Drake had the Kelley School on his mind because a friend and former coworker had recently graduated from Kelley. While she was enrolled, Drake visited Kelley and the experience stuck with him.
“The final element that sold me on Kelley was the Academy structure, which is a unique feature that was invaluable in my career development,” said Drake.
Providing valuable experience
When Drake came to Kelley, he was surprised by the amount of exposure students get to major corporations during Academy projects. He said the Consumer Marketing Academy (CMA) taught him how vital marketing and branding are to creating corporations that survive long-term.
“The CMA taught me how to understand and build better brands,” Drake said. “And the importance of telling a good story.”
Drake was struck by how the Academies help students increase their skills and prepare for full-time work.
“Classroom learning is good, but the Academy trips and projects really show how those lessons will be applied in the real world,” Drake said.
He also gained valuable experience during his extracurricular activities and internships. Drake was part of the leadership team for the Kelley Innovators Club and worked with the group to create a video project.
“I’m particularly proud of a tool I created during my internship,” Drake said. “It was a stretch goal that, once I got started on it, I became laser-focused on making sure it was done and working perfectly before the end of the summer.”
Expanding views on success
Drake reexamined his definition of success during his time at Kelley. He now defines success as waking up every day excited to go to work because you’re going to be around intelligent people who accept and challenge you.
“Success is less about the work and more about the impact you are making in your environment and how your environment nurtures you in return,” Drake said. “My experiences with classmates and during my internship really brought this to my attention.”
One of Drake’s biggest accomplishments during his time at Kelley was attending the Wake Forest Marketing Summit case competition, where eight teams from around the globe are selected to compete.
“It was the first time a Kelley team had been selected to attend, which is a major accomplishment,” Drake said. “I’m extremely proud of our team’s performance.”