Jack Slade Finds Home Sweet Home in Haslam Marketing Graduate Program

October 25, 2023

In early 2023, when Jack Slade was preparing to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in business analytics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, he wasn’t sure what his next steps would be.

Meanwhile, Haslam’s Department of Marketing was preparing to graduate its first Master of Science in Marketing cohort. The more Slade learned about the full-time, 10-month program, the more he believed it to be the perfect way to accelerate his career.

“I heard great things about it,” he says, “and I knew the prestige of the program would give me an advantage and help me stand out in the job market.”

Attracted by the forward-thinking curriculum and expert faculty, some of whom he’d had as instructors in undergrad, he applied for the marketing master’s degree program and was one of 28 students accepted for the 2023-24 cohort. Slade, originally from the Atlanta area, was thrilled at the opportunity to extend his time on Rocky Top.

“I just had to stay for another year,” he says with a smile.

Collaboration and Connection

Spending an extra year at UT turned out to be a great decision. While some universities offer graduate marketing programs solely online, Slade sees the in-person format of the Haslam M.S. in Marketing as a huge benefit. Aside from “the warm feeling of walking around this beautiful campus every day,” he values the face-to-face interaction with supportive faculty and a tight-knit group of classmates.

“The most exciting part, honestly, is being able to come into class every day with the wonderful faculty and my cohort,” he says. “I don’t think I’d be as close to my cohort if [the program] was all online. Everyone really supports each other, whether it’s on projects or just sitting and having a conversation before or after class.”

The program’s emphasis on collaboration also gives students the opportunity to partner with real clients, such as Nissan, for hands-on class projects. Graduate marketing students form corporate connections outside the classroom as well, with ample opportunities to meet with firms at career expos and other networking events.

This frequent and collaborative exposure enables students to imagine new possibilities for themselves. Slade’s long-term plan is to use what he’s learning in the Haslam marketing graduate program to gain the experience needed to springboard into a sales career.

I was inspired to [pursue this career] from one of the program’s guest speakers and partners, Rob Power, who has followed a similar path and found great success at Procter and Gamble,” he says.

Preparing Students for a Changing Marketing Field

In the constantly evolving marketing field, young professionals entering the job market have a wide range of possibilities available to them, and they need to be ready to tackle a variety of challenges. Slade feels confident that the Haslam M.S. in Marketing is preparing its students to do just that.

“The [program] covers all the marketing topics my cohort and I will need to find success in the corporate world,” he says.

The Haslam M.S. in Marketing program is now accepting applications for the 2024-25 cohort. Visit the program’s website to learn more.


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist, sestep3@utk.edu