This is the first installment of a new story series titled ‘A Day in the Life.’ These stories will highlight the career journeys of 2U employees across the world.
Alexandra Resnick has always chased the things that excite her most. At 14, it was broadcast journalism.
Alex dreamt of attending the nation’s leading school of communication (Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, to be exact). She took an ambitious step forward when she joined the Syracuse University Class of 2015, and while Public Communications was not her major, she remained steadfast in pursuit of her goal. For her, that meant working at the student-run TV station until the wee hours of the morning. But when an attempt to transfer internally failed, Alex took it as a sign to try something different. As luck would have it, that new path is what brought her back full circle.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish Language, Literature, and Cultures, Alex moved to New York City where she knew she would have more opportunities. She took a job as a business development representative at a digital agency and one day, while checking out her LinkedIn feed, she came across an ad that altered her life. That ad claimed she could have the best of both worlds—a salaried job to help grow her resume and the chance to pursue an online master’s degree in communications from her school.
Alex submitted her application and a few weeks later she was accepted into the Newhouse School. It was a dream come true. The master’s program made up for the formal communications curriculum she did not receive in her undergraduate years. It also made her better at her job. While working at the NYC digital agency, Alex was in a sales role. Thanks to the knowledge gained from Newhouse, such as advertising and emerging technologies within media, she was better equipped to talk about what was going on in the industry. That confidence and intellect led to more sales.
While succeeding at work was rewarding, Alex wanted to chase a new challenge. Through her courses at Newhouse she found herself captivated by analytics. It was then that a new dream was born: a desire to analyze and optimize marketing touchpoints, and to help businesses embrace technology to achieve their objectives.
Enter 2U, Inc.
Alex was nearing the end of her master’s program when she started talking to a team of 2U employees responsible for supporting the Comms@Syracuse program. After learning more about the mission-driven culture and experiencing the commitment to student outcomes first hand, Alex knew 2U would be a great place to grow her career (especially when she realized that the ad responsible for convincing her to apply to the Newhouse School was created by none other than 2U). She found the web analytics team and has never turned back.
What is it about 2U that keeps Alex energized, and what’s it like to be on her team? Read on for a day in the life of Alex Resnick.
Tell us about your job. What does it entail? I’m on a team that sits in our conversion rate optimization (CRO) group within the larger Marketing department. CRO is a rising discipline within marketing and technology that leans on experimentation to drive growth. On a daily basis, I’m analyzing data, uncovering insights, and executing strategies that help shape the experiences of prospective students in 2U-powered programs.
Describe your team dynamic. How do you work together to fulfill department goals? I’d describe the dynamic as “play hard, work harder.” We like to keep things fun and light with the occasional brunch and learn, but also want to make sure we’re getting the job done and pushing the limits of what 2U can do in terms of its marketing efforts.
What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your job? The most rewarding part of my job is knowing the work I’m doing is helping people all over the country (and now the world). Having been a student in a 2U-powered program prior to working here, I was inspired by the work 2U was doing to the point that I wanted to help other students achieve their dreams.
The most challenging part would have to be the growing pains. As our teams and capabilities grow, sometimes you might not know who you can collaborate with on more innovative projects that come down the pipeline. But with growth comes opportunity—I’ve had the chance to meet more people across more departments and work on projects that keep me stimulated.
How do you describe your role to your friends and family outside of the company? I usually describe my role as a mix of marketing and technology. But for those who want to know more, it involves a mix of marketing know-how, technical knowledge, experimentation, strategy, analysis, and project management.
What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned while at 2U? When I started at 2U, we were a team of 1,500. Now, we’re more than 4,000 strong and a global company. With such growth comes change. For me, that’s meant a change in my role to focus on tackling the challenges of the future instead of the challenges of the past. I’ve learned that change is hard, but it’s also an avenue toward new, rewarding opportunities.
What’s a recent growth or stretch opportunity you were given? I was given the opportunity to interview, hire, and manage both our summer and fall interns in 2019. It was my first experience managing another person’s time and professional development, even for a short period of time. I’m grateful that my manager trusted me to take this on.
You’re currently pursuing your MBA at Rice University. Why Rice? Why an MBA? Why now? Yes! I came to 2U with the intent to grow. 2U is beyond generous and offers tuition reimbursement for employees accepted into their university partner programs. I knew I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, but what I didn’t know was which program would be most beneficial for me and my career. After talking to an admissions counselor (who happened to be a childhood friend), an MBA seemed like the ideal path for me and MBA@Rice fit well with my ambitions: it ranks highly among business schools and for entrepreneurship, it’s known for its tight-knit network, and Rice Business is committed to continuously innovating. I started the program this past October and believe the degree will help me develop the leadership skills and business acumen I need to continue my career growth.
What’s your favorite part about working at 2U? This is a hard question! Some of my favorite parts about working here include the culture, the people, and ultimately, the company’s mission.
What advice would you give to someone just starting at 2U? If you’re new to 2U, try to meet people on different teams. While starting at a big company can be intimidating, if you meet one to two people a week, that can be an additional friendly face you see around the office.
Interested in learning more about job opportunities at 2U? Check out our Careers page.