Rowland School of Business

Business Management Graduate Manages 43 Dunkin’ Donuts Throughout Pittsburgh Area

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Pictured is business management alumna Chelsea Halker, Marketing and Guest Services Manager for Dunkin' Donuts. | Photo by Tanner Knapp

Meet Chelsea Halker

Job title: Marketing and Guest Services Manager
Employer: Heartland Restaurant Group (franchisee for Dunkin' Donuts locations in the Greater Pittsburgh area)
Degree earned: Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing
Graduated: Spring 2011
College activities: WPPJ radio and multiple internships
Scholarship from Point Park: Transfer Presidential
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High school: Grapevine High School
Now living in: Brookline neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Working out, running and rescuing dogs
Twitter: @DunkinPgh
LinkedIn: Chelsea Halker

"I knew I wanted to move to a city and have access to better internship opportunities … With other schools I contacted, I felt like just a number. They didn’t have the personal touch that Point Park did."

-- Chelsea Halker


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Why did you decide to transfer to Point Park University and major in business management?

I started off my college career at the University of Arkansas and quickly realized that the culture there was not for me. I knew I wanted to move to a city and have access to better internship opportunities so I visited a couple of cities including Pittsburgh, where my dad was working at the time.

I really like Pittsburgh. It’s a city with a personal, small-town feel. You don’t feel like you get lost in the mix of things. Point Park’s response back to me was so quick and personalized and I liked that the University offered smaller class sizes. With other schools I contacted, I felt like just a number. They didn’t have the personal touch that Point Park did.

My freshman year of college was when the economy really tanked. I chose to major in business management with a marketing concentration so I would have a solid business foundation.

How did you land the position of marketing manager for Heartland Restaurant Group?  

I applied, interviewed and then was asked to present a marketing plan to the CFO. My plan involved evaluating one of their stores and what my ideas were for how it could be improved. They liked what I had to say so I was hired. The position I’m in now is a really good fit for me and my interests.

Tell us about your key responsibilities as marketing and guest services manager.

I oversee all marketing efforts for the 43 Dunkin Donuts in our Pittsburgh area franchisee group. This involves local events, community partnerships (including with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates), discounts, media buying, grand openings, marketing plans and more.

Please list internships you had throughout college.

Being Downtown was awesome because it allowed me to have so many different hands-on internship opportunities.

Describe Point Park’s faculty and how they helped you professionally.

Point Park’s faculty are able to give a personal touch to students because of the small class sizes. Also, a lot of the faculty, especially in the business school, have professional work experience. For example, in my Advanced Marketing Management class, my instructor was Rick Schonbachler, who is the national director of marketing for Verizon. He always gave real-time, real-world advice versus just textbook situations.

Additionally, the faculty heavily promoted internship and career fairs both on and off campus. One of these fairs led to my first position after college. Also, my internship at Stage AE was directly from the Career Development Center’s Internship and Job Fair at Point Park. 

What career advice do you have for our students in the Rowland School of Business?

Get as much experience as possible and take advantage of all the opportunities you can while you’re still in college. Having internships helped me so much. The job market is competitive so the more experience you have, the better off you will be.

Also, go to class and listen to your professors so you don’t miss out on anything.

Final thoughts?

It’s really cool to see how Point Park University has evolved and grown. The key thing about Point Park is that it is always trying to get better whether it’s launching new programs or bringing in more professors with real-world experience. The University’s goal to keep getting better is really impactful and great to see.

Photo by Tanner Knapp, sophomore animation major

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