Boundless Curiosity Spells Success in Marketing

Photos by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Tiffany Tran has found a career through UMKC experience and connections

Tiffany Tran, ’14
Job title:
Marketing strategist, Helzberg Diamonds
Program: Bachelor of Business Administration
School: Henry W. Block School of Management
Hometown: Orange County, California

Tell us about your current position.

At Helzberg Diamonds, I help us understand the market forces that drive bridal jewelry purchases, uncover opportunities to grow the business, nurture key partnerships related to weddings and work to streamline existing tactics for the bridal segment. I get a pretty good mix of being analytical, critical and creative.

Why did you choose UMKC?

I graduated from Liberty High School. I wanted to stay nearby but go into business. I had peers who attended UMKC who recommended the business program, so I thought, “OK, let’s do it!”

My favorite thing was that the classes didn’t seem too big. It still felt personal. They were very small and intimate.


Who was the most influential faculty or staff member at UMKC?

Assistant Professor Jeff Johnson was not only my professor, but also my sponsor when I was an intern at Infegy. He saw me through that entire process before I secured a full-time position. He’s really awesome and very helpful to his students.

Can you tell us more about your internship at Infegy, which then turned into a job?

Infegy is a software company. They aggregate social media data — blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter, reviews — to help make sense of online and social dialogue. I did a lot of one-on-one client interviews, understanding the market and the landscape. I also created content by showing how amazing the software is so it opens new doors for sales.

Do you have a favorite memory from UMKC?

In college, I wasn’t very good at public speaking. In a class, Dr. Johnson told us how when he started working in the railroad industry, he didn’t speak up enough. His boss told him “if you don’t speak up, you’re never going to advance.”

He conquered that by going to Toastmasters. That’s what led me to joining Toastmasters, and it’s been so great. I learned so much.

What makes you unique?

I’m able to feel someone’s pain if something is bothering them. That helps me a lot in my job. When someone is talking to me one-on-one, I can sense if there’s something more to why they don’t like a particular tool.

Our outstanding alumni are pursuing their passions in Kansas City and beyond. We are delighted to share some of their remarkable stories through our new project, Inspired Beginnings. Great Journeys. Want to be a part of the story? Let us know!

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