At a Glance
Major(s): Business administration - Marketing
Activities: Honors College, DifferenceMaker co-op, Study Abroad
Why UML? “They wanted me here as much as I wanted to be here."
All roads have led honors business major Maddie Gear to a marketing co-op position with CarGurus, an automotive research and shopping website based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“I’m so excited to apply the skills that I’ve learned in my business classes and gain confidence in a professional work environment,” says Gear, who is working as a field marketing co-op with CarGurus’ business-to-business team during the spring semester of her junior year.
A native of Rockland, Massachusetts, Gear applied to UML “on a whim.” Meeting Manning School of Business Dean Sandra Richtermeyer and her staff on Accepted Students Day clinched her decision to become a River Hawk.
“They made me feel like I was wanted here and they were going to take care of me,” Gear says. “They wanted me here as much as I wanted to be here. From that, I felt like I needed to be at UMass Lowell.”
While starting college remotely during the pandemic was challenging, Gear quickly found her footing. A first-year Marketing Principles course with Deborah Casey, assistant teaching professor of marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, piqued her interest and convinced her to declare a marketing concentration. Then, adjunct faculty member Kevin Willett suggested she visit DifferenceMaker Central and check out the university’s entrepreneurship program.
“I hadn’t grasped on to anything, and that was a place I could go and meet people,” says Gear, who soon landed a marketing internship with the DifferenceMaker program.
“It’s been interesting to learn things in class and then apply them full force with the work I’m doing, like social media marketing, making newsletters and even writing emails to students,” she says.
Gear’s DifferenceMaker experience — along with a class visit by Assoc. Director of Cooperative Education Melissa Welch — convinced Gear to take advantage of UML’s Professional Cooperative Education program. After applying online to more than a dozen companies, including CarGurus, she attended the Fall Career Fair. She saw the CarGurus table there, introduced herself to the recruiter and soon went through two successful rounds of interviews.
“This co-op will give me a clear picture about my future career,” says Gear, who is glad she has taken advantage of so many opportunities at UML — including an honors study abroad trip to Madrid, Spain, in her sophomore year that was paid for by her Immersive Scholars award.
“I love to see new places and explore,” she says. “I’m trying to make up for lost time from the pandemic.”