Summer Owens, Author and FedEx Senior Marketing Specialist, relates her experience
as an alumna of the Emerging Leaders program.
I earned a BBA in Marketing from the University of Memphis in 2001 and an MBA from
Belhaven College in 2005. I am currently a senior marketing specialist at FedEx .
I started my career with the Memphis Grizzlies where I was a marketing manager for
the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum. I was also a marketing manager with ServiceMaster.
In high school, I was very involved in student organizations and held leadership positions
in a number of them. I wanted a similar experience in college and was excited about
the opportunity to receive a scholarship that would provide me with exposure to key
people and organizations on campus as well as develop my leadership skills.
As an Emerging Leader, I was pushed to explore various campus organizations and pursue
leadership positions that I otherwise may not have considered. Additionally, the program
afforded me opportunities to meet leaders on campus and throughout the community and
learn from their experience and advice. The program also helped me meet and become
friends with other students on campus who were growing leaders as well. Probably most
importantly, the program helped me to learn more about myself as an individual, as
a student, and as a leader. On our first day of class, we received Franklin Planners
from the Dean of Students and were shown how to use them effectively. The planners
and the Emerging Leaders program taught me how to prioritize, plan and manage the
full schedule I had in college and continue to enjoy today.
The leadership skills I learned in college through the Emerging Leaders program have
provided me with a great foundation for developing as a leader in my career as well
as helping me to develop others. From confidence and creativity to self-discipline
and time management skills, my experience in the Emerging Leaders program truly prepared
me for life and leadership after college. In addition, the relationships developed
with other campus leaders as well as University of Memphis professionals have been
invaluable in many ways.
I valued my experience as an Emerging Leader so much that I included it in my first
book, Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother. In it I discuss my journey to the University of Memphis and the blessing that the
Emerging Leaders scholarship was to my life.