Kelly Cummings, MBA ’11
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Kelly Cummings grew up on the East Coast, attending James Madison University to complete her undergraduate degree in international business with a minor in Spanish. She traveled abroad extensively, visiting 15 different countries and honing her language skills.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Cummings joined Panama Maestro Home Management. Although she enjoyed interacting with a variety of people and using the business skills from her undergraduate studies, she wanted to give back. So she joined the Peace Corps, which also provided an opportunity to gain exposure to other cultures.
“When I returned home from the Peace Corps in October of 2008, the economy was at its worst, the job market was less than ideal, and I knew graduate school would be a great way to transition back and use work and cultural experiences to further my education,” she said. “While I considered a number of graduate schools, the Eller College of Management provides me with a global view of business and an extensive curriculum that matches my interests.”
Small class sizes and the potential to develop close working relationships with professors also influenced her decision. “The warm weather and the proximity to Mexico, which allowed me to expand my Spanish-speaking skills, were also really appealing.”
Cummings got involved right away; she has served as a GTA both years, became an ambassador for the Eller MBA office, and took a leadership position as the president of the local chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs. She has also assisted in MBA recruitment efforts and joined the international business club.
Although she spends the majority of her time focused on academics, Cummings also enjoys running, racquetball, and being active. The Southwest provides the opportunity to balance her studies with hobbies, such as cooking, photography, and hiking. She is currently training for her first marathon and plays on the intramural co-ed football team.
Now in her final year, Cummings is focused on enhancing her marketing savvy, improving her capacity in market research in order to support the implementation of a new product or service in a given market. Upon graduation, she aims to join a Fortune 500 multinational company in a Spanish-speaking country to promote a new product or service that will improve the lives of others.