Melissa Travaglia Ross

Master of International Business an ‘easy choice’ for this alumna passionate about understanding other cultures

Melissa Travaglia Ross (BSBA, MIB ’14) is a double Gator and Market Manager with 7-Eleven. We spoke with her about her experience in the Master of International Business (MIB) program, how it benefitted her, and more in this story.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

Ross: “I grew up in South Florida after moving here from Argentina in 1997 where my whole extended family still lives there today. The other half of my family is from Belgium, so needless to say I grew up in a multi-cultural family with several languages. Since I can remember, UF has always been my top choice, and I feel fortunate that I had to opportunity to not only complete my bachelor’s degree but also my master’s degree in business. I now live in Fort Lauderdale with my husband and 70lb black lab, Coal.”

Q: Why did you join the MIB program?

Ross: “The MIB program was an easy choice for my background and what I wanted to pursue. I’m passionate about understanding other cultures, the world economy, and traveling. (Over 35 countries to date!) The MIB program also allows you to combine undergraduate studies and expand your skills through well-respected professors and group work. Shifting from mostly online classes in my undergraduate college, to 100% in-person classes in the MIB program was the missing link in my college experience and personal development. I love the collaboration and camaraderie that comes from being inside a classroom. Lastly and most importantly, the program provides endless networking opportunities and ability to form personal relationships with the professors and faculty, some of whom I keep in touch with today.”

Melissa Travaglia Ross

Q: Tell us your best MIB memories.

Ross: “My best MIB memory was taking classes with my best friend Lizi Lopez, specifically the Human Resources class with Dr. Judy Callahan. Of course, my study tour to Munich, Germany also tops that list!”

Q: Tell us about your professional journey after completing your Master of International Business.

Ross: “My first job out of college was with Aldi as a District Manager in South Florida. I worked with Aldi for about five years until a recruiter found me on LinkedIn and connected me to my current role with 7-Eleven as a Market Manager. I’ve been with 7-Eleven for over a year and manage a region of about 70 stores in Broward County. I’ve always been in operations and enjoy the fast-paced nature of retail. My favorite part about my current role is being the number one coach to my team.”

Q: How was the MIB program useful to you?

Ross: “The MIB program was useful in many ways, mostly in areas of professional development. I attribute much of my verbal and written communication skills to the incredible classes I took and my interpersonal skills to the group projects throughout the program. I learned how to be a leader and instill values of positively and ‘it can be done’ attitudes in my current team. Additionally, networking with students, faculty, and companies helped me overcome any fears in meeting new people and putting yourself out there. While many companies said no, the one ‘yes’ took me out of my comfort zone and propelled my career forward. I now feel extremely blessed to be doing a job I love for an iconic brand. Every day I feel energized and excited for the new day!”

Q: Any advice for current MIB students?

Ross: “1. Network, network, network! You never know what connections or ‘weak ties’ can open new doors for you.

  1. Challenge the status quo. Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Trends change all the time, so do what makes YOU happy. 
  2. Be present and participate. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your opinions. Also, don’t skip class even if it’s Operations Management at 7 a.m.”

Q: Tell us 3 cool facts about you.

Ross: “1. I met my now husband at work during my career with ALDI. Our wedding anniversary is September 21st, which is also famously sung in the Earth Wind and Fire song ‘September.’ 

  1. I still keep in touch with my best friend from MIB and we both were each other’s bridesmaids in our weddings. 
  2. After college, I backpacked throughout Asia and saw the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam.”
Request information to learn more about the Master of International Business program today.