Class of 2009: W. P. Carey School of Business
Five W. P. Carey School of Business alums from the class of 2009 talk about their experiences since graduation and how the President Barak Obama's words still resonate in their lives.
Pete Buckley, San Francisco - “Making a Difference through Technology at Google”
Pete Buckley got an internship at Apple through the career center at the W. P. Carey School of Business before he even graduated. When he finished the school’s full-time MBA program in May 2009, he walked into a full-time job in new products logistics at Apple, where he was responsible for freight optimization and logistics launch readiness. Translation: he was responsible for making sure nobody stole an announced iPhone before it launched, while also making sure 15 million iPhones weren’t delivered too early, but were ready on shelves around the world at launch time.
Today, after spending five years at Apple, utilizing his W. P. Carey School emphasis in supply chain management, Buckley is a new-product-introduction manager at Google. He is working on an initiative called Project Loon, which is launching balloons into the stratosphere to beam down Internet access to those who are poor and/or living in remote areas, including emerging markets like Brazil, Indonesia, India and Africa. Buckley’s passion is leveraging technology to help the poor and disadvantaged, and he often travels to developing countries. He is proud that his projects at Google are working to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
Jazmin Medina, Boston – “Going for Her Harvard MBA”
Jazmin Medina was a first-generation college student in her family. She was heavily involved with the Investment Banking Industry Scholars program at the W. P. Carey School of Business and graduated in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and with honors from ASU's Barrett, the Honors College.
She immediately headed to an incredible four-year stint at Goldman Sachs in New York. Medina says her business education provided an excellent foundation for her work there, including two and a half years in investment banking, and then one and a half years in an extraordinary capacity in the executive office. Medina was chosen to assist the CEO’s chief of staff in helping to determine the “big picture” plans for the CEO’s calendar, such as meetings with high-profile initial public offering candidates, major institutional clients and government officials. She traveled with the chief operating officer and president of the company to Tokyo for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and focused on international client strategy while there.
However, she had founded the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting group while at the W. P. Carey School, and she was very inspired by that leadership role and her passion to go back to school. She decided to take her experience and go to Harvard Business School for her MBA. She is now transitioning to the media and entertainment world, and will be working in business development at Warner Brothers. Over time, she hopes to help media companies better focus on minority audiences and demographics, creating role models for the next generation.
Shay Graffius, Scottsdale, Ariz. – “Working with PetSmart Charities”
Shay Graffius graduated from the W. P. Carey School of Business in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and an international business certificate. She found President Obama’s commencement speech to be extremely motivating and says the W. P. Carey School, especially her time studying abroad in Europe, really helped prepare her for the work world.
Graffius turned an internship at Fender Musical Instruments into a full-time job after college. She loves music and was a clothing and collectibles product manager, working in an environment that fueled her passion. After that, she moved into her current position in product development at PetSmart, where she focuses on dog apparel, seasonal items, collars and leads, including the Martha Stewart Pets line. As an associate product manager of proprietary brands and international sourcing, a percentage of the sales from many of Graffius’ products go to PetSmart Charities, which has been instrumental in more than 5 million pet adoptions. In fact, Graffius says one in every 10 U.S. pet adoptions involve PetSmart Charities. PetSmart also helps with animal therapy for veterans and those with disabilities. Graffius believes it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and keep learning, achieving and giving back.
Alexandra Anderson, Chicago – “The State Department & the Law”
Alexandra Anderson has already racked up an international career that many people would envy, and she hasn’t even completed law school yet. Anderson graduated with honors from the W. P. Carey School of Business in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and she embarked on some amazing travels. She did Fulbright grant work in Asia, served as an economics intern at the U.S. Embassy at The Hague in the Netherlands, was a speechwriter and liaison for the U.S. Embassy and Department of State in South Korea, and acted as a summer law clerk for a U.S. District Court judge in Arizona.
Anderson is currently in her third year at the Northwestern University School of Law, where she is editor-in-chief of the Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, in charge of managing more than 80 people. She is proud to be giving back to the scholastic and legal community through this publication, which reaches legal practitioners, judges and others. Anderson has also volunteered at orphanages and animal shelters. She was particularly touched by President Obama’s words about questioning conventional wisdom and pursuing her passions. She believes her business education helped make her a resilient and successful leader who understands more than just business models, but also herself, freedom and confidence.
Jeremy Kelstrom, San Francisco – “Entrepreneur Using Rolls-Royce Technology”
Jeremy Kelstrom exemplifies the idea of a serious California entrepreneur. He won an entrepreneurship competition while still in the full-time MBA program at the W. P. Carey School of Business, and since graduating in May 2009, he co-founded and became chief executive officer of Alaris, Inc. The startup company is commercializing Rolls-Royce technology that can recognize your signature based on the sounds made when signing. The technology is being used to verify identification and prevent ID fraud in education, health care and child care.
Kelstrom says the W. P. Carey School’s MBA program has been an enormous benefit to him, providing him with the leadership skills and ethical foundation needed to lead with integrity. The president’s commencement message has continued to be an inspiration to him as an entrepreneur, helping him to realize both the potential and the responsibility he has to make a difference, and reminding him to push forward through any obstacles.