2018 Best & Brightest: Evie Owens, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Evie Owens

Georgia Tech, Scheller College of Business

I enjoy solving complex business problems.  The bigger the challenge, the greater my interest!”

Fun fact about yourself: I had the great fortune to go on a cruise exploring the Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador.

Hometown: Winnetka, Illinois

High School: New Trier High School

Major: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Supply Chain and Operations Management

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course:  Servant Leadership

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Leadership

Society of Women in Business An organization that fosters the empowerment of women in the workplace through the establishment of corporate connections and enhancement of business knowledge. During my involvement, I’ve increased our corporate sponsorship by 480% through revamping our sponsorship program, attracted top-tier companies in their respective fields such as McKinsey, Deloitte, and The Home Depot. The organization had selective membership with 60 members, a $25,000 budget, and 6 corporate sponsors. Throughout my involvement, I was the Corporate and Alumni Relations Project Manager (2014), EVP (2015) and President (2016), respectively.

Scheller Business Ambassadors – An organization that serves on behalf of the Undergraduate Office of the Scheller College of Business to achieve the priorities set forth by Georgia Tech and the Scheller College of Business. I served as VP of Education in 2016, and worked on developing an internal mentorship program between existing and new members, as well as educate and train new members on the organization’s purpose and membership obligations.

Student Government Association A campus-wide organization which serves as the liaison between Georgia Tech administration and the collective student body. Our mission is to empower student organizations, embody student opinions, preserve student integrity, and enrich the student experience. I’ve had the pleasure of both being the campaign manager of the winning SGA ticket in 2017, as well as currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the organization. As Chief of Staff, I advise the current Student Body President and Executive Vice President on strategic decisions regarding campus events and executing our platform, supervise the activities of our Executive Cabinet, as well as serve on Institute Wide Committees that are chaired by members of President Peterson’s Cabinet. I also coordinate with Judicial and Legislative branches to serve the student body and allocate and manage a $6.4M budget.

Alpha Delta Pi Sorority I served as the Family Events Co-Chair for my sorority in 2014, which largely consisted of planning family events for members of the sorority to be able to invite their family members to meet their sisters, and participate in a Georgia Tech related bonding activity.

Leading Edge Leadership Training – Nominated by my Economics professor to participate in this leadership program which is a leadership development experience where participants work with a leadership coach to intentionally explore and grow their leadership skills.

Academic

  • Scheller College of Business Faculty Merit Scholarship
  • Presented my personal Scheller experience in front of the Dean’s Advisory Board. This consisted of discussing how Scheller helped shape my college experience and involvements, and how it has set me up for success in my career post-graduation.
  • Dean’s List all semesters, received Faculty Honors
  • Chosen for selective position as Team Leader for GT1000, which is our introductory business course for freshman, for the past 3 years. As a Team Leader, it was my responsibility to mentor my group of freshmen in the class, as well as coach them through an in-class case competition.

Community

  • Nominated as a Ms. Georgia Tech candidate by peers
  • Raised money through ADPi’s annual Run for Ronald to help benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charity

Where have you interned during your college career?

Summer 2015: ER Express, Client Experience Intern, located in Sandy Springs, GA. ER Express is a privately held company that provides Web, mobile, and tablet-based solutions to healthcare providers for their patients before and during their visit. As their Client Experience Intern, I was able to lead my fellow interns in our summer projects, train over 50 client personnel during ER Express system implementations at hospitals on the East and West coast, streamlined monthly and weekly client reporting through data collected from Google Analytics and AdWords, and pursued new technical skills including learning HTML and CSS

Summer 2016: The Home Depot, HDE Merchandising Operations Intern, located in Smyrna, GA. It is an American home improvement supplies retailing company that sells tools, construction products, and services. As a Merchandising Operations intern, I was given a project in which I analyzed processes across 3 business units to increase efficiency and improve profit margins. I used a Six Sigma DMAIC approach to identify process inefficiencies and make recommendations. In the end, my project identified an estimated savings of $1.4M, and I was given the opportunity to report my findings and recommendations to the SVP of Services, Kelly Barrett.

Summer 2017: The Home Depot, HDE Merchandising Intern, located in Smyrna, GA. As a Merchandising intern, I was given a project in which I had to interview stakeholder group and map processes in order to identify root causes of a significant window re-order issue. I was given the opportunity to travel to our best practice peer located in Toronto, Canada in order to benchmark our current ordering practices and make recommendations. In the end, I identified improvements and estimated cost savings of $5M annually, which I presented to the Outside Sales and Services EVP, Bill Lennie, and the SVP, Kelly Barrett. I was also asked to talk about my experience with Home Depot’s Kid’s Workshops as a child.

Where will you be working after graduation? The Home Depot, HDE Merchandising Analyst

What did you enjoy most about your business school? One of the things that I always tell visitors is Scheller College is a unique business school because it embraces the intersection of technology and business so well. For example, the Denning Technology and Management program allows students to be able to explore this intersection through minoring in either engineering or computer science. It also enables us to work with a diverse team of individuals including students from each school in order to complete real projects with companies in the surrounding community. As part of the Georgia Tech community, Scheller has done a fabulous job in the classroom with not only teaching us business skills, but also how to look toward the future and be able to consider how technological advances will shape the business landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed the close-knit community that the business school provided, as well as the encouraged interactions with students studying engineering, computer science, or public policy because it felt like I was constantly learning and growing through my interactions with others. I am confident that Scheller has provided me with the skills necessary to make strategic business decisions that have enough foresight to have a positive lasting impact.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?Never stop networking! Networking is the key to success and discovering your interests. From the very beginning in GT1000 (a required freshman class), our professors encouraged us to grab coffee with faculty members, family friends, and Georgia Tech alumni. We were told you never know who you might meet, and where that interaction might lead in the future. The broader your network, the more you’ll be able to learn from others, and learn about yourself.

Networking has already helped further my career in ways I could never imagine. When I interned at The Home Depot, I was able to meet a fellow Georgia Tech alumna, Kelly Barrett (SVP of Home Services – the vertical I was working within). After a few conversations, we realized we were both members of ADPi and she saw me as someone she wanted to mentor. Through her mentorship, I have been able to work on two large scale projects for her group, and found my career path post-graduation. I’ll be joining The Home Depot team permanently this upcoming July!  You never know where a connection might lead, so it’s always worth meeting more people and exploring their careers in order to find your own.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Make sure that whatever business school you pick, they have a top-notch career services team, automatic admittance into the business school (so that you can start taking business classes right away), and the campus is part of, or near, a major city. Scheller has all three of these things, which I contribute to part of my post-graduate success.

Our career services team pushes entering freshmen from Day 1 to look for internships and network with alums that have your “dream job” to be able to get a feel for what you might want to do upon graduation. Their dedication helped me secure internships each summer I’ve been in college. In addition, my automatic acceptance into the business school allowed me to take core business concepts early. As a result, I was able to intern my first summer. At many business schools, you have to wait to apply your second year for business school admission and to start taking business courses. This one-year advantage provided increasing opportunities for me to gain valuable, on-the-job experience. Finally, having Scheller situated in the heart of Atlanta, and more specifically in Tech Square, has been really advantageous. There are 17 Fortune 500 companies located here and they drop in to conduct interviews at our school, host info sessions, or even sponsor class practicums. Our proximity to the vibrant business community around us allows convenience and companies take notice. We are constantly on the radar of top firms such as McKinsey, BCG, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Home Depot. It has served the student body well because these companies are familiar with the prestige of our school, the quality of the students and the strength of the curriculum, oftentimes elevating us in the interview process and providing access to first round interviews.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…aerospace engineering (AE), because I’ve always had an interest in space. When I talk to the other AE majors on campus, I’m always amazed to hear what they’re learning in class, and what they hope to someday accomplish. Several students have worked at NASA, and just the other day I saw SpaceX on campus talking to potential employees. I’ve always loved learning about SpaceX’s new rockets, and reading about Elon Musk’s ambitions for Mars. I frequently joke that in another life I would become an AE major and work for SpaceX, becoming one of the first people on Mars!”

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of being Chief of Staff for the Student Government Association, because it’s been a unique opportunity to be able to lead and serve the student body. It has been a very difficult, but rewarding, position as my Cabinet and I strive to listen to the voices of the student body in order to drive change on campus to make it a better place for everyone. This past semester was very difficult in particular, due to the fact that we had several student deaths on campus that sent shockwaves in their wake on the student body. I am very proud about how my Cabinet and I listened to the grievances of the student body in order to figure out what we needed to tell Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson, in order to solve the deeply-rooted problems students felt our campus had. We were very successful in finding a way to show our student body that we not only listened to their concerns, but also are finding ways to take immediate action to alleviate them and fix the core root of the problem.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire Courtney Burton, one of my fellow Scheller Business Ambassadors, because she has a super charismatic personality, is very successful, and is extremely smart. She’s very good about making personal connections with people, and showing interest in what they have going on in their lives. I’ve also been in groups with her for projects. The organized way in which she handles what needs to be done, and the fact that she’s a team player, shows just how successful she will be in the corporate world. She truly shines in Scheller, and is the perfect example of a servant leader!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would thank my parents, because they have sacrificed a lot for my success and have given me every opportunity to have the resources needed in order to be successful. No matter how ambitious or lofty my goals have been, they have supported me and tried to help me find ways to achieve them. They have been such a positive and loving influence in my life, which has helped me reach my highest potential as I’ve pursued my dreams and ambitions.

What would your theme song be? “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons because it talks about someone who rose to the top and became successful despite what others thought and after working hard and chasing their dreams, no matter how lofty they might seem.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? 1. To be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company;      2. To travel the world and document it with my camera (not necessarily in that order)

Favorite book: SiSi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki

Favorite movie: Interstellar

Favorite vacation spot: I love the beach, so one of my favorite vacation spots my family has taken me to is Cabo, Mexico. The scenery is breathtaking with the gorgeous beaches and sapphire blue ocean, contrasting with the stark desert landscape.

What are your hobbies? I love to read historical fiction novels, and have recently developed an obsessive interest in studying the British monarchy. In my free time, I watch The Crown on Netflix, or Victoria on PBS. I also love photography, and exploring different cities through traveling and taking weekend trips.

What made Evie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Evie is mature beyond her years. She is what I like to call “very comfortable in her own skin”.  I have never seen the level of confidence that she portrays in a college senior. The work that she did while she was an intern here at The Home Depot was extremely impressive. I have high performing associates at the Senior Manager level that would be hard pressed to compete with the quality of the work that she produced. We are blessed that she will be joining our team upon graduation and it will be a joy to watch her career progress quickly here at The Home Depot. I have never said this before about a college senior entering into our business to start their career, but I believe she will be an Officer of this company one day.”

Kelly Barrett
Senior Vice President Home Services
The Home Depot

“I echo Kelli’s comments 100%. I had the good fortune to have Evie for an intern, not once, but two consecutive summers, and she did absolutely incredible work. In fact, we are still using the research that she put together over the summer to redesign operational processes with in the business today.”

Heath Wolfe
Senior Manager
The Home Depot

“Evie is at the very top of an undergraduate business program brimming with bright students. It is not Evie’s considerable intelligence or hard work that sets her apart because she shares those admirable qualities with many of her peers at Georgia Tech; Evie has a much rarer gift. She is a person who makes those around her better because she puts them at ease. I have witnessed how her comments can open up class discussion for others. Other students are more willing to offer their insights after Evie has bravely and humbly shared her own first. I have seen her lead group work in ways that allow each member to make their best contribution. Evie is highly engaged in class and on campus, and she is engaged in a way that encourages her peers to do so too.”

Dr. Karie Davis-Nozemack
Assistant Professor of Law & Ethics
Scheller College of Business

DON’T MISS: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST BUSINESS MAJORS OF 2018 — THE COMPLETE LIST