Nicole McCabe: SMBA ’14 Student of the Week

Editor’s Note: Each week we publish an interview with the SMBA ’14 Student of the Week. The winner of the Student of the Week (awarded by the previous winner) sits in the front row of class and proudly displays a flag of his or her choice on the famous Tez statue. Nicole McCabe is our next winner for her outstanding data and PowerPoint work in group projects.

Nicole-McCabeScott Bauhs: Being a tennis and softball player in high school you seemed to enjoy hitting fast-moving objects, but after college you decide to start picking up heavy objects as a competitive power lifter. What inspired the change?

Nicole McCabe: The change was mostly due the desire to say in shape in the absence of organized sports. I never was a fan of cardio, so I found myself tossing the weights around a lot. Turns out that I am actually pretty strong for my size, so it wasn’t difficult to make a regimen of it (plus, there’s an awfully compelling male-to-female ratio in the weight room). After college I gave competing a shot, won some titles, and then decided I’d had enough. I think CrossFit might be the next challenge.

SB: You have some great experience with marketing analytics, which has been incredibly handy with some of our class projects. Does this make classes easy for you or did you have to struggle with it as much as some of us (I) are (am)?

NM: Everything has been a breeze so far. Just kidding… It’s been challenging to do math again! In my prior work experience, all the heavy lifting was done by Data Analysts using statistical packages before I ever touched the research, so getting back to basics was tough in both Statistics and Finance class. It’s been nice to have somewhat of a toolkit for research-based projects in Organizational Behavior, Sports Marketing, and Business Law, though.

SB: Can you tell us a little bit about your old job at Marketing Evolution, what they did and your role with Anheuser-Busch?

NM: Marketing Evolution is a consulting firm that measures return on advertising investment. I worked on the Anheuser-Busch InBev account as a Research Manager, and my job was to use statistical output from our Data Analytics team to quantify ad campaigns’ impact on whatever performance indicators were important to each brand. For example, if Stella Artois was releasing a new cider product, we’d structure our analysis on metrics like purchase consideration more heavily than brand affinity. Our aim was to make recommendations on creative and media allocations that would maximize the return on however many millions of dollars they were budgeting. I’d serve up the results in a gorgeous PowerPoint deck and my boss would knock the presentation out of the park. That job experience has been an incredible asset in this program so far.

SB: You attended Cal Poly SLO, which, while having some competitive teams, isn’t known for its athletics department. Did you become a fan of the Mustangs or did your sports consumption mostly come from outside the university?

NM: Sure, I’ll root for Cal Poly, but Mustang sports were inconsequential to my college experience. I found that one of the drawbacks of attending Cal Poly was that there were no influential teams around, pro or otherwise. So yes, almost all of my sports consumption came via TV or Internet.

SB: It seems as though you left a great job behind at Marketing Evolution, so you must have some big dreams. What is your dream job?

NM: That’s a great question, and it changes all the time. At this moment, my dream job is to be VP of Marketing for an MLB team. Next week, I might want to be an accountant. No, that’s not true. I’ll never want to be an accountant.

SB: When you were in high school, were your Foothill Falcons better or worse than my San Ramon Valley Wolves (in tennis and softball)?

NM: Our tennis team was stacked. We smoked you guys every time. In softball we were both contenders for the top spot in the league, but I don’t remember how the dust settled every year. I’m now reminded that I graduated from high school an entire decade ago. Thanks for that.