Mandy Ball '11
What is your current job?
I'm a business analyst in the Project Management Organization at eBay Enterprise in King of Prussia. We are in the process of rolling out clients on our new e-commerce platform, so I've been involved in the day-to-day launch activities and strategic planning.
Why did you choose this profession?
I've always been interested in retail and business as a whole. I went in having literally no experience in e-commerce, so I feel lucky to have gotten a foot in the door. I love being in an industry that is so relevant to everyone's day-to-day lives. E-commerce is also a huge industry that is only getting bigger, so it feels like I have a front row seat to seeing what comes next --how exciting is that?
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
I'm not sure yet -- I'm definitely still trying to just figure it all out. I love coming to work and being challenged, not just in how quickly I can get something done, but in how I can make something better. When you've only been out of college a few years, your value can be limited, and this is something I try to own. But as a relatively blank slate, you can also come in with fresh ideas and a different perspective than those who have been living (and accepting) those limitations. I'm just trying to soak in as much as possible...we'll see where it takes me!
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
When I graduated college, I went to work at a Friends' school right down the road from Haverford. It was a great place to land after college, and the people were wonderful. It helped me get on my feet. Moving to e-commerce was a risk because I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. Education was comfortable because I had been on the other side of it for so many years! I was so nervous, and the learning curve was steep, but it has been a great move for me. When people ask me about work I get excited! That's a great feeling. It doesn't mean I love every minute of every day, but it taught me that if I take a risk I can land on my feet. I keep taking on new things at work because for me, pushing myself is the key to staying engaged.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
People find the connection between a liberal arts education and working as an analyst in e-commerce pretty miniscule...I suppose I can understand why, but I don't agree. First of all, Haverford taught me how to both articulate my ideas and back them up. That ability to communicate and analyze is critical. Above all though, Haverford taught me how to be part of a community. Respect and awareness are key in building good relationships with anybody, but this is especially true in the workplace. Because I work daily with dozens of launch team members, building and maintaining these relationships has become paramount in doing my job. It is one of the ways I try to carry Haverford (and its emphasis on trust, concern, and respect) with me.