Michele Tam ‘00 believes in giving back. As a member of the first graduating class of Park Scholars, Tam feels it is her duty to assist in finding the best candidates for the scholarship, a process that gets more competitive each year. Her continuing efforts with Park Scholarships have allowed her to stay connected with the program even though she now lives in Chicago.
Upon her graduation from NC State, Tam accepted a position with Procter & Gamble (P&G) as a financial analyst. P&G proved to be the right fit for Tam and her position allowed her to showcase a combined interest in chemistry and business.
Michele Tam explores the Argentinian countryside on a recent vacation to South America.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working for P&G as my roles often led me to interact with consumers,” says Tam. “I found it fun to work on developing products that are used every day to make consumers’ lives just a little bit easier or a little bit better.”
In December 2012, Tam left P&G after 12 years. During her tenure there she managed $1.5 billion in sales through Walgreens and developed new products for CoverGirl, Max Factor, Pantene, Olay, and Secret. Recently, Tam began work with PepsiCo in a similar corporate finance senior management position.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenges of learning a slightly different industry, but I am excited to have the chance to stay in the Chicago area for the near future,” says Tam.
This year, Tam will receive her master’s degree in business administration from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Having waited until she was secure in a career to pursue this degree, Tam was extremely selective in choosing a university that could offer a complement to her already impressive scholastic and professional achievements.
“I always told myself that if I were to take the time and effort to get an MBA, I would wait until I lived in a city with a competitive top five program,” says Tam. “I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to take classes from world class professors and guest lecturers who have served on presidential cabinets, are leaders of organizations like the International Monetary Fund, and are Nobel Prize nominees.”
Presently, Tam is an active mentor to current Park Scholars. She joined the Class of 2013 on their senior retreat in Colorado, and continues to provide financial support to Park Scholarships through the Jenny Chang Public Policy Endowment Fund, Park Alumni Society Study Abroad Fund, and Park Scholarships General Fund.
“The Park Scholarships program gave me many opportunities which have proven to be very useful in navigating the corporate world,” says Tam. “To my finance mind, not making a financial contribution to the Park Scholarships program felt like a wasted opportunity, especially in light of my company’s matching contribution.”
Story by Chad Smith