EPIC Spotlight: Carmen Williamson

After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, Carmen Williamson became an auto claims representative in Columbia, Mo., for State Farm Insurance.

Missouri is a nice state. The work was good. Yet, with a bachelor’s degree in both marketing and human resources, she wanted to better channel her talents and skills.

Carmen’s older sister, Lauren (Williamson) Gordon, a graduate of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, had plenty of good things to share about her alma mater. “I knew it was a great school, and I wanted to be closer to my family,” Carmen says.

When Carmen paid a visit to the campus, she confirmed her sister’s positive reports and enrolled in the full-time MBA program.

Carmen says Walton’s graduate program is guaranteeing her job experience before graduation. She is currently an MBA sales analyst intern and works on Land O’Lakes’ Walmart team. This experience has already paid off. When she graduates, she will work there full-time as a retail operations manager.

Carmen says the professional development workshops at Walton College have been valuable, especially the negotiating workshop led by Dr. Arthur Matthews, a visiting assistant professor. “I feel like with our class size, everyone gets to know you better, and the professors know you by name,” she says.

She was recently inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, a business honor society, and helped create the Supply, Logistics and Marketing Club. The club has hosted a speaker series and career panels. “We’re trying to build awareness in supply chain and marketing fields,” she says.

Carmen participated in the Southeastern Conference MBA Case Competition, where she was a member of the University of Arkansas team, along with students Bin Liu, Saif Mir and Chris Reed. The University of Arkansas team won second place for its business strategy only 24 hours after receiving the case. Individually, Carmen won an award for best question-and-answer for her division.

Walton’s graduate program also enabled her to study abroad. Carmen spent three weeks in China, where she attended seminars and visited the country’s Walmart, Sam’s Club, Unilever and Procter & Gamble offices.

As a Walton College MBA Ambassador, she is responsible for writing letters to prospective students and regularly attends open houses on campus to promote the college. She also serves as a Walton College MBA Mentor.

Carmen grew up in Little Rock where she was active in the arts and still enjoys music, photography and plays. She said her high school years included dancing – ballet, tap and jazz. When she has the time, she can be found in a hip-hop exercise class, she says.

And, yes, Carmen is an Arkansas Razorbacks fan and is happy to be back in her home state.

“I love the South,” she says. “I love the weather. The people are so friendly.”