Candace Whye, W’11
If you ever find yourself in a funk about “the future” or “what things are coming to,” then find a reason to meet with a young Wharton alum. The confidence, joy, intelligence, consideration and zest of a recent graduate — say, someone like Candace Whye, W’11 — will put your mind at ease. And you will thank Wharton for doing its job so well.
Growing up in Baltimore, Candace came to Wharton through one of the school’s outreach programs with the encouragement of her teachers. She initially considered the actuary sciences, but soon discovered that marketing fit her personality. One of her best memories from Wharton was her Management 101 course. “I sat in that classroom with people from all different walks of life, thinking, ‘We are going to get all this knowledge,’ but at the same time, ‘There are these great people.’ It brought me a sense of community. I knew the four years were going to be tough, but also I felt like I was going to get all this support.”
To balance her studies, and find a “family” at school, Candace performed as a varsity cheerleader for three years and, in her senior year, joined a West African dance troupe. Candace explained, “The dances are often about a rite of passage. The body movements are different from modern or jazz dance, which I studied growing up, and the techniques are nuanced. I learned so much!” She also joined 400 other students in Community Schools Student Partnerships, volunteering four times per week as an after-school mentor in eight local elementary schools. Upon graduation and moving to New York City in 2011, Candace joined Media Storm, a small full-service advertizing agency, which allowed her to work in marketing and, with its employee-centric culture, maintain a great work-life balance. Her company has grown since she joined, she’s received two promotions and is now a senior research analyst. “I have a client-focused role, working with a few cable TV networks. Our team does primary and secondary research for clients’ media planning and placement. Say, a network has a new show coming out and wants to promote the show and get new people into the network. We help them develop a strategy on what kind of media to buy and who to target, and learn more about their target so that the client can better communicate with them. Our agency also executes and measures all of the media that we place, which includes digital billboards like you see in Times Square, TV promo commercials and print. Our customers like us because we’re creative, focused and dedicated.”
One of the first things Candace did when she came to New York was became a Big Sister for a 13-year-old girl in the Bronx. “Being in her life is important. Even if I can’t get there as often as I like, we talk on the phone, and she G chats me.” Last year, Candace joined the Penn Alumni Interview Program, where she can give a recent student’s perspective as to whether the applicant will fit in, and help identify what’s special about them that doesn’t come across in the application. “I’m so grateful to Wharton and want to give back. So far, the applicants seem comfortable with me, and really open up!”