2019 Emerging Business Leader Award winner Haellie Gordon talks about her career on and off the field


Junior softball pitcher Haellie Gordon has succeeded on and off the field in her time at Mason. She recently won the 2019 Emerging Business Leader Award for Mason’s School of Business while being one of the team’s top three pitchers in her first two seasons.

The marketing major came to Mason looking to spend four years studying government and international politics. However, after her freshman year, she talked to her mentor about what she liked and did not like in school. He suggested she switch her major to marketing to align more with her career goals. 

Gordon wants to be a lawyer and believes that marketing will help her develop the skills to become one.

“I’m going to be able to develop my own skills with marketing myself. So whether I need to market myself to clients or market myself to potential employers, I’m going to be able to do that,” she said. “And I’m also going to be able to have more of a business mindset when it comes to being a lawyer.”

She added, “So I’m going to try to do what’s most financially feasible and in the best interest of my clients, and then also have those skills in the courtroom. So being able to kind of like frame things — like ways that are going to be most attractive to different demographics.”

Gordon’s favorite marketing class so far has been her digital marketing class. 

“So far, we’re doing some really cool interactive stuff. I think we’re making like a BuzzFeed quiz this semester,” she said. 

Gordon continued, “[It’s] a lot of cool things that I think are important to learn, especially in this digital age where things are becoming more [digitized], and a big bigger place on technology than anything else.”

Gordon, who has interned with multiple law firms and is currently a sales associate with Orangetheory Fitness, was the only undergraduate to receive the award this year. She had not applied for any specific awards and was surprised when she received the email saying she had won. 

“It was really surprising. And it was humbling. I mean, I immediately called my mom and my dad, and they were over the moon. And I had to share it with some of my mentors who you know, have really pushed me and gotten me to where I am.”

The most important thing that her experience has taught her is time management. 

“I’ve always thought of myself as someone who can really manage their time,” Gordon said. “But as my course load has kind of picked up and how this work has kind of had to fit in my schedule. And then I’ve got softball, I’m also working … [And] I’m looking forward to applying when I’m in law school and then in the field of law.”

Mason first got on Gordon’s radar after she attended a softball camp when she was in middle school, where she initially fell in love with both the campus and the softball program. When she began looking at colleges, she knew she had to look at the academic options. After learning Mason has programs in business and government, she knew it was a perfect fit. 

Gordon started playing softball because there was a field behind her house and because both her father and grandfather played baseball. 

“I grew up playing T-ball back in that field right behind my house,” Gordon said. “And I just ended up always playing with my dad, and whenever and so my dad coached me for a little while. And I guess I just never stopped loving it. So I just kept doing it.”

Gordon grew up in Salem, Virginia, and her father still comes up for many home games.

“It’s funny because … I used to be called ‘G,’ that was like my nickname growing up,” she said. 

“So, I wasn’t called it here just because I was the only Haellie on the team. But, it’s funny to always hear like the ‘Go G’s,’ like from the stands because it’s always him. And I know he’s up there. But, yeah, he’s always there and FaceTimes me after practice and stuff. So he’s very involved in everything that’s going on.”

Gordon is thankful to Mason for helping to grow both on and off the field. 

“I’ve gotten to grow both as an athlete and a student in ways that I didn’t know were possible. And it’s definitely helped me in my professional career,” Gordon said. “I mean, I’ve gotten to have some great experiences working for law firms in the area and that’s something that you wouldn’t really get anywhere else. So just really grateful for the business programs and stuff like that and being honored in that way.”