A Q & A with Jenna Saucedo (B.B.A. '09)

Jenna Saucedo, 2009, B.B.A. in Marketing

Current Organization, Title and Responsibilities: CPS Energy, Sr. Manager Office of the President

Jenna SaucedoI joined CPS Energy in 2008 and now serve as the Senior Manager of the Office of the President. I oversee both corporate and external affairs, and work in close partnership with the organization’s public relations, corporate communications and external relations teams to develop effective internal and external communication strategies while also managing enterprise stakeholder relations and protocol.  Prior to this position, I worked as a project manager for the Office of the Chief Administrator, and in various other capacities across the organization handling change management for enterprise-wide initiatives.

What in the Bill Greehey School of Business/St. Mary’s prepared you for your current position?

I would say those classes where we were allowed to engage in “real-world” experiences have proven to be most helpful.

What were some highlights of your St. Mary’s days?

I have many fond memories of my college career, but I’d say my fondest memories would have been on the softball field.  I served as the captain of St. Mary’s softball team and the camaraderie with other athletes and students remains with me today.

What leadership activities did you participate in while at St. Mary’s?

I was captain of the softball team, Phi Kappa organization for women, American Marketing Association – StMU chapter, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Did you have mentors in the Greehey School of Business? How did they help you?

There were two professors with whom I still communicate regularly – Matt Gilley, Ph.D., and Matthew Joseph, Ph.D.  They took the time to work with me to develop basic business acumen, but more importantly each one helped me build and refine specific skills that I believe make me more effective in business today. Dr. Gilley challenged my opinions and stances on various issues and forced me to better educate myself by reading the newspaper daily and following the latest news. It was almost a competition. I couldn’t let him stump me! From Dr. Joseph, I learned how to get out of my comfort zone and tackle assignments that I considered “out of my league.”

Probably the most influential figure outside of the Business School was my softball coach, Donna Fields. Coach Fields was instrumental in helping me develop and refine my leadership skills. She set an example of how to be a successful professional, mother and leader.

Did you complete an internship while a student at St. Mary’s?

Yes, I was involved in the CPS Energy internship program.  I received course credit from St. Mary’s as well as compensation from CPS Energy making it a very attractive option. I worked part-time during the regular semester, and full time during the summer.   I highly recommend an internship to all students.

In what ways do you engage with your alma mater?

I have had the opportunity to participate in the strategic planning session for the Business School Advisory Board with Dean Tanuja Singh, Dr. Joseph has brought me back to campus to speak to his classes, and I attend a few sporting events each year. In addition, I am also developing a partnership between my current employer and the Business School. CPS Energy hosted Greehey Scholars at our corporate offices and provided them a tour of a solar farm. I have an informal mentor/mentee relationship with a current Greehey Scholar. I would like to encourage all of you to get involved with your alma mater. There are many ways to give back and make a difference!

What advice do you have for students about the skills/expertise they need to develop while in School? What skills helped you get the job?

I believe that the two traits that have been especially helpful to me are interpersonal savvy and political and cultural awareness. All students are of course expected to have knowledge of their discipline, but what can truly set you apart are the behavioral skills and an understanding of the world around you, which comes from being aware and well-read beyond your discipline.

How can alumni remain engaged with the school?

I have found that maintaining relationships with the students and faculty is the best way for me to remain engaged.

What are your future plans? What do you do for fun?

As of today, I have exceeded several of my professional goals, so I am in the recalibration mode on that front. I am also extremely focused on pursuing my graduate degree. As for fun, I enjoy spending time with my family and I am also still extremely active. I enjoy exercising and engaging in intramural sporting activities.

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