Student Spotlight Emma Fairbanks

Emma Fairbanks


Hello, I'm Emma Fairbanks. I moved to Mobile four years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma to attend the University of South Alabama. In May, I graduated summa cum laude from the Mitchell College of Business with a Human Resource (HR) management concentration. I was in the honors program ‎and spent much of my time conducting research with Dr. Gillis. We focused on business structure (franchises, family business, etc.) and employee satisfaction with HR policies.

I was able to serve on the officer team for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for two years, once as Membership Secretary and once as Vice President. In 2015, I was on the HR Games Team that won the Alabama State competition and I also led a team to the regional SHRM case competition in Houston, TX.  I strongly encourage all MCOB students to join and actively participate in student organizations in the MCOB.  Through your involvement, you can develop your leadership skills, participate in activities to help local not-for-profit organizations, and you will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from many business leaders.  Your involvement will help set your resume apart from other students who are graduating.

During my time at South I worked for Housing and Dining as a Resident Assistant and completed two business internships; however, my favorite college job has been serving at Dumbwaiter restaurant.  In my internships and part-time jobs, I was able to observe many of the management and HR concepts I was learning in the classroom.  My work experiences helped bring these concepts to life.

My work experiences in restaurants inspired the topic for my honors thesis.  Over the last year, I worked with Dr. Gillis to complete my thesis and I learned I enjoy conducting research.  Next year I look forward to staying at the Mitchell College of Business to earn an MBA. I will hopefully have the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant and participate in further research with the graduate faculty.  Go JAGS!


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