Mary Grace Cooney ’18

1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?

I majored in marketing at Mary Washington and graduated in the spring of 2018.


2. What is your current position (title, company, location)?  Can you describe a typical day?

My current position is Senior Digital Analyst, Paid Media working for Marriott International at the corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. A typical day for me mostly consists of running advertising campaigns for hotel outlets (Restaurants/ Golf/ Spa etc.). Currently, I’m working with Google, Facebook + Instagram, Yelp, TripAdvisor and OpenTable to execute these campaigns on behalf of our hotels.


3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?

The marketing major at Mary Washington (and the general business school requirements!) taught me skills that I use every day. My job involves number crunching and data analysis, ‘selling’ the features and benefits of our campaign offerings, and oh yeah—a LOT of public speaking. Each component of my day can be tied back to learnings from at least one class I took in Woodard.


4. How did you become interested in your field?

I became most interested in the hospitality field after completing an internship with Marriott in the summer before senior year. If you ask my friends, I thrive on personal interactions and meeting new people, so this industry is a no-brainer!


5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?

The best career advice I’ve ever received is to be proactive—whether in seeking new roles or expanding the duties in your current role. If there’s a project you want to work on, or a line of business you want to work with, speak up! This 100% contributed to the role I’m in today.


6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?

I’d like to thank Professors Woody and Zhao for being two of the most thorough teachers I had at UMW. I learned so much in both of their classes that I’m still drawing on today in my job! I’d also like to thank Carla and Amber for being there with me through every case study and group project! The countless hours spent in the Woodard computer lab were well worth it.


7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

My fondest memory of UMW would without a doubt be competing in the annual business case competition. While my team didn’t place in the finals, being given the opportunity to represent our section of MGMT 490 was a fantastic experience.


8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?

In November 2019, I was promoted to my current role from a Digital Analyst. I’m excited to continue to grow within my team and my company!


9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?

My family and friends would describe me as driven, detail- oriented, passionate, enthusiastic, hard- working, outgoing and organized.


10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students?

Feeling valued in your workplace is priceless, and far more important than your income.