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Humans of the U: Alicia Baker

“I grew up 40 minutes outside of Salt Lake City in Syracuse, Utah, so not far away from the U. I honestly had a lot of hesitations about coming here. I am a middle child and my older sister came here. I really wanted to do something different than she did and what my family expected.

What I wanted to do was go to an out-of-state school and pursue a fashion degree. However, I decided it probably wasn’t worth it to get into a lot of debt. I realized that my college experience would be what I made it and I could have the experience I wanted anywhere I went. Since I had seen my sister come to the U and thrive, I knew that I could do that here as well.

When I came to the U, I realized there were majors here that I had never heard of or considered majoring in. I am majoring in quantitative analysis of markets and organizations, or QAMO. I learned about this major through a scholarship I got from the Business Scholars Program which exposed me to a lot of different majors. I was drawn to QAMO because it’s a major with many different job opportunities.

As I approach the end of my degree, I see that this is one of those majors where you gain a lot of foundational skills that apply to a variety of fields, including fashion.

I have a job lined up for when I graduate and I am going to be a merchandise planner. For me, it’s the best of both worlds. I will get to be in the fashion industry and go to market and be around the clothes and interact in creative spaces, and then I will still be using this data analysis skill set that I really value.

For students who are just starting out and trying to decide what to major in, I would tell them to understand that their path is not fixed. It’s important to remember what your goals and your values and your passions are, but don’t stick so tightly to one path. Remember there are unconventional ways to get there. And if you remember your goals and what you want, you’ll find a way to get there, even if it takes longer or shorter than you expected.”

— Alicia Baker, a senior majoring in quantitative analysis of markets and organizations

and a 2023-24 Presidential Intern