Shaped by Dance
UA Dance and Eller Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and International Business ’05
Vice President of Sales, PulteGroup
By Liz Warren-Pederson
When she was 16 years old, Rebecca Lundberg left her home in Canada to dance professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet. “Then I was recruited to dance with Moscow City Ballet,” she said, and spent the next year touring all over Europe. “I was trying to finish high school by correspondence,” she said, “but I was busy with my job as a dancer.” Her parents encouraged her to come home for her senior year of high school, and when she did, she found herself courted by university dance programs.
“The UA has a top dance program,” she said, and so she came to Tucson. “Being a dancer shaped who I am, but I always knew business was what I wanted to do.” Her father is a second-generation entrepreneur who runs a trucking company. “I do believe that watching him — seeing his trials and tribulations, and responsibility for everyone who worked for him — inspired me to pursue entrepreneurship,” she said.
She completed an internship with Arizona Center for Innovation, and ultimately began her career at PulteGroup in 2005. “I earned my Realtor license in June and started with Pulte, selling homes in Oro Valley and Rancho Vistoso in July,” she said. The market was hot. “There were endless opportunities for growth,” she said. Lundberg became involved in Pulte’s college recruitment efforts, hosting info sessions and participating in career fairs. “I took on a leadership role right away, so I could demonstrate that I was engaged in helping the company beyond my role in sales.”
She credits the entrepreneurship program with giving her this broader view of her work. “A lot of people think of the program as a platform to start a business, but I think of what I’m doing now as my business under the Pulte umbrella,” she said. After her initial start as a sales consultant, she advanced to sales manager, general sales manager, and now, vice president of sales.
“The entrepreneurship program was the key that brought together everything that I learned at the UA,” she said. “I still think back to my marketing classes, but the entrepreneurship program helped me put everything into practice, and is definitely something I draw on now that my role has become more strategic than tactical.”
Lundberg said that the Eller experience has shaped her as a business leader, “from the cohort structure, which helped me build relationships with key people including faculty, to internship opportunities. And these are experiences that I still refer back to today.”
She also finds time to stay active in the community — she had been on the Southern Arizona Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure committee since the fall of 2009, though she recently relocated to Phoenix. “It is an organization that is near and dear to my heart because a few people close to my family have had breast cancer,” she said. “I love the organization and support the great work they do to ‘help end breast cancer forever!’”