2018 Best & Brightest: Miranda Dennett, Brigham Young University (Marriott)

Miranda Dennett

Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Business

Creative business woman by day, “The Bachelor” junkie by night.”

Fun fact about yourself: I was born with three spleens.

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

High School: Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts

Major: Experience Design and Management

Minor: None

Favorite Business Course: Experience Design

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Vice President of the Event and Venue Management Club
  • Graphic Designer for the Women in Business club
  • Student Mentor for the Women in Business club
  • Student Volunteer at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals Conference in NYC
  • Ran an event for local Make-a-Wish kids
  • ASL Club
  • International Folk Dance Ensemble
  • Recreation Management Study Abroad to Europe and Iceland
  • Experience Design and Management Hawaii Research Assistant

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Disney College Program, Cast Member (Orlando, FL)
  • Dennett and Winspear, LLP, Office Assistant (Las Vegas, NV)
  • The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Front of House (Las Vegas, NV)
  • BYU BRAVO! Professional Performing Arts Series, Arts Assistant (Provo, UT)
  • MGM Resorts International, Corporate Entertainment Intern (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Cotopaxi, Case Competition Winner and Questival Intern (Salt Lake City, UT)

Where will you be working after graduation? I accepted a full-time offer to return to MGM Resorts International’s corporate entertainment department in Las Vegas as a management associate.

Who is your favorite professor? It’s too hard to choose just one! Some of my favorites have included Mat Duerden because he is such a great example of creativity and innovation in business; Patti Freeman due to her business-savvy and example as a woman in the business world, and Paula Moore because of her remarkable life advice and friendship.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business is that the world of business isn’t always just black and white. My dream was to use my business degree to get me a career in the entertainment world, which few people in my school had done before. The great thing about business is that it can be applied to so many industries, so I was able to find a perfect niche for me that combines my love of business and the arts.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…graphic design, because I love being creative, learning new creative software, and using my creativity to create something beautiful and amazing for someone else.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I think it surprised me how natural and comfortable I would feel in a business degree. I grew up singing and dancing, including attending a performing arts school. For a long time I didn’t think I had what it took to succeed in the hard skills a business degree requires (finance, marketing, etc.). Luckily, I learned that I am good at working hard and (surprisingly) couldn’t imagine myself in any other major.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents were incredible influences to me when I decided to major in business. My dad, an attorney, built my confidence to succeed in a professional world and still is happy to give me advice about my career when I need it. My mom influenced me to develop the creativity and love for the arts that we both share and inspired me to channel it into a career. I only hope to one day touch as many people with my creativity as she has.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Though it seems like it’s not a big deal, I feel very proud that I will soon be a college graduate. I challenged myself and crammed a lot of experiences into my college career, and I am proud of the person I’ve become through the years of late nights, long hours, and extraordinary experiences.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? If I were a dean for a day, I would do what I could to invite new ways of thinking and conducting business into the business school. My undergraduate major is very innovative and certainly different from traditional business majors, but I think that our new way of thinking could benefit many companies in the future. The world of business is changing. Look at companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google—breaking barriers to create new experiences for guests is becoming the norm, and I think that, as dean, I would do what I could to prepare students to enter a new age of thinking creatively in business.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is my friend, Macie Briggs. She has been with me through a lot of my business school experiences, so I have gotten to know her and her career goals very well. I admire her because, unlike me, she has always had a career plan and goal for her life and adamantly sticks to it. I think that that kind of drive is an admirable quality that I’d like to develop.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents are definitely the source of my success and ambition. They have always supported me and encouraged me to flourish in any situation I’ve been in. There doesn’t seem to be enough words to describe how much their friendship and support means to me, but I know that no matter where I go in my career, I will always be humbled by all that they did to make me the person I am today.

What would your theme song be? Keeping with my love for the arts, I guess I’d say “My Shot,” from the Broadway musical, Hamilton. Or, currently something off Justin Timberlake’s new album. (Super Bowl halftime, anyone?)

What are the top two items on your bucket list? The top two items on my bucket list are to visit all 50 U.S. states and to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef.

Favorite book: When I have time to read, the Harry Potter series.

Favorite movie: So many…but Star Wars series is always at the top of the list, specifically The Empire Strikes Back.

Favorite vacation spot: Iceland

What are your hobbies? Watching movies, traveling, going to Disneyland, thrift store shopping, going to the gym, hiking, and learning new skills.

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

“Miranda Dennett is an amazing student. She always performs at a high level in the classroom; as one example, her team was recently selected as the winning team by a company sponsor in a multi-class consulting project. She has proactively looked for out of class experiences to further her professional development, including an excellent corporate entertainment internship with MGM in Las Vegas which turned into a fulltime post-graduate offer. Her initiative to serve as a student volunteer at the Association for Performing Arts Professionals Conference in New York served as the impetus for our department to start a student professional development travel grant program. I’m excited to see Miranda continue to excel as she enters the professional field.”

Mat Duerden
Assistant Professor, Experience Design and Management
BYU Marriott School of Business


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