Jillian Fox is the first in her family to work abroad and the first to earn a four-year college degree — and she leads the way as a marshal at UC’s first Autumn All-University Commencement.
“At that time, I didn’t know much about financial aid,” Jillian admits. She ran out of money and came back home to Cincinnati. During this time of transition, she looked at what kind of career she wanted.
“I decided ‘Maybe I’m not supposed to be the first woman president,’” she says, laughing. The other women in Jillian’s family are nurses, but she felt more drawn to her father’s interests — in sales and marketing. She had been accepted by both Miami and the University of Cincinnati, both with excellent business schools.
|Jillian's interests are as diverse as her choice of reading.|
“I loved co-op,” she says. “It was an extra benefit by coming to UC. Jillian completed three long-term co-ops. “I learned what I did want to do and what I didn’t want to do, and where I fit in in the corporate culture.”
|Jillian knows that business, like college, is about relationships.|
Jillian spends many hours of her day with co-workers. At one point in her college career, she was working four jobs simultaneously. Her ingenuity shows in the part-time jobs she worked while in college: at a makeup counter, for a meat packager, as a server in a restaurant and a nursing home, and by taking notes for disabled school children. “One of the things that I’m proud of is that I will owe only $800 when I graduate after five and a half years.”
During Jillian’s sophomore year, she scaled back to only two jobs so that she could focus on her studies. “I can’t wait to work only one job!” she says. “I never saw ‘Friends,’ for example. Who’s Chandler? I have no idea. I might even get to cook dinner for myself.”
Now Jillian is interviewing for her first full-time — and only — job out of college. She’s finding that it’s a different type of interviewing from interviewing for co-op positions. She interviewed for five co-op positions and was offered four of them. She researched her potential co-op employers to see if she fit their needs. “I thought I could see what they wanted,” she says.
Now she’s looking at it differently — “I’m researching them to see if they’re what I want,” she says. “At this point, you have to be a little picky-choosy. You can’t be strategic all through college, building something up and then not be strategic in choosing and thus throw it all away. It doesn’t make sense!”
Jillian attended the panel of global experts that the College of Business hosted in November. “One of them talked about how you should specialize and differentiate yourself. When considering your options, know when it doesn’t fit your personal brand,” she says. “It’d be like Starbuck’s selling hairbrushes — it doesn’t fit!”
|Jillian and Sunjay John, friend and fellow marshal.|
One thing that Jillian does know is German. Looking down the road, she can picture herself teaching German in some capacity. Her dream job is to do brand management or market research internationally. She would love to learn Chinese or one of the many Hindu languages.