Erica Amatori: 2016 Best and Brightest

Erica Amatori William & Mary

Erica Amatori

College of William and Mary, Mason School of Business

Hometown: Cary, NC

High School: Green Hope High School

Major: Marketing and Psychology (Double Major)

Minor: N/A, but have a Concentration in Business Analytics

Favorite Business Courses: Consumer Behavior, Big Data Analytics, and Global Strategic Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Alvin P. Anderson Scholarship; Duncan Memorial Scholarship; D1 Cross Country and Track athlete at William and Mary (Nationally ranked, Scholarship Athlete and continuous Conference Champion); PR and Communication Chair on the Student Athletic Advisory Council; National Honors Society Member of Alpha Lamba Delta and Phi Eta Sigma; President of William and Mary Sports Business Club 2014-2015; Deans List Academic Scholar; Provost Award; Commissioner’s Academic Award; founder of Giggle Active Non-profit; member of Student Marketing Association; community work with Massey 5k Cancer; F.I.S.H Charity and Make-A-Wish

Where have you interned during your college career?

Clairemont Communication (PR firm); Raleigh, NC; Marketing Intern 2012

TriMark Digital; Raleigh, NC; Digital Marketing Intern 2013

Zairge Corporation (Software startup); NY, NY; Marketing Director/Founding Member 2014

Altria Group (Fortune 500); Richmond, VA; Philip Morris USA Brand Management Intern 2015

Describe your dream job: My dream job is being an angel investor and consultant for startup companies. This entails believing in a team of bright individuals, having a pulse on innovative trends, and contributing knowledge on how to create a successful company from the ground up.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? The networking. I have created friendships with many notable professionals, and these people are the ones who go on to make a real impact in the world. I am a very outgoing person and love hearing about people’s stories…it helps me figure out where I want mine to go!

Where would you like to work after graduation? My dream company would be Google or Amazon in a digital marketing position, as I think they are the main innovators in the digital space. However, I am looking at a lot of different companies and have offers from some in NYC and San Francisco.

What are your long-term professional goals? I eventually would like to be an angel investor and consultant for start up companies (like said previously). However, that would require me to be quite wealthy. How I plan to get there is through numerous positions at companies being a director of marketing/branding or working in product management – maybe also starting another company and selling it. Further, I want to have a proper work/life balance.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I started my first e-commerce business in high school selling running clothes and marketing it at my cross-country and track meets.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…an entrepreneur. One does not have to major in business to make their ideas become a reality. All you need is passion, persistence and a team that has goals. I am also very artsy and creative, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I went down a product design path.” 

 What was the happiest moment of your life? Well, this will connect with the next question of “what personal achievement I am most proud of,” but the happiest moment is when my start up (aka, my baby) got acquired. It was bittersweet because I put so much work into it, but it paid off. After that experience, I will always have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Another happy moment was receiving a large athletic scholarship to the College of William and Mary for Cross Country and Track, as I would not have been able to afford out of state or attend William and Mary without it. I love this school not only because it is filled with bright people, but for my team, the tight-knit alumni, the campus, and so much more.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? A personal achievement I am most proud of is founding a software company and getting it acquired about a year later. It took many 100-hour workweeks during the summer and many late nights during school. I started Zairge Corp., a cloud-based hotel management system, with some William and Mary alums. It got invested in by a tech accelerator in NYC (DreamIt NYC Accelerator) and got acquired this April by a larger software firm. It taught me what makes a successful team, how passion can drive people, and how to be open to rapid changes/pivots. Now I am working on building the brand for our Entrepreneurship Center at the Mason School of Business so more students can have this experience.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? I would want an animal symbolizing personal drive, passion, freedom and trustworthiness. So I would choose a horse, as they have internal strength, never give up and have both an instinctive and unpredictable personality.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. They always told me to follow what I am passionate in and believed in me. As a child I was diagnosed with APD (auditory processing disorder) and was told I would not graduate high school, couldn’t learn musical instruments, etc. My parents never let me believe that and instilled a persistent attitude into me. I now have published music on iTunes, have interned at a Fortune 500 company, sold a company, am a D1 cross country and track athlete on a national team, lead multiple clubs, and have acquired exceptional grades through high school and college. Thank you for believing in me parents, because I couldn’t be happier!

Fun fact about yourself: I went skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Being able to see the big picture (literally) puts everything into perspective. I felt like I was experiencing life and death at the same time.

Favorite book: Buyology by Martin Lindstrom

Favorite movie: Now You See Me

Favorite musical performer: Adele

Favorite vacation spot: Milan, Italy: it’s where much of my family lives

What are your hobbies? Composing music on guitar/singing, making kickstarter projects (my project got 115% funded,, cooking, sketching, yoga

What made Erica such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“Erica is a natural born leader…whether it is in a project group in class, on the cross country team, in various organizations on campus or in her start up business. She is great at breaking down problems and coming up with solid solutions. She gets so enthusiastic, that it is infectious. Other students quickly follow her lead. More importantly, she doesn’t hesitate to take on a leadership role, which for a young woman can sometimes be a challenge. She is a very driven student, definitely one of the best in her cohort, and one that I will always remember.”

Lisa Szykman
Associate Professor, Marketing
College of William and Mary, Mason School of Business

“Erica is one of our most creative and entrepreneurial students, having launched several companies as an undergrad. Yet what makes Erica most impressive is her concern for others.  Her passion and energy extends beyond her own ambitions. She recently received our highest award, the Anderson Memorial Scholarship, recognizing academic excellence and community impact.”

Christopher Adkins
Executive Director of Undergraduate Business Program
College of William and Mary, Mason School of Business

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