Business Administration Alumna Shares Professional Roadmap

Students listening to Michelle Smith '15 speak.
Students listening to Michelle Smith '15 speak.

Students listening to Michelle Smith ’15 speak.

Full circle moments happen a lot here at the School of Business! It is not uncommon for alumni to return to campus to speak to students as they cultivate connections and build their personal board of advisors. We recently welcomed back Michelle Smith ’15 (Honors Business Administration) to share her journey post-graduation.

Professor Lancie Affonso introducing Michelle Smith '15

On Feb. 25, Michelle (right) joined Professor Lancie Affonso’s (left) International Management class for “FanFare Friday” at the Stern Center Gardens.

Smith is currently entrepreneur-in-residence at Let’s Talk About Skills, Baby — an online media company founded by alumna Kelly Ryan Bailey ’01 — and program manager for Amazon’s Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship program.

During her time at the College, Smith studied abroad during her freshmen year and participated in Project Okurase in Ghana. She also served as a Charleston 40 Tour Guide and was a Schottland Scholar. After graduation, Smith landed a management consulting position in Washington D.C., where she gathered experience working with a broad range of industries. After being laid off during the pandemic, she took time to consider her next career phase. She hired a career coach to assist in finding a breakthrough industry, which led her to a learning and development role in with Amazon.

Highlights of her professional journey include:

  • Consulting: being a subject matter expert for clients to provide business recommendations, design presentations and work on special projects
  • TED Tech: continuous education and upscaling/learning and development at the corporate level
  • Let’s Talk Skills, Baby: Helping job seekers with entry-level career and career transition
  • Amazon: one year logistics role, pinpointing new buildings and delivery stations
  • Amazon Robotics: learning and developing role, onboarding and training new engineers for robotic automation

Smith also opened the floor for questions related to resume and interview prep, personal financial planning and career direction. Here are some useful tips she provided to the class:

  • Practice visualizing your future with visioning exercises.
  • Include considerations for locations, interests, and cost of living in your job search.
  • Understand that “skills” are not limited to technical skills. Negotiation and life skills are just as valuable to employers!

Listen to Smith speak with Cory Werkheiser on the latest episode of Biz e-Werk on the future of work!