Dinner, Dessert … and a Career?
- by Matthew Brodsky
Doris Huang, WG’13, was really only hoping for a good meal and good company, but the soon-to-graduate MBA student got herself a dream job.
Being at one of the first Wharton Power Dinners, Huang and the other MBAs attending were not sure what to expect. All she knew was that the alum speaker, Dave Marberger, WG’00, was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Godiva—a C-suite executive at a long-standing brand that she respected (and shopped for on occasion).
Huang recalls that Marberger brought samples of his employer’s famous chocolates for everyone, which immediately made him a student favorite. He was also extremely open in answering their questions about his company, the retail industry and his own career.
“The questions they asked me about the business were excellent and stretched my thinking,” Marberger recalled, when he spoke with Wharton Magazine for an article about the Wharton Power Dinners in our spring 2012 issue, “Dining With Alumni Du Jour.”
“I left the dinner rejuvenated by the excitement of these MBAs,” he said.
Huang also recalls that at the end of the dinner, Marberger gave all of the student participants his business card, which she found “astonishing.”
She used the card and sent him a thank-you note. He responded courteously, but also added that he remembered her sharp questions. Why didn’t she send him her resume, he asked. She did. He replied with another question: Would she be interested in an internship at Godiva?
“It caught me off guard, but in a wonderful way,” Huang told Wharton Magazine.
Last summer, Huang took him up on the offer and interned at their offices in New York City. She didn’t report directly to Marberger, but he met with her once a week and made sure she got in front of all of the right people in order for her to understand Godiva’s business—up to and including the CEO.
“I was very honored by that,” Huang says. “He was such a terrific champion.”
Marberger next broached the idea of Huang working full-time with Godiva after her MBA. They discussed the opportunity for a few months along with her long-term career goals: to run all aspects of her own business. And by New Year’s 2013, Huang accepted an offer. She will work directly under Marberger, giving her a general management operational perspective that meshes with her ultimate goals.
Huang has landed herself the “perfect” mentor and an unexpected career path. What is funny for her is that she never went to the Power Dinner expecting anything of the sort—it all occurred before the busy recruiting period of DIP and major corporate campus visits.
“I never dreamed this whole thing would unravel in this way,” she says.
Editor’s note: Read more about the Wharton Power Dinners in our original magazine article about them, “Dining With Alumni Du Jour.”