The UA Fort Smith Alumni Association will feature young alumni and what their life after graduation has been like. If you would like to be featured, please e-mail

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lydia McDaniel '09

Many changes have taken place both professionally and personally since graduating in May 2009. Before graduation I was one of the lucky few who could say they already had a career path lined up. Which I realize now just how much of a blessing that truly was. In April I proudly accepted a position with Acosta Sales and Marketing in Bentonville, AR. They had selected myself and two others from a series of extensive interviews held on campus at UA Fayetteville and in the Bentonville office. I can’t help but laugh when I think back to the whole process….I was a nervous wreck and I’m sure they could tell. Both sets of interviews were panel interviews of which I felt relatively prepared for thanks to the many mock interviews Ron Orick had helped me arrange for practice. The second interview consisted of a presentation and I so graciously used an “Organic Dog Food” business plan project we had been working on in my Integrated Marketing Communications class in Professor Peerbolte’s class.

(At work at Acosta)

In July I started my journey with Acosta as a Retail Coverage Manager. This phase allowed me to study the consumer packaged goods industry first hand and see how the Wal-Mart system operated at store level. In January, I transitioned into my second phase of the Leadership Development Program as a category analyst in their Marketing department. I’m in the process of getting more comfortable with my clients and adjusting to being in the office. I am now using databases that I learned about in courses at UA Fort Smith, such as Neilson, IRI and Spectra. In September I will transition into my third and final phase in the LDP program as a Business Manager where I will be focusing on brand marketing and building business.

On a more personal note, I decided upon moving to NWA I needed a hobby and have taken up tennis. I am currently planning team tennis at the Fayetteville Athletic Club, it has definitely been challenging yet fun. I also got engaged in August and will be getting married to Josh Holloway on July 31st, in Fort Smith, so I have been busy planning a wedding as well. In reflection, I can honestly say that UA Fort Smith has done an excellent job in preparing me for the business world. I use skills acquired at UA Fort Smith daily.

1 comment:

  1. you are so beautiful! take care bonita!