Abby Brockfeld, ‘05
Area Manager, AT&T Communications Connection
As a transfer student to Maryville University in 2003, Abby Brockfeld felt she had finally found a place that allowed her to succeed on her own terms – and they were tough terms. In her junior and senior years, Brockfeld worked 50, sometimes 65, hours each week, and also carried 18 to 21 hours of credit each semester. Her mentor, Professor John Lewington, PhD, thought she was crazy – but he trusted her enough to clear the administrative path to insure her success.
“Dr. Lewington took me under his wing,” Brockfeld said. “He went to bat for me, which is the only reason I graduated on time. He’s the reason I kept going. I was working so much I didn’t have a chance to make friends on my own, but often in the hallway he would introduce me to people who had the same major as me.”
When Lewington asked Brockfeld why she was coming and going so much (some days, she traveled back and forth between work and campus four times), he couldn’t believe it, Brockfeld said.
“When I needed his help to take more hours, I promised him I’d make it work and I did,” she said.
Brockfeld’s drive to succeed earned her dean’s list honors each semester, as well as the honor of being named the outstanding e-marketing graduate of her class. She also graduated with magna cum laude honors. Today, she works for AT&T, the same company she worked for during college – but she continues to move up in the ranks.
“I’m one of three area managers in St. Louis now, so I manage four AT&T stores,” she said. “I provide support for the store managers, review the profit and loss statements, make sure training needs are met and that the stores are operating as they should.”
Lewington’s consumer behavior class has been a big help, Brockfeld said, along with marketing courses she took with Prof. Mary Albrecht, PhD, and a business law course with Prof. Bill Lange, JD.
“I transferred from Mizzou because most of my classes there had 400 or 500 students in them. At Maryville, I had 20 to 30 people in my classes. That was a huge deal for me, I was very impressed by that,” Brockfeld said. “The other situation was not an environment I could learn in.”
Brockfeld grew up in Warrenton, Mo., where her parents still live. At the time she transferred to Maryville, the town’s population was 3,400.
“That’s how I grew up – every morning you said ‘hi’ to people and you knew everyone,” Brockfeld said. “On the first day I visited Maryville’s campus, everyone I saw said ‘hi’ to me and my mom. I couldn’t believe it. My mom fell in love with the school, too, which was a big deal for me because she wanted me to move home after I left Mizzou.”
Brockfeld’s experience impressed her younger brother, Andy, who is a sophomore at Maryville studying business.
After finding success in both school and work, Brockfeld has also managed to build a new home in Lake Saint Louis and clear some time on the weekends to enjoy friends and family.
“When I came to Maryville, I set up a plan. I was going to graduate in four years, buy a house and move up in a career that fit my personality. My family was and is my motivation. They are the reason I was able to go to Mizzou, then Maryville. I wanted them to be proud of me and know I will be able to take care of them the way they have taken care of me my entire life, so it was important to me that I succeed in every aspect of my life.” she said. “Besides, it’s my personality. I’m no good at being bored.”