Yuliya Day attended Ball State University from 2001-2005 and received a bachelor’s degree in international business. After getting her MBA, Yuliya went on to lead a successful career in business and is now the Head of Business Unit Development and Execution at KraftHeinz Company in Chicago, Illinois. Yuliya loves her current position as she gets to play an integral part in bringing KraftHeinz products to life with their retail business partners. She gets to live out the company’s dream of elevating and creating food that makes people feel good. Yuliya credits her success in part to the education and opportunities she received at Ball State University.

Life as a Student

Prior to Ball State, Yuliya was an exchange student during her time in high school. She knew she wanted to return to the United States for college but was unsure of how that would work out. However, Ball State decided to offer her a scholarship, granting her the opportunity to return to the US and pursue the education she wanted.

“I felt really at home and welcome on Ball State’s campus. The opportunity they gave me helped me reach my goals.”

Yuliya quickly realized that she had to rely on herself as she had no one to fall back on at college. So, she decided to take advantage of the amazing individuals who also called Ball State home and decided to form connections with countless peers and professors. She made a point of getting to know professors through attending office hours and asking questions. From there, great relationships and opportunities grew. One of these relationships even helped her land her first job post-graduation. It was at Ball State that she learned how important networking was, as well as tenacity and work ethic. Yuliya stated that “these things have carried through to my professional life and allowed me to come up with creative solutions and ideas.”

During her senior year, Yuliya’s favorite class was an international business class she took. She was greatly interested in this field as she saw the overlap this field had with her personal life. This class provided her with a unique perspective on the business world and gave her insight into how she could make a difference.  International business ended up being what her MBA focused on. She loved the professor and found her dream of working in specialization through this course. In addition, Yuliya also had the opportunity to help start an international business club at Ball State. She enjoyed building a team of wonderful students that helped each other explore business topics, ideas, and career development. Overall, Yuliya loved her time at Ball State and believes that it taught her many key lessons she still utilizes to this day.

Journey to KraftHeinz Company

After graduation, one of her professors helped connect her with a job at Wrigley, a chewing gum manufacturer. She was hired as a sales representative in Ohio, but quickly moved on to higher up positions within the company. After getting critical experience in many different functions at Wrigley, Yuliya made the shift to KraftHeinz. There she did many roles, from managing portfolio of businesses with Walmart to leading a sales team calling on Target. Most recently, she and her family moved to Chicago where she became the Head of Business Unit Development and Execution. Here, her team helps bring new products to the world to solve consumer needs.  She loves that her job is innovative and she gets to see on the shelf things that have been years in the making.

“It is super rewarding to see what you have worked so hard on. I love my team and I love what I do.”

Advice to Current Cardinals

While she was a student, Yuliya didn’t know much about consumer goods companies. She had not heard what places like this did or what type of jobs they even offered. In response to this, Yuliya encourages current students to explore companies and the opportunities they may offer. Throughout her career, she has loved learning about the unique roles and paths present in each of the companies she has worked for.

“If you want entrepreneurial experience, look for smaller companies as they will provide you with that experience. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, look at opportunities within bigger companies. There is a world of opportunities out there that aren’t just related to management and marketing positions, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or connect with people in positions you may want someday.”

Yuliya strongly believes that Ball State set her up for success, especially when it came to the amazing professors that were cheering her on from day one. She is excited to see what each group of students from Ball State will bring to the business world and cannot wait to hear about their successes.