Junior Brandi Herringdine has gained a wide range of marketing experience at Wandering WiFi.
Within a month of starting her Co-op job at Wandering WiFi in early 2007, management major Brandi Herringdine was running the whole marketing department for the wireless technology startup. Her supervisor, the company’s only other marketing person at the time, had left for another job.
“Our CEO, who went to Georgia Tech, told me, ‘You’re going to be doing it all. You go to Tech, so I know you can handle it,’” remembers Herringdine, who is now a junior. “From February until when I left in August, I handled all our trade shows and marketing customer relations, and I worked directly with the graphic designer to design all of our marketing materials.”
The opportunity to gain real-world experience through Georgia Tech’s Cooperative Education Program was a big factor in Herringdine’s decision to enroll at the Institute. The program allows students to earn as they learn, alternating semesters on campus with full-time jobs at high-tech companies.
“I feel like I’m learning more at my job than I ever could just in the classroom,” Herringdine says. “The classroom is a great place to supplement my work experience….
“One of my favorite things about the College of Management is that many of our teachers have chosen academia as a second calling after working full-time in industry,” she adds. “So they bring a lot of real-world experience to the classroom.”
A native of Milledgeville, Georgia, Herringdine knew she wanted to study management when she arrived at Tech. Though she initially thought she might want a career in advertising, her experience at Wandering WiFi helped her realize that the management side of marketing is a better fit for her.
Playing a role in the startup’s expansion from 11 people to 55 (with three marketing people now) has been extremely rewarding for Herringdine, who’s now worked three semesters for the company. She’ll return to Wandering WiFi in the fall after taking summer classes.
“Atlanta is such a great city for new startup business,” says Herringdine, who notes that she wouldn’t have had such wide work opportunities if she’d gone to school in a small college town.
Worth the Wait
Most students in Tech’s Co-op program take five years to graduate because they don’t take classes during their semesters on the job. Herringdine has managed to take one class during her working semesters so that she can stay in touch with campus life.
Director of meetings and events for Tech’s Society of Women in Business, Herringdine isn’t sure of her plans after graduation. Gaining a permanent position at Wandering WiFi would be an attractive option, she says, but she’s open to exploring other parts of the country.
She knows that eventually she’ll earn an MBA and want to return to Georgia Tech for it. “I wouldn’t look anywhere else,” she says.
Director of Communications
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