This blog regularly profiles students at the Argyros School of Business and Economics. This week, we talk to Argyros School alumna Jade Simmons.

Jade Simmons, Chapman MBAYear of Graduation:
A: 2008

Emphasis while at the Argyros School of Business and Economics:
A: Marketing

A: Torrance, California

Undergraduate Degree:
A: Communications

Undergraduate Institution:
A: Azusa Pacific University

Work Experience (Years and Description):
A: (2007-2011)
Industry: Digital Marketing
Role: Business Development and Marketing
Description: I helped to launch display advertising across and negotiated strategic, revenue-driven partnerships across the site. I had the very fortunate opportunity to learn relevant digital marketing skills just as the industry was picking up steam. I was able to work in a high-energy, start-up environment where creativity was encouraged and risks were rewarded. It was a fantastic first step out of business school and allowed me to hone my skills as a marketer.

Mattel (2011-Present)
Industry: Consumer Packed Goods (CPG) Marketing
Role: Barbie Global Brand Marketing
Description: My time at Mattel on the Barbie Global Brand Team has allowed me to truly become a 360 marketer, gaining valuable CPG experience. I am able to help manage the massive Barbie brand, which incorporates everything from financial analysis to product development to the creation of global marketing plans and assets that are executed around the world. It never gets old seeing a product you helped develop sit on a shelf, especially when you get to see how much joy it brings to so many children!

Why did you choose the Argyros School of Business and Economics?
A: I chose Chapman due primarily to the small class sizes and Argyros’ strong emphasis on the entrepreneurial application of business skills. Whether or not you are interested in starting your own company, I have found that the nimble thinking and fresh perspective taught and encouraged at Chapman are incredibly beneficial in my work environment.

What Activities/ Organizations were you involved in while at Chapman (i.e., MBA Association)?
A: One of my favorite memories of my time at Chapman was participating in a fast-pitch business competition which I was fortunate enough to win! The task of whittling a business idea down to a 5-minute pitch was a fantastic challenge that helped me to further focus my business concept. Additionally, the mentoring I received from selected Chapman board members as part of my prize was invaluable.

What was your favorite business course at Argyros and why?
A: I loved my Business Strategy class. During your first year, you’re really learning the building blocks of business. This course offered the opportunity to put those tools into practice in tangible ways that directly mimicked those found in actual corporate environments. The perspective and insights of my fellow classmates also helped to challenge my thinking and sharpen my business acumen. Some of my favorite business school memories stem from heated case-study debates that took place in this class!

What were your favorite parts of the MBA experience and why?
A: Group projects—hands down. At the end of the day, corporate life requires working with a diverse group of people to achieve a goal. It’s wonderful to learn skills, but if you can’t work with people, your value and the value of your degree is greatly diminished. Group projects help to increase interpersonal skills and supplement your classroom learning by allowing you to unpack the lessons with peers that posses a variety of different strengths and perspectives.

Tell us about your life after Argyros. How has your MBA helped in shaping your career?
A: Life after Argyros is busy but incredibly fun and exciting! My MBA has played a huge role in my career and my time at Argyros definitely helped prepare me for the work I am doing today. Everyday, I am faced with the strategic challenges presented by both an increasingly global landscape and a complex economic environment. The education I received at Chapman has helped me to ask the right questions to find solutions that drive business forward.

What advice or tips would you give to prospective students considering Argyros? Current students?
A: My advice to both prospective and current students of Argyros would be to soak up every ounce of the time you have at Chapman. I know that late classes and long hours studying are daunting, but you have the rare and limited opportunity to truly invest in your knowledge and career—make the most of it! Time goes by faster than you can imagine and believe it or not, once you’re out, you’ll wish you were back in. Go to guest lectures, invest in relationships with your classmates, and allow yourself to grow.

What do you do for fun? What are Your Hobbies (On Campus, Off Campus):
A: When I’m not at the office, I love to be outdoors! I enjoy the beach, hiking or going for a run. I am also a bit of a DIY enthusiast. I love The Home Depot and getting inspired by projects on Pinterest. Lately, I’m a bit obsessed with spray painting. Nothing in my apartment is safe. I’ve painted lamps, mirrors, my coffee table–and the list goes on!

Favorite SoCal Restaurants:
A: Like any good Southern Californian, I love sushi, and Sugar Fish is my haunt of choice.

Favorite SoCal Spots:
A: I obviously love the beach and am generally at Redondo or Manhattan. For artistic inspiration I head down to Abbot Kinney. Santa Monica is my shopping go-to and I will never turn down an afternoon at LACMA. For a good meal, I am a Bottega Louie regular and have maybe tried the entire menu at Larchmont Bungalow.