Academics and Research

MBA student looks back on her DU experience

After graduating from the University of Denver in 2012 with a BA in marketing, Alexa Cain enrolled in the one-year MBA program at the Daniels College of Business. She graduates from that program June 6. As an undergraduate, Cain worked on the 2012 presidential debate that took place on campus. DU Today caught up with Cain to talk about marketing, her DU experience and more.


Q: What is your specialty in the MBA program?

A: I’m concentrating on business intelligence and analytics — kind of taking a new perspective on marketing, more the analytical data side of things, which is what I’m looking to go into. Consumer insights, market research, that type of field.


Q: What attracted you to that?

A: I’ve always been a numbers person. I like the creative industry of marketing, but I also like the insights: the psychology and data side of it. I’ve always loved psychology — any extra classes that I had at DU, I would take a psych class — but I can’t stand science. I feel like marketing and business intelligence give me that insight into the psychology of marketing.


Q: That seems like a growing field.

A: It’s kind of a hot topic right now. It’s always been around, people collecting data, but in recent years people are trying to figure out exactly what to do with all the data and how to interpret it. There aren’t that many people in the market who really know what to do with all of it — how to organize it and use it to make business decisions.


Q: You interned for a little over a year in the communication office at Daniels. Have you had other internships during your time at DU?

A: Prior to Daniels I did an internship with [movie theater advertising company] National CineMedia. I was there for six months as a general marketing intern. I was in a department called Fathom Event, which does special events. I did a lot of social media while I was there. After being at Daniels, I started an internship with a company called BrandJuice; they’re a small brand-consulting agency in Denver. They work with big clients like Procter & Gamble and General Mills and help companies brand new product innovations—anything from someone who wants to come up with a new product idea to a company that has a new product and wants to figure out where to sell it and where to place it. They do a lot of qualitative research and customer insights. That’s been very fun as well.


Q: You decided to go to DU for graduate school, so you must like the education you got as an undergraduate.

A: DU was a great fit for me. I loved the small classes. I always tell people that’s probably the greatest aspect, is the one-on-one feel you get in the classroom. You really can personalize it. Even this business intelligence program, you can shape it to what you want to be and work with your professors on different projects. In one of my classes, I got to use BrandJuice, my internship — I got to bridge that gap and use some of my work there as one of my school projects.


Q: Tell me about your work on the presidential debate.

A: I did a lot of the debate prep, in terms of PR and reaching out to different media outlets in order to get people to the debate. We put together a big list of professors at DU who were experts on certain topics, so the media would know who they wanted to interview when they came to campus. I was on a social media team that was participating in live blogging during the debate and encouraging tweets and all kinds of social media postings. I also helped produce a short video that prepared DU students for the day of the debate, kind of prepping them that media’s going to be on campus and how to respond when all that craziness is going on.


Q: That must have been a nice addition to your resumé.

A: It was really cool to be a part of. It was definitely hectic — the office was super-busy — but it was really fun. Most people can’t say that [they worked on a presidential debate].


Q: Did you study abroad as an undergraduate?

A: In my junior year, fall quarter, I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain. That was great. I’m a Spanish minor, so I took all my classes in Spanish while I was there, and I lived with a host family, so by the time I left I was certainly fluent. That’s another one of my favorite aspects of DU, is just how easy it is to study abroad.


Q: Did that enhance your resumé as well?

A: The biggest benefit I got from it wasn’t necessarily resumé, but just learning a different culture and learning to be really independent. I didn’t go with any friends I knew beforehand.


Q: You grew up in Los Angeles; how did you end up at DU?

A: My sister actually went to DU. She’s one year ahead of me in school, and she is a statistics major, so she was looking at statistics programs across the country and stumbled upon DU. She ended up transferring after her second year. But after I visited her once, I was like, “I want go here; I love it.” I was here to stay.


The graduate Commencement ceremony begins at 4:30 a.m. Friday, June 7, at Magness Arena. For more information or to watch a live stream of the ceremony, visit



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