Student Profile: Emily Pearl

Emily Pearl grew up in Vadnais Heights, Minn., the youngest of four children. She remembers a particular childhood game she and her siblings would play which was called “Bigger or Better.” This game consisted of finding a starting object, usually a rock. With the rock in tow, they would knock on the neighbors’ doors and seek to upgrade their object to something bigger or better. After numerous trades, the game generally ended with the ultimate prize, a can of soda. Soda was a treat not allowed in Emily’s home. It is possible this early childhood development in sales and negotiation led to what has been an exciting career for Emily so far.

Emily’s career began with Sony Music after she attained her associate’s degree in music business from McNally Smith College of Music. This position provided her with invaluable insights into business- to-business marketing and differentiating in an incredibly competitive market. Ultimately, however, Emily was motivated to attain further education and pursue a more lucrative career.

Continuing to work full-time for Sony, she completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Augsburg College in 2006. Thereafter, she spent two years as an event coordinator/marketing assistant with Erik’s Bike Shop, cutting her teeth in small business marketing and enjoying her “good lookin’ bike.” Then in early 2008, Emily landed a job as a marketing assistant with Xcel Energy.

At first, this career transition from a small business to a national corporation was challenging for her. As she put it, “I went from working in exciting, creative industries, to learning more than I cared to know about the efficiency levels of boilers.”

But it wasn’t long before she grew to love the company, and three promotions later, she is still leading projects and people in ways that are exciting and meaningful to her and to Xcel Energy.

One year into her time at Xcel Energy, Emily decided it was time to get her M.B.A. She chose the Evening UST MBA program for its convenience (only five miles from home) and the cultural fit. Emily explains that her time at St. Thomas “has offered an education that directly relates to what  I do every day, and because of that I am closer to my pursuit of happiness - happy work, happy home.”

Emily got married last November, in the middle of the program, and is the proud owner of two pugs, Frankie and Cecil. Emily’s goal is to complete her M.B.A. in fewer than five years, continue her career path at Xcel Energy and always seek new opportunities for learning and growth.