Business economics alumna praises Wooster’s close community
Throughout her career, one thing has stayed the same for Desi Wiese ’05: working hard with those around her, a habit that evolved during her time at Wooster. “All my roles resulted from a strong, unsolicited referral by someone who knew my work well—a professor, a manager, a coworker,” Wiese said. After stints at Progressive, Esurance and Netflix, the business economics major is currently working on marketing at 23andMe, the genetics and biotechnology company, in California. “My favorite part of the job is seeing people with very different perspectives build on one another’s ideas to develop a better game plan.” Prior to graduation, Wiese spent her junior year abroad at the London School of Economics. “I cannot recommend it enough,” she said. “The small class sizes and assignments at Wooster make it your second nature to cover material regularly, prepare for every discussion and seek help promptly.”
Wiese relied on skills she gained from Wooster experiences to be successful at her jobs. “The I.S. process taught me how to search for original ideas, how to become an expert on a new topic, and how to persevere through numerous hurdles along the way of completing a project,” Weise said. “Both Netflix and 23andMe had innovative products and couldn’t follow established models for growth. Many teams needed to work closely together to find original ideas and implement them by overcoming unique hurdles, changing direction frequently.” This was especially relevant this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 changed the fundamental economic forces and consumer trends that shape business and marketing strategy for any company,” Wiese said. “2020 has required many trips back to the drawing board.”
She also emphasized the importance of a liberal arts education and the leadership roles that Wooster affords. “The liberal arts curriculum taught me how to draw from ideas in multiple subject areas to come up with creative proposals, and how to communicate effectively with colleagues from other professional fields,” Wiese said. “Additionally, the tremendous access to a variety of small and large leadership opportunities (student associations, projects, community, teaching, campus jobs) taught me how to rise to the occasion and lead, even when I didn’t have the experience or all the answers.”
Overall, it was the experience working in Wooster’s close community that gave Wiese the ability to succeed in obtaining her different roles. “The reputation and relationships you build are your best lifelong source of opportunities,” she said when asked about what advice she would give to incoming students. “Take advantage of all the ways Wooster enables you to do this.”
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