Alumni Takeover – Michelle Bui

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  • Those of you who know Michelle Bui, our April Alumni Takeover, know that she is one of a kind!

Alumni Takeover – Michelle Bui

Those of you who know Michelle Bui, our April Alumni Takeover, know that she is one of a kind! From her outstanding commitment to the Eccles community both as a student and an alumni, to the enthusiasm she brings to each moment — Michelle adds so much value to our alumni network! A 2018 graduate with her degree in Marketing, Michelle excelled at the David Eccles School of Business. Her involvement with Business Scholars, Eccles Global, and the Goff Scholars program  showcased her talents in the marketing field and her outstanding work ethic!

We hope you will follow along as Michelle does a LIVE takeover of our Instagram Stories today! You’ll get a look into “a day in the life” of a brand manager and a peak at one of our Alumni Network events in Austin.

1. What was your first job?

My first job was at Jamba Juice, which is great because I always smelt like fruit haha. I got my first job when I turned 15 because I wanted to start making my own money and start being more like an adult (which is not possible when you’re 15). My manager always kept me at the cash registers because I was really good with customers, which started my interest in finding a career where I would be able to connect and work with people.

2. What is the best job you ever had?

The best job I’ve ever had is the one I have now. I’m currently working as a Brand Manager for this amazing company called SelfMade in Austin, Texas. When I graduated with my degree in marketing, I knew that I wanted to do two things: strategy and creative. Let me tell you something, an entry-level marketing job that has both of those things is almost non-existent. I was fortunate enough to stumble into this role when researching marketing jobs in Austin. As a start-up, employees have the opportunity to wear many hats and the ability to do many roles. As a Brand Manager, I am part strategist, part creative director and part account services. The reason I love this job so much is that I am able to grow in all of those aspects every day. I now have a full book of international clients that range across multiple industries that I’m able to work with to create marketing plans and implement them. But the best part of the job is the people. Have you ever had a job where you seriously like EVERYONE you work with? I didn’t until this job. You know you’ve found something great when you want to hang out with your co-workers outside of work! :)

3. What is a book you read recently? What was the best part?

The book that I’m currently reading is Becoming by Michelle Obama. I was already crying after the second page of the preface so I knew I was going to love the book. The best part of it is the fact that it’s so relatable. As a woman and a minority, I resonated with Michelle’s story. It is such a good read! Definitely recommend to anyone who is looking for an inspirational story.

 4. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

My biggest advice would be to trust in yourself. Life after graduation is weird. You’re no longer going to school (which is strange because you’ve always been in school), you have to find a real job, and eating microwavable foods for multiple meals isn’t acceptable anymore (well it’s ok sometimes, who can say no to pizza bites?). Your decisions really have a huge impact now. I would really want my 20 year old self to believe in herself and really follow her heart in all her decisions.

5. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My biggest accomplishment would be moving out of Utah. One of my biggest goals was to find a job and move to a bigger city and boy was it hard. The David Eccles School of Business doesn’t have the biggest alumni network in Austin and the connections that it does have, it was all accounting or finance. I guess that I’m really proud of the fact that I got such an amazing job all on my own. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I can probably write a book about how to find a job in a different city when you have ZERO connections now. That and probably the fact I’ve eaten an entire large Pizza Hut pizza by myself once.


6. In what way were you most impacted during your time at the Eccles School?

The biggest thing that impacted my time at the Eccles School were all the opportunities that I got. I don’t think there is another school in the nation where there is an undergrad program where you could travel the world, visit all these amazing companies, and work on such cool real-life projects. I’ve worked with students in Guatemala developing a new internal structure for a local phone company to creating an entire brand book for a French immersion school. The Eccles School allowed me to have such incredible opportunities that by the time I graduated, I had all the tools to jump head first into my career.

7. Describe yourself in one or two words.

Charismatic or Positive

8. What is the best business advice you have received?

When trying on business attire, always try sitting down. LADIES, this is gold. You never know how much a skirt is going to ride up until you sit down!

9. What is something you learned at the Eccles School that you will never forget?

The Eccles School taught me to always fight for what I want. There are so many awesome opportunities at the Eccles School, but if you don’t work hard and fight for it, you’re not going to get it. This definitely translates into the real world. If there’s an opportunity at work, fight for it. Things just aren’t going to magically fall into your lap, you have to work hard and earn it.

10. What is the best way to start the day?

The best way to start the day is always with a glass of water. TRUST ME, makes the biggest difference.

11. What did you want to be when you grew up?

For a long time I wanted to be a mermaid, but then I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Then I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but quickly realized that I did not have the patience required for that. Then I wanted to be a news anchor, also realized that wasn’t going to happen because theater was a required course in college and I was NOT going to take a theater class (I was pitiful in my junior high theater class).

12. Who was your most influential professor at the Eccles School?

My most influential professor would have to be Bonita Austin. I was lucky enough to be in her strategy class and also part of the Gregg Goff Fellowship. She really challenged me to think outside the box and to think creatively when problem solving. She always encouraged me to really hone into my skills and contributed to the person I am today. She is amazing and will always inspire me to always speak up and be confidant in my abilities.

13. What is the best business decision you have made?

The best business decision I ever made was to stay in marketing. After graduation, I had a lot of friends that accepted job offers that were not necessarily in their field. Whether it was for financial reasons or just to have a job, I felt like everyone was suddenly working even though they weren’t doing exactly what they had originally planned. From May to November, I was unemployed. There were so many instances where I wanted to get a sales job or a HR job just for the sake of having a job. But I knew that I would only be happy if I found something that I was truly passionate about. By making the decision to stay in Marketing, I feel like I’ve set my career path up for success. It definitely wasn’t easy at times, but it is the best business decision I’ve ever made.

14. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

Making friends. I’m such a people person and LOVE meeting and connecting with others.

15. What job do you think you would be really good at if you weren’t doing what you are now?

In a different life, I would have loved to be a director. I love film and videography. I would have loved to be part of that industry!

16. What song do you have completely memorized?

I don’t think I have any song completely memorized! I am the absolute WORST at remembering song lyrics. Probably something from High School Musical, or Phoebe Buffay’s “Smelly Cat”.


17. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

I think everyone should travel abroad once in their lives! Traveling is one the greatest investments you can make in yourself. You learn so much about different people, cultures, food, it’s absolutely incredible.

18. What is your favorite memory at the U?

Wow, I couldn’t even pick one thing even if I tried. I loved my time at the U and wouldn’t change anything. If I could do it again I would!

19. What is something you thought you knew about the world but it turns out it was different?

I always thought that the world knew about fry sauce, it doesn’t. Since moving to Austin, I’ve learned that I totally took fry sauce for granted.

20. If your life were a movie, what would the title be? Who would play you?

I don’t even care what the title of the movie would be as long Gemma Chan played me. Can we take a second and appreciate how elegant she is!?


2019-04-24T21:52:44-06:00April 24th, 2019|

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