Where can you go with a liberal arts degree? What options are out there for Lawrence graduates? The Career Corner tells the stories of some alumni who have found answers to these questions and proves that, yes, there is a job out there for you.Kelly Carroll-Rhodes, class of 1989, was certain to go to medical school. She even got an interdisciplinary science degree with a biology concentration.
Practical work experience in the medical field, however, changed her mind. After working in a medical clinic, she realized how much more she enjoyed the business side of medicine.
Carroll-Rhodes worked in the medical clinic as the practice manager for two years following her graduation from Lawrence. She followed up her work experience with full-time graduate work at the University of Minnesota, earning her MBA.
While at U of M, Carroll-Rhodes interned at 3M doing marketing and marketing research. She then interned at Target Corporation as a financial analyst.
Upon acquiring her MBA, she obtained a position at Target Corporation in Minneapolis as a full-time financial analyst. She is currently a project manager, working to implement a new cash register system for Target stores nationwide.
Besides her current project, Carroll-Rhodes works for the Marshall Field’s division of Target Corporation (which also includes Target and Mervyn’s stores), with a team of 12 people working under her supervision. Carroll-Rhodes cites teamwork as one of her favorite aspects of her marketing job.
“I like the challenge of new problems coming in our way, so we can find new solutions for them,” she said. “You have to bring all of the partners [together] to make a change work.”
Like many businesses today, Target Corporation is facing the challenges of a slower economy, which forces Carroll-Rhodes to work harder to draw customers.
She says her team is keeping up with what the customer needs, making “a shopping experience that can best meet the expectations of our guests.” They try to create “shoppable environments for guests to shop.”
Although Carroll-Rhodes insists that there is no typical career path in marketing, she does have some advice for Lawrentians.
“Don’t think the decision that you make at Lawrence is going to be your life-defining move. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Who knows where that’s going to lead you in the end?