at Wake Forest.”
And thrive she has. During her time at Wake Forest, she served as the Graduate Student Government Association’s Full-Time MBA representative, co-chaired the Retail & Health Innovation Challenge, and served as the director for the Fit for Business 5K Student Race. As president of Project Nicaragua, a program at the School that focuses on global immersion by teaching small business owners in that country business and marketing skills, Berry experienced ways she could use her education to help others. During her time at the School, she also traveled to China, earned a certificate in Inclusive Leadership Skills, and completed an internship for a consumer packaged goods business where she will work after graduation.
It all began with the individual attention she received at Wake Forest.
“When I enrolled, I wasn’t sure what type of marketing role I wanted or what type of company I wanted to join. My career coach helped me think broadly, identify my talents, and narrow my scope based on what was important to me.”
And it was her mentors and advisors who helped her discover she has a penchant for retail. The personalized approach she experienced as a student extended beyond the classroom. “There was a strong Wake Forest alumni network at my internship,” she said. “I always had someone to ask a question, get a cup of coffee with, and bounce ideas off of. Everyone took an interest in me and my project and helped me be successful.”
Berry’s career is certainly no longer at an impasse, and she attributes her successes and her preparation for the future to everyone she encountered at Wake Forest. “I’ve learned in the classroom, at team meetings, and in client offices,” she said.
“I’ve learned at dinners with faculty, on the golf course, and in China and Nicaragua. And I’ve learned from alumni, donors, and peers. Most importantly, I learned I can do things that I never thought I could. It has taken determination, perseverance, and hard work, but I have become more knowledgeable and confident in my skills and abilities.”