Name: Kalika Nowlakha
Before: M.S. in Commerce 2013, Marketing & Management
University of Virginia 2012, Spanish
After: RKG, Analyst, Display Marketing
What skills from the M.S. in Commerce Program have helped you in your current job?
SQL, turning data into actionable results for clients, professional communication and presentation skills
What brought you to RKG?
RKG has a “work hard, play hard” culture that made for a perfect transition from the M.S. in Commerce Program to the workforce. I heard about RKG from another M.S. in Commerce alum, Andrew Cox, and it sounded like the perfect fit. We work in teams and are client-facing, but also dig deep into data on a daily basis, which was a combination of things I enjoyed from the M.S. in Commerce Program.
What does RKG do?
RKG is a digital marketing agency. We create digital visibility for clients by leveraging a range of opportunities, including paid search, SEO, product listing ads, social media, display advertising and comparison shopping engine management services
What does a typical day at RKG look like for you?
No two days at RKG are the same; it really depends on what’s going on with your clients. My day usually consists of some combination of daily performance check-ins, data analysis with actionable client recommendations, client calls, team meetings, reporting, and training sessions. And, of course, lunch downtown – we’re right at the end of the Downtown Mall.
What is your favorite project that you have been a part of at work?
One of my most rewarding experiences at RKG was going on a client visit to a long-time client who is a musical instrument and professional audio retailer. It was awesome experiencing their passion and strong company values firsthand and knowing that my efforts in their display advertising are helping such a great company. It’s also always great to meet clients in person and really strengthen our relationship.
What does your evening look like when you are done at work for the day?
I’ll give yesterday evening as an example – I went to happy hour in downtown Charlottesville with some coworkers and friends, went home and took my dog to the neighborhood dog park, and then had a kickball game. RKG has tons of sports teams: I play kickball on the RKG team in the Cville Social league and go watch other RKG teams’ games. We also have softball, volleyball, bubble soccer, soccer, basketball, and flag football teams so there’s something for everyone.
Where did you go on the Global Immersion Experience (GIE)?
I went to Latin America in 2013, the first year that track was offered! I was so excited to finally study abroad and put my Spanish major to good use.
Where was your favorite place that you went to on GIE?
Peru and Chile are tied as my favorite places. I could definitely see myself living in Lima or Santiago one day. I liked Peru because of the friendly people, great food, indigenous culture and the mountains. I went skiing in Chile, which was awesome, and I also got to hang out with a friend who lives there and really experience Santiago with a local my age.
What advice would you give to prospective or current students in the M.S. in Commerce Program?
The M.S. in Commerce program is great for helping you figure out what you want to do, and how to get a job in that field. I had no idea careers in digital marketing were even a thing until the M.S. in Commerce Program. Definitely take advantage of Commerce Career Services – they are so helpful and can connect you with the right people. The program can seem like it’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it and great preparation for the real world.
What’s your go to quick meal?
Quesadillas, tacos, or pasta.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I graduated from the University of Virginia in three years and completed the M.S. in Commerce Program my final year. Also, I really took advantage of the M.S. in Commerce Program’s long Thanksgiving break and went to Turkey for Turkey Day – see old blog post here.
What’s your spirit animal?
Alpaca – they’re gentle, curious, exotic and have a cool name.
What’s your favorite part about Charlottesville?
I love all the food and outdoorsy activities in Charlottesville. We’re so lucky to have so many good restaurants, breweries and wineries so close by. Some of my favorites are:
- Apple picking at Carter Mountain
- Hiking at Humpback Rocks and Crabtree Falls
- Beer tasting at Blue Mountain Brewery
- Cider tasting at Bold Rock Hard Cider
- Polo match at King Family Vineyards
- Lunch at Smoked BBQ Co. downtown
- Dinner at The Local in Belmont
- Drinks at Mono Loco and Bang downtown
Written by: Kaylee Lucas