University of California, Riverside

Undergraduate Business Program

SoBA News

Alumni Profiles: Genevie Co '15 

Genevie Co '15 graduated with a bachelor's degree in business and sociology and is now the Executive Team Leader of Operations at Target. 

When Genevie Co ‘15 graduated from the UCR School of Business, she went on to use her degree and undergraduate experience at Target, where she is currently the Executive Team Leader of Operations. From researching and troubleshooting merchandise instocks to ensuring legal adherence to hazmat policies, her work is reminiscent of her time as a UCR Business student. Here are some of her experiences through UCR, all of the internships, mentorships, and classroom experiences, and how she used that to become the successful person she is today.

What are/were some activities you are/were involved with outside of class? How do/did you balance your time?

Outside of class, I engaged in school programs, working on and off campus, as well as volunteering. The most value added program I took part in was leading the winning 2015 MBA team in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition as the CEO and Chief Marketing Officer. I also partnered with Dr. Jasso’s colleague Dr. Kewley and the Eurasia Consortium as the Los Angeles Research Director to help probe and explore global strategy with a focus on Malaysian food brands and US food trends. I was blessed to have Dr. Kazi Mamun, Assistant Dean of SoBA, as one of my mentors, and I partnered with him as a strategic auditor to analyze current infrastructure of UCR’s School of Business. I also had the pleasure of being an Editorial Board Member for the Editorial Board Member. With regards to working on campus, I worked for CHASS as both a PRBS PATH Peer Mentor and ENGL1PA Tutor. Off campus, I worked for the Pacific Island Dancers as a Manager, Instructor, and Professional Cultural Dancer. In line with my strong passion for the community, I also founded the non-profit organization Love for Humanity and have served as a Board Member and Treasurer for several years.

Why did you choose your undergraduate program? Do you have advice for students on how to make a decision?

I started my UCR journey as an undeclared CHASS student, and through purposefully choosing a wide range breadth courses, quickly found my love for social sciences and became a sociology major. However, when I took an introductory business class, I discovered my passion with business and declared it as my second major shortly after. Through Target, I have had the pleasure of mentoring team members who often ask for college and career advice. I often tell them my story, and how there is no shame in not knowing what major to declare upon starting college. In fact, I encourage people to be as open-minded as possible so they can find where their true passions lie.

What was/has been your favorite classroom experience?

I have 2 favorite classroom experiences—one through my sociology major, and one through my business major. I had the pleasure of being mentored by Dr. Tanya Nieri in quantitative sociological research. Through her mentorship, I published my first article during my sophomore year in the UCR: Undergraduate Research Journal Vol. VI, 2012—“Perceived Division of Labor & Work-Family Conflict Among U.S. Married and Cohabiting Women in Heterosexual Couples”. It was truly eye opening to be able to experience the rigorous research process that academia expects, and gave me a new appreciation for the dedication and high quality research that universities produce. As a business major, my favorite experience was, without a doubt, my participation in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition. I had the honor of leading one of the MBA programs as an undergraduate, and headed strategic planning and worked with each team member to ensure cohesiveness of each functional area. I learned how to forecast market conditions, sales, and revenue as well as handle product pricing, and positioning, advertising. In line with my previous writing and research experiences through the CHASS jobs and my sociological research, I also crafted and guided our team’s creation of Strategic Business Plans and Annual Reports. In the end, our team won 1st place in Overall Performance and 1st place in Best Written Reports in MBA Division. Beyond the technical business skills required by this competition, though, the level of teamwork and cooperation we needed to be successful truly brought out a sense of camaraderie unparalleled by any other experience I had throughout my time at UCR.

When it came time to look for jobs, did you find yourself interested in a new career that you hadn’t considered before doing your undergrad?

I had never considered a job in retail before my upper-division business classes. However, through my marketing and supply-chain classes, I discovered that the perfect setting to apply my passions for marketing and strategic operations would be on the front lines of the retail market. The summer before I graduated, I participated in Target’s internship program and was offered a full-time executive position with Target post-graduation, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Target ever since.  

Do you have/did you do an internship during your undergrad? How does/did that experience influence your education and career?

Yes, I participated in 2 internships during my undergraduate career. I worked for Uline Shipping Supplies and a sales intern. As I made sales calls on over 450 businesses as their account manager, I not only gained in-depth knowledge in sales and marketing, but also product manufacturing and small business operations as most of my accounts were mid-sized manufacturing companies. I also participated in Target’s internship program as an Executive Intern specializing in Human Resources. Though the program only lasted 10 weeks, I had the opportunity to learn and lead the HR department of the store, including staffing, scheduling, handling corrective actions, and implementing My Time— a new scheduling and payroll system. I was also given the chance to support total store operations by acting as Leader on Duty and ensuring the Target brand is maintained throughout guests’ shopping experience. My time with Target definitely resonated with my passions, and I returned to Target after graduation. I was an Executive Team Leader-Human Resources for about a year, and was promoted to Executive Team Leader- Operations shortly after.

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