During the course of her day as mountain regional director of Best Buddies International, UCR Business School alumna Alyssa Stump oversees all aspects efforts to raise funding, establish programming, and open state offices in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Best Buddies serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a number of ways, including forming friendships, gaining meaningful employment, leadership development, and inclusive living.
“What’s most rewarding about my job is that I bring our mission of inclusion to new markets and see the impact firsthand in the communities I am now a part of,” says Stump, who handles all social media and public relations, plans annual walks and galas, manages volunteer committees and advisory boards, cultivates and manages donor and corporate relationships, and oversees the regional budget.
At UCR, Stump earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2016 and an MBA with an emphasis in strategy in 2018. She also began her relationship with Best Buddies at the university as president of the organization’s campus chapter. “This led to my full-time career,” says Stump, who was also a University Honors student, co-founder of both the Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations student club and the Phi Chi Theta Zeta Omicron co-ed professional business and economics fraternity, in addition teaching assistant positions and many other leadership roles, competition victories, and other honors.
She also traveled to China, Vietnam, and England with the business school’s Global Immersion program. “I think the amount of things I was involved in is a testament to UCR’s ability to cater to student aspirations,” says Stump. “UCR made it possible for me to connect myself in a million ways and identify my true passions.”
When she earned her MBA, Best Buddies promoted Stump to regional director and relocated her to Denver. While her work keeps her busy, she’s also found time to pursue another professional goal: teaching business to college students. “I started teaching as a discussion leader during my undergrad years and then as a teaching assistant while studying for my MBA,” she says. Her focus is on ethics and marketing as an adjunct professor at Front Range Community College. “Teaching for me is all about the ‘aha’ moments students have when I can take a familiar concept and advance it to a whole new meaning.”
Stump continues to keep in touch with her vast UCR network of faculty members and friends, particularly fellow students in the University Honors program and professional business fraternity: “These groups of people made me feel like I had a family on campus, and we mutually pushed each other to be our best selves.”