Sophie McMaster, a senior business administration major with concentrations in marketing and management, always thought the Career Development Center wasn’t for her.

“Besides coming in to have my résumé reviewed, I used to disregard the CDC, thinking the job postings and programs they offered were just for finance students,” said McMaster. “I hadn’t realized all the different services and programs they offer for students in all majors.”

One of those programs included Spider Road Trips, which McMaster applied to after deciding her original career focus, financial services, wasn’t the right fit. Little did she know at the time, but by attending Spiders in Media and Communications in New York City in January 2009, she put into motion a series of experiences, leading her to the job opportunity of her dreams.

One of the stops on the Spider Road Trip was Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising firm. In addition to hearing about the organization and meeting with a 2007 Richmond graduate who now works there, McMaster learned about a one-year post graduation rotational program the agency offered. 

“After hearing from everyone, I realized this was the place for me,” said McMaster. “The culture really spoke to me, and I loved that it was such a stimulating, exciting environment. I basically came right home and quickly submitted my application for the rotational program, which would allow me to experience account planning, account management, production and creative.”

After sending off her résumé, cover letter and essays about why she wanted to pursue a career in communications and who she’d like to have dinner with from the past, present and future (McMaster chose F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer David Sedaris and President Obama, 40 years from now), she began the wait for an interview.

She didn’t wait long. Just a few weeks after returning from the road trip, McMaster had a phone interview and was invited to the agency’s “super Saturday” in March.

“Super Saturday was intense,” she said. “There were 40 college seniors there from all over the country, and it was basically like a two-day long interview process. We got to meet so many people, and we had the chance to learn a lot about the agency.”

McMaster found out a few weeks later that she was accepted into the program. She will start in the fall.

“The Spider Road Trip really opened my eyes and helped me to see how I could use my major in a different way,” she said. “The CDC helped me take hold of the opportunities that are out there, and I ended up landing a fabulous job.”