Rachel Marion ’17

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

I graduated in 2017 with my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

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

I am a Strategic Partnership Marketing Manager at Cvent, which is located in Tysons Corner, VA.

Cvent is an event technology platform that supports everything from registration systems to mobile apps to onsite badging & check-in. In my current role, I work with leaders in the event & hospitality industry to elevate Cvent’s marketing efforts.

My typical day involves meeting with prospective partners, as well as current partners to discuss marketing plans on tradeshows & events, webinars, remarketing/targeting, content, etc. I also meet with internal stakeholders regularly to align on what Cvent needs out of partners, as well as marketing goals so I can execute accordingly.

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

I mention how valuable Professional Selling and Business Communications were below, but I enjoyed those the most because the skills you learn can be used in any role. Strategic Management was also a great course that made me think bigger picture.

I also appreciate how often we had to present in all courses. I present every single day, whether it’s to a prospect, current partner, internal stakeholders (which have included my CEO on multiple occasions), and to 43,000 event & hospitality professionals at our user conference.

4. How did you become interested in your field?

I was always interested in Marketing, and when I started doing marketing internships, I fell in love with events and all the chaos that went into it. The company I interned with was a Cvent client, so I became really familiar with the products and company and applied in the spring before I graduated. I started in a Client Services role and moved into Marketing after 2 years.

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

Always be vocal about what you want for your career. You are in charge of your own career journey, so don’t be afraid to tell your manager your professional goals and what type of career you want to have. Look for a mentor, build internal relationships, ask questions & never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!

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

As I thought about this question, a lot of professors ran through my head, so I couldn’t choose just one. The College of Business really does have outstanding professors.

Dean Richardson’s Professional Selling class taught me A LOT about business acumen in general, not just how to sell. A lot of what I learned can be used no matter what field of work you go into to. On top of the class, Dean Richardson was so encouraging and helpful when it came to job applications. She was always willing to proof-read my cover letters, resume, and reach out to her connections if I was interested in a role.

Professor Gentry was another one of my favorites. I had a few classes with him and really appreciated his teaching style. Lastly, Professor Oxford’s Business Communication class is extremely valuable and has been instrumental when I need to communicate with senior leadership.

7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

My fondest memories are definitely on & off the field with my teammates. Balancing school & soccer was definitely a challenge at times, but I made memories & friendships that I’ll keep for life.

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

In the 3.5 years I’ve been at Cvent, I’ve spoken three times at our marquee event technology conference, Cvent CONNECT. Most recently in 2020, I was able to speak to over 43,000 attendees virtually, which was very exciting. Since then, I’ve been asked to speak in partner events and webinars as well.

I’m also very involved with our women in leadership group, Empower. This is an advocacy group that recognizes women at Cvent, and in our industry. I’m the Events & Education Chair, so I brainstorm on content, source speakers and am involved with our philanthropy efforts.

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

Funny, driven, loyal & confident.

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

Be confident, be direct & be open to new challenges.