Rachel Brandt is part of the Alumni Connecting with Eller Students Initiative. She is a Product Manager as Intel-Portland.
“I joined Intel as a finance intern and then came back full time after my undergraduate degree was completed. The accounting background helped me excel in the role and I believe many accounting students are unaware of the opportunities outside of public accounting that can be considered.”
What do you do on a typical day at work?
My typical day is never typical – one day I’ll be meeting with customers, specifically Cloud Hosting providers, to get feedback on how our product plans are being received into the customer’s product and services offerings. The next day I could be working with our engineering teams to identify the different product changes that can be made within our manufacturing processes to create the right products to meet the customer needs
How did you come across this opportunity?
I was supporting the Cloud Platforms Group as a finance analyst for over 2 years during which time I got to understand the business models, internal processes for supporting unique customer needs and most importantly demonstrate my capabilities to the group’s senior leadership. This was what led my organization to give me a development opportunity, which essentially allowed me to do the job for 3 months so the team could evaluate my contributions… and now I’ve been a permanent part of the team for over a year and a half!
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
From a career perspective, this job is giving me exposure to many different aspects of running a business – from engaging customers all the way back to product planning and execution. From a personal perspective, I’ve gotten to travel the world and meet new people and experience new cultures – which is a priceless benefit!
What skills do you find important in your career or in this particular industry?
The ability to effectively take direction from management and learn quickly has enabled me to be successful in a role that had prerequisites far beyond my academic and career background.
In what ways did Eller prepare you for your job?
Accounting and business courses grounded my understanding of how a business works and this is a key skill that has helped me prioritize my focus and influence the business to drive the best results for Intel’s profitability.
Advice for a student looking to enter your industry/company?
Getting your foot in the door is the most important step – once you’re in, you’ll be able to actively seek out opportunities that may be more interesting and it will give you a much better chance of demonstrating your skills to get the support needed to land your dream job!
Your favorite UA/Eller memory?
My interview for Eller admissions is my favorite memory… I distinctly remember messing up an answer to one of the interview questions and scrambling to cover for myself. Luckily I still got in and from then on I always over prepared for interviews to make sure I didn’t end up blushing like that again!