Giant Eagle HR Content Manager Julia Buchanan Uses Business B.S. & M.B.A. to Progress in Career
Julia Buchanan had “such a great experience” as an undergrad business student at Seton Hill that she decided to get her MBA here as well. She earned her MBA in Management while working at Giant Eagle, a food, fuel and pharmacy retailer with more than 410 locations across five states. She believes her continuous career progress at Giant Eagle has a lot to do with her Seton Hill education. Here, she answers a few questions about her journey.
Why did you choose Seton Hill for your bachelor's and your MBA?
I grew up nearby in Ligonier, Pa., and had always heard great things about Seton Hill. My older sister completed her undergrad from Seton Hill, so I was familiar with the campus and programs that were offered and knew it would be a great fit. Once I graduated with my B.S. in Business Administration, I set a goal for myself to get my MBA. After having such a great experience for four years, I couldn’t picture myself doing it anywhere other than SHU.
What was the journey like from the MBA Program to your current position?
While I was moving through the MBA program, I was in a recruiter position at Giant Eagle, and I knew I wanted to continue to grow my career there. Around the same time that I graduated with my MBA, I moved into a new role as a recruitment marketing specialist, which was a perfect combination of my HR and marketing specializations from my undergraduate degree. I learned a lot in that role, and continued to learn and grow by taking on more responsibilities and projects. This eventually led me to my current role as the HR content manager at Giant Eagle.
"This program gave me the foundation I needed in finance, HR, management and so much more. I feel confident making space for myself among my peers and my leadership team."
Do you use things you learned at Seton Hill in your current job?
So many things! The coursework and understanding the technical components of business is extremely important, but in addition to that, I also learned so many life skills that are invaluable. They have played a huge role in me progressing in my career. Seton Hill’s focus on entrepreneurial thinking has also served me well. Although I’m not an entrepreneur myself, the ability to think outside of the box, be innovative and take risks has paid off in dividends throughout my professional and personal endeavors. I’m also currently in my first role as a people-leader with direct reports, which has been a learning experience itself. I felt prepared and ready because of the things I learned at Seton Hill.
Do you have anything you’d like to share about the MBA Program with people who may be considering it?
This program gave me the foundation I needed in finance, HR, management and so much more. I feel confident making space for myself among my peers and my leadership team. My professors were supportive and always made themselves available outside of the classroom when I needed them. They were personally invested in me and my success, which was so important. I’ve even stayed in touch with a few since graduating. I can tell you from experience, as a student in Seton Hill’s MBA Program you’ll never be just a number.
Photo top courtesy of Mariah Fisher Photography