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Barowsky School of Business

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San Rafael, CA 94901

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You are here: Home / Academics / Barowsky School of Business / About the School / Our Stories / Student-Athlete Excels in Business

Reed Upson is a 4+1 BA to MBA student in the Barowsky School of Leadership. He will graduate in May of 2012 with an MBA in Global Management, a major in Business Administration, emphasis in Finance, and a minor in Leadership.

Reed is also an extraordinary student athlete: He wears number 9 for Dominican’s NCAA Division II lacrosse team.

He's very busy: He’s attending Dominican full time, playing lacrosse and working part-time as a financial analyst for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, one of the largest public relations companies in the world.

Q: Reed, why did you choose to attend Dominican?

The story of my enrolling at Dominican is full of twists and turns. Many pieces needed to fall into place to bring me to Dominican. However, it is all related to my love of sports.

I am originally from Davis, California, a small college town very similar to San Rafael. Growing up, I always played sports and I excelled at most, but preferred basketball and golf.

From the moment I entered high school, I was determined to go to college and play sports collegiately (in the NCAA). Basketball was my sport of choice.

However, my freshman year of high school I tried out but did not make the basketball team. I was devastated because I had worked so hard. Then, one of my friends told me about lacrosse, which I had never heard of before, and I decided to give it a try.

I fell in love with the sport, becoming one of the better players on the team. A year later, I tried out for basketball again and, though I made the team, I decided not to play. I enjoyed lacrosse better.

Nearing my senior year of high school, I attended a lacrosse camp and met Ned Webster, the head coach at Dominican. I learned about Dominican Penguins and found out that they were quickly becoming one of the premier lacrosse teams in the West, and one of only three NCAA teams. It seemed like a perfect fit: I was able to stay in California, close to home, and play collegiate sports. I also received an athletic scholarship.


Q: What makes Dominican stand out from other colleges in the Bay Area?

I think that Dominican is the best-kept secret in the Bay Area and California.

Dominican is a small—yet fast growing—liberal arts school. It boasts small class sizes, excellent faculty and staff, NCAA athletics, and a commitment to helping all of its students achieve success inside and outside of the classroom.

Dominican is unlike any other program in the Bay Area, as no other program is as committed to its students’ success as Dominican. Students have the opportunity to succeed on many different levels at the University and in the community.

I believe that Dominican’s increased popularity and success in recent years can be attributed to the passion that all of the students and the professors bring to the classroom everyday.


Q: How did Dominican’s business program prepare you for a career in business?

Since Dominican offers small class sizes (student to teacher ratio is 11:1) faculty are able to really care about each student as an individual, and help them work towards their goals.

A class that is especially helpful for business students is the “Exploring the World of Business” seminar class that every business student must take every semester while they’re at Dominican. From their freshman to their senior year, this class leads the students through career exploration all the way to implementing their personal careers.

It prepares students for the real world by teaching them real-world skills. For example, I have learned how to personalize a resume/cover letter, network, create a personal brand, evaluate careers and negotiate wages/benefits, among other skills.

Q: You completed numerous internships while at Dominican. Can you tell us about your experiences?

Starting as a freshman at Dominican, I knew that I wanted to do as many internships as possible. I knew that having multiple internships under my belt would help me land a full-time job when I graduated. I decided to make it my personal goal to do at least one internship a year, in different areas of business.

Starting out my freshman year, I didn’t have very much work experience, so I found it hard to find an internship. I decided to approach one of my business professors and get his advice. He not only advised me on how to find an internship; he set me up with my first internship—working for the athletics department as a marketing intern.

This first “practice round,” if you will, showed me that I had a knack for numbers and helped me realize that I really wanted to study either finance or accounting.

Once again I didn’t know where to start my search for internships, or even what areas of finance I wanted to explore. I approached the same business professor again and he got me an informational interview with a person who owned his own wealth management company.

At the same time I knew that I needed to keep my options open, so I reached into my network a little further and asked my coach if he had any connections to finance in the Bay Area. He set me up with an informational interview with a person who does equity sales for Bank of America, Merrill Lynch.

In the end, I learned the power of doing informational interviews because I was offered internships at both places for the summer between my sophomore and junior years. I didn’t want to burn any bridges, so I decided to take both of them —that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Continuing on through my sophomore, junior, and senior years, I did a leadership internship as part of my leadership minor, and eventually I landed a job as a part-time financial analyst for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

This job really started out as an internship, but I quickly started taking on more responsibilities, until I started working part-time through my senior year.


Q: What are some lessons that you have learned through your internships?

I’ve learned the value of learning how to balance time, stress, and business relationships. All of my internships had a high element of stress associated with them, especially when I was a sophomore and a junior, because I was constantly balancing internships with school and sports. I felt that I had to assure the people I was working for that I could handle the responsibility.

By my senior year, I learned the value of “not biting off more than I could chew” and I learned how to manage my time and my stress and not allow stress to manage me.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10? In 20?

In five years I see myself continuing to build my career in business, and really develop skills that will carry me on to the next level of my career. Also, I hope to continue participating in lacrosse at the men’s club level.

In 10 years I hope to possibly own, or be in the processes of starting, my own business. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I would love to work for myself one day.

In 20 years I hope to have found passion in my work. At that point I hope to be running my own business that fuels off of my passions.

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