Mae Woods is a former global retailing student in the Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences. Originally from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, she was recruited to the University of Houston on a full-ride basketball scholarship and played for the Lady Cougars for four years (2010-2014). Dedicated to her studies, Woods was the UH Women's Basketball Academic MVP over her last two years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014). After completing her undergraduate degree from Bauer College of Business with a major in Finance, she chose to pursue graduate studies. She completed her master's degree in Global Retailing in December 2015.
Woods recently visited with us to look back on her time at UH and how it prepared her for her current career.
Q: Where are you currently working and what is your role?
A: I am currently the COO of Coco Color, a start-up based out of Hong Kong. We developed the world's first coloring stylus for coloring and doodling on tablets and smartphones. The Coco Color stylus offers 768 stroke color, style and size combinations all in one device. You simply press buttons to color and doodle on your device with no device pairing required. Coco Color comes with two free apps for iOS and Android: Coco Color Voyages – a coloring app with 108 coloring voyages; and Coco Color Doodle – a free, endless drawing app. You can even save, share and print your work.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue a master's in global retailing?
A: I chose global retailing because I wanted to learn more about international business. My undergrad was in Finance from the Bauer College of Business at UH and I wanted to continue studying business, but with an international component.
Q: Did you work while attending school?
A: Yes, I was an instructional assistant for the College of Technology. I also completed two internships with the Houston Rockets in the Corporate Development and Suites departments.
Q: How did your global retailing degree help you become successful after graduation?
A: In today's world, a lot of business takes place on an international stage. A master's degree in global retailing, although not very common, is very intriguing to employers. I feel as though it is a specialty that is ahead of its time and will become very popular in the future.
Q: What lessons did you learn in the classroom that will last into your career?
A: One of best things I learned is to be aware of how people conduct business in other countries. Every country is different and it is important to be knowledgeable of other cultures when trying to build business relationships. I recently had a business trip to Shanghai and witnessed this first hand. I was grateful that I had the Global Retailing experience.
Q: What would you like to be doing professionally in the next 10 years?
A: I would love to continue doing what I am doing now. Launching a product and achieving success on a global scale is hard work, but extremely rewarding and fun. Every day is different and you learn so much throughout the process.
Q: What advice do you have for students interested in obtaining an advanced degree?
A: I believe a master's degree differs greatly from that of an undergraduate degree. I feel as though in your undergrad you are learning "how" things are done, and when you get to the graduate level you are learning "why" they are done. If you want to further your understanding in a particular area, I highly recommend furthering your education.
Visit the UH Global Retailing program website for more information. To learn more about the Coco Color coloring stylus, visit www.cococolor.com.