Uncovering Hidden Potential
Claudine Crowe, Eller MBA ’98
Senior Account Executive, Equifax
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Claudine Crowe came from a long line of Wildcats – so of course she went to ASU. “I was determined to do something different,” she said. After earning her undergraduate degree in humanities, she took a couple of years to try a variety of things – from substitute teaching to public relations with the American Red Cross, even waiting tables. “I was definitely a late bloomer,” she said with a laugh.
Crowe had always been a good writer, so she decided to focus on journalism, this time at UA. Early on in her journalism program, someone gave her the book When MBAs Rule the Newsroom. “I liked the strategy behind it,” she said, and she chased that interest across campus to the Eller College, where a chance encounter sent her in a totally new direction.
“I bumped into a seemingly random person, who turned out to be Chris Puto [then associate dean of MBA programs],” Crowe said. “He suggested that I take his 500-level marketing class.” She did, and it was a good fit. Puto encouraged Crowe to take the GMAT and formally apply to the MBA program.
“I only applied to the UA,” she said. “After I took the GMAT, I sent him an email that basically just said, ‘Done.’” Crowe said Puto took a chance on her. “I didn’t have a formal math background, and that was reflected in my GMAT score. But he saw something and encouraged me. I wasn’t the best candidate – far from it! I certainly didn’t do anything to help the student profile stats! He took a chance on me and it changed my life.”
During the MBA program, Crowe began to realize her analytic potential. She recalled taking a case study home and laboring through a roundabout solution that a classmate pointed out could be simplified to a straightforward algebraic equation. “I was embarrassed, but then Chris pointed out that I was the one who had found the solution to the case.”
Crowe said that accounting almost killed her and economics was not her friend, but she found her niche in a marketing engineering class. “I’m very analytical and logical – my husband calls me Spock,” she said. “I took to the class like a duck to water.”
After graduation, she joined a startup, then ended up with Gannet, first with The Arizona Republic then later USA TODAY – all in roles where she was responsible for subscription database marketing strategy. The experience positioned her well for her next role, with Nielsen, for which she was a client service manager/consultant for AT&T.
In 2012, she joined Equifax, initially as director – solution architecture, where she focused on database marketing, market research, segmentation, and more. “I found myself dragged into senior meetings as the content expert for telecommunication marketing segmentation,” she said – which led to her current role, as a senior account executive. “I’m finding out now – very late in life- that I’m good at sales,” she said.
Crowe credits Puto and the MBA program with helping her bloom. “I was always so painfully shy,” she said. “If someone gives you the confidence, it’s amazing how you can grow.”
Top photo of Claudine Crowe with sons Ben (10) and Jack (8) and daughter Madeline (5). Photo courtesy Claudine Crowe.