2020 Best & Brightest: Emily Wilson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Foisie)

Emily Wilson 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Foisie Business School

Two cups of excitement, one cup fun, and a pinch of pizazz!”

Fun fact about yourself:  I love to travel and explore new cultures, I have been to 21 different countries.

Hometown: Downingtown, PA

High School:  Villa Maria Academy

Major: BS in Management Engineering with a concentration in Operations Management, MS in Management

Favorite Business Course:  My favorite business course was Organizational and Behavioral Change taught by Professor Brent French. In this course, we examined how company culture and structure can impact how effective a group of people are. Taking the information that I learned in this class, I was able to implement it into some of my activities, and it was great to see the application work in real life.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities:  

  • Student Government Association: Senator (2016-2017), Secretary (2018), President (2019)
  • Varsity Field Hockey- Player (2016-2017), Manager (2018-2019)
  • Alpha Xi Delta Women’s Fraternity- Social Media Chair (2017)
  • Class Board 2020- President (2016-2017)
  • Gompei’s Goat Cheese Student-Run Business- Marketing Director (2016-2017)

Community Work

  • Provost Student Advisory Committee (2017-present)
  • Outstanding Teacher Award Committee (2017,2018,2019, 2020)
  • WPI Forward Committee (2019-2020)
  • Provost Search Committee (2019)
  • Director of Multicultural Affairs Search Committee (2019)
  • Enders Island Retreat and Recovery Center- volunteer

School Awards and Honors

  • National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA)- Academic Honors 2017 Season
  • WPI Deans List- Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019
  • Skull Senior Honor Society- Freshman of the Year (2017)
  • Lean Green Belt Certification
  • Six Sigma Breen Belt Certification

Where have you interned during your college career?

TJX Companies| Operations Intern| Worcester, MA | Summer 2018

Target Headquarters| Inventory Analyst Intern| Minneapolis, MN| Summer 2019

Where will you be working after graduation? Following graduation, I will be working for Crowe Consulting as staff on their Manufacturing and Distribution team.

What company do you admire most? Based on my first-hand experience, I admire Target for its investment in its people. They have a culture that is welcoming and makes it easy to meet people across the organization. Throughout my internship, I was truly able to experience the culture. While I have not worked for Crowe yet, I admire them for their core values: care, share, invest, and grow. I really wanted an environment where I can continue to push myself, and I am excited that the company I will be working for promotes it in its values.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor that I have had at WPI is Professor Sharon Wulf. I had Professor Wulf for my very first business class in my first term at WPI. In that class, she really pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and take advantage of every opportunity that presented itself to me. While I haven’t had her in class since she has still been a mentor to me and has taken an interest in my success.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? My favorite thing about my business school is the opportunity to work on real-world projects. In my junior year, I was given the opportunity to travel to Windhoek, Namibia. There I worked with the Namibia University of Science and Technology, the Namibia Ministry of Education, and UNESCO. With these partners, my team and I were able to develop three online STEM labs that required minimal resources for primary school-age children. The goal of these labs was to spark interest in STEM at a younger age in order to get more students interested in studying STEM at the higher education level. For my senior year project, I am working on a team with a non-profit in El Paso Texas. We are working on developing recommendations for starting a shelter for survivors of human trafficking. These include recommendations for program offerings, processes, shelter layout, and estimated costs. These are just two of the projects that I have had the opportunity to work on here at WPI, and I am grateful to use the opportunity to make an impact.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Figure out what you are passionate about. Business is very broad, and there are many facets to it and paths you can take. The traditional path might not be the best one for you. By finding what you are passionate about, the classes you take will interest you and you will be more motivated to succeed. Something that I would also suggest is finding internships early in your college career. Internships gave me the opportunity to apply what I was learning in class and build connections in larger circles. Lastly building off of connections, I recommend building relationships where you are challenged. You can’t be the best at everything, so working with people who strengths might be your weakness will help you learn and grow.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What has surprised me most about majoring in business is all the opportunities it opens you up to. I was really close to majoring in engineering, but I realized that there is a business behind everything, including engineering. By majoring in business, I have a well-rounded view on how things work, but by concentrating in an engineering discipline I have the technical knowledge as well. By majoring in business there are many career opportunities available, which can help you follow your passions.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being the president of our Student Government Association. I can still remember my freshman year, sitting and listening to the then President Niamh Fennessy talk about her experiences and accomplishments at WPI. I got the opportunity to meet her and learn more about the position and I made it my goal to one day be president. I took on other leadership positions so I could grow more all in preparation to run for the position. However junior year there was a period of time that I thought I was not going to run because I did not feel like I was qualified for the position. After talking to one of my mentors I decided to stick with it and submit my application. After a stressful period of campaigning – and anxiously waiting for the results to come in – I was relieved to find out that I had won. Running in that election was exactly what I needed, the campus voted and they believed in me that I could do the job. This year having the opportunity to stand up and make the same speech that I had admired my freshman year showed me that if I worked hard enough, I could accomplish my goals.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate that I admire most is Abigail King. While Abby is two years older than me, she is a great example of what hard work looks like. Also, a member of the varsity field hockey team, and the president of a large organization, she never let an opportunity pass by. She showed me that if you work for what you want, you can achieve anything. At the same time, she showed me that it wouldn’t be easy. No matter what life threw at her, or challenge she faced, she did not back down.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?  I would like to thank my mother, Lynne Wilson. She has shown me what it takes to be successful. She has given me opportunities to grow and learn, that I would not be the person I am today without her. She has never let me back down and has helped encourage me to be the best version of myself that I can be. My mom and her friends from her first full-time job after college are some of the most influential women I know. While they have all moved away from each other, they still keep in touch because they are a support network for each other. They taught me how important it is to have that support network of people who will celebrate your successes. My mom also taught me how important it is to believe in myself. While she is now a leader in her company, she did not have an easy path to get there, especially as a woman. In her career she faced many people who did not believe in her. However, she never let being a woman stand in her way of accomplishing her goals.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?  The top item on my professional bucket list is to get my MBA. I have a passion for learning, and after working for a few years I would like to go back to school. I believe getting my MBA will give me the opportunity to learn from others while expanding my network. The next item on my bucket list is to one day be a Chief Operations Officer. I have a passion for operations and efficiency. I want to take that passion and apply it not just to machines, but to how people and organizations work as well.

What are your hobbies? Outside of school, I really enjoy winter sports. Growing up, I was a competitive figure skater, so now whenever I want to be replenished, I like to head to the rink to clear my mind. I also really enjoy skiing; every mountain you go to is different and makes you appreciate your surroundings.

What made Emily such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Emily Anne Wilson consistently demonstrates how to learn concepts and apply them to a wide range of situations. As a relentless and versatile learner, Emily has earned outstanding achievements in the realms of student governance, athletics teamwork and management, sorority leadership, internships and qualifying projects.

Emily enjoys working hard and is full of energy for things that she sees as challenging and important in helping others. During her freshman year, Emily was a goalie on the Women’s Field Hockey team, a Student Governance Association (SGA) member, and Alpha Xi Delta President of the 2020 Class Board. As a rising sophomore, Emily went to London to complete studies in Humanities as a participant in the Global Projects Program. As a sophomore, Emily was elected Secretary of SGA. As a rising junior, Emily held an internship at the TJX Companies working as an Operations Supervisor at their Worcester Distribution Center where she managed over 50 associates to help meet production goals. As a junior, she completed her IQP in Namibia, working with the Namibia University of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, UNESCO, and her team to create lessons that would spark student interest in STEM. Upon returning to WPI, Emily managed the Women’s Field Hockey Team and was elected to the role of SGA President. As a rising senior, Emily interned at Target Headquarters in Minneapolis working on the Supplier Performance Management Team, improving the on-time arrival performance of candy vendors.

As a current senior, Emily is working in her Major Qualifying Project, creating best practices for starting and running a shelter for victims of Human Trafficking for a non-profit organization in El Paso, Texas. She continues her work in sports as a Manager and Goalie Coach for the Varsity Field Hockey Team. In 2020, Emily graduates with a BS in Management Engineering with an Operations Concentration and a MS in Management. After graduation, Emily will start at Crowe Consulting in the Manufacturing and Distribution Team.

Many people from the WPI community go Emily for guidance and direction. Emily is seen as someone who encourages problem solving and inclusivity of a wide variety of diversity. She is available and ready to help others. She demonstrates sincere empathy with the joys and pains of others. She truly cares about finding options for the problems that others may experience. Emily constantly looks for ways that she can use her talent to help others and create value.”

Sharon A. Wulf, PhD, MBA
Professor of Practice
Leadership and Organizational Studies
Robert A. Foisie School of Business


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