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“The Harbert College offers resources and opportunities that allow for career development, and the professors truly value your individual growth.” — Sarah Bagby
The Harbert College is committed to developing graduates who are highly-skilled, professionally prepared, confident, ethical and globally-minded.
Sarah Bagby never imagined her final year of college would be one without social events or normal, in-class academia. But the Harbert College senior in Marketing from Vestavia Hills, Alabama, refused to allow COVID-19 to impact her attitude or work ethic.
“While the majority of my classes were remote during the Fall semester, I did not treat my schedule any differently,” she said. “I watched my lectures or did my work during the assigned class time, which allowed me to remain on top of my assignments and have somewhat of a normal school schedule.”
Sarah Bagby served as AMA Recruitment Manager before earning the role as chapter President in 2020.
Bagby also maintained an important role as President of the American Marketing Association (AMA) at Auburn University and completed an internship as a consumer sales analyst at E-Z-GO Golf Carts in Augusta, Georgia. For her hard work, Bagby was recognized as Harbert College’s SGA Outstanding Student for 2020-21.
“This is a well-deserved award for Sarah,” said Emory Serviss, Marketing Department Program Champion and AMA Faculty Advisor. “She is a self-driven, studious individual who even with her coursework and extra-curricular involvement displayed a professional attitude and served as an excellent mentor for her peers.”
Bagby praised the college for maintaining a solid academic experience and found that skills acquired during the pandemic – namely Zoom -- can be lasting ones.
“My professors made themselves available to meet via Zoom to answer any questions regarding the material, and because of this, I did not feel the remote environment impacted my learning,” she said. “I had multiple group projects in my virtual classes, and we utilized Zoom to work together and present our completed work to professors.
“Throughout quarantine, many companies realized meeting virtually allows for better efficiency. Presenting on Zoom did not come naturally to me at first, but with practice, I feel I am better prepared for future Zoom conference calls that may come my way. I am very thankful for the college experience I have had at Auburn, and while these circumstances were not ideal, I believe that the university handled the ongoing pandemic very well.”
Bagby, who served as AMA’s Recruitment Manager before assuming the role of chapter President in 2020, considers herself to be “a people person” and a career in marketing was the best fit for her.
“Marketing is a collective effort of people with different perspectives and understanding consumers is at the forefront,” she added. “Understanding why people act the way they do allows marketers to offer their products and services in a way that is appealing. I find this so interesting! I love that marketing allows me to think creatively and collaborate with people every day.”
She will have her chance immediately after graduation when Bagby begins her new role as full-time sales analyst at E-Z-GO.
“My professors in the Marketing Department have greatly invested in my career development, especially Dr. Michael Kincaid and Emory Serviss,” she said. “I was lucky to be one of Dr. Kincaid’s mentees throughout my junior year, and he encouraged me to pursue a career in sales, as he knew it would push me outside my comfort zone.”
Bagby was accepted into Dr. Kincaid’s Advanced Personal Selling class for the 2020 fall semester, further broadening her skills and preparing her for what lies ahead.
“This was an amazing reflection of real-world sales interactions as we performed multiple roleplays with industry professionals from companies such as Kone, Oracle, and United Rentals,” Bagby said. “His class allowed me to network with employers, learn about the products and services they offer, and develop a skill set needed for a career in sales.
“The Harbert College offers resources and opportunities that allow for career development, and the professors truly value your individual growth.”