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A brilliant outcome

A brilliant outcome

Nicole L. Craw June 16, 2024

Chris Brill ’05 heard senior Missy Oei talk about UD. Then he offered her a job.

Even as just a college senior, when Melissa “Missy” Oei spoke, people listened. Although her voice is rather quiet, her confidence and presence are loud.



Oei, who majored in entrepreneurship and marketing, was one of several students to speak on her UD student experience in October to members of the We Soar Campaign Cabinet, a group of leaders working with University leadership to ensure the success of the We Soar campaign.

Chris Brill ’05, a School of Business Administration graduate, was in the room and enjoyed hearing from all the students, but when Oei got up to talk, his ears perked up.

“It was a large group — you’ve got a number of members of the board of trustees, and the other half was important alumni from around the country,” said Brill. “It was a pretty intimidating room to come speak to. And she came in and just knocked it out of the park.”

Oei stood behind the podium and spoke about her opportunity for experiential learning through the Stitt Scholars Program, which provides students paid internships with clients from the Dayton community.

After her talk, Brill chased after her into the hallway to shake her hand. He needed to meet her.

“I gave her my business card and asked if she had a job yet — she said no,” he said.

Brill is president and CEO of Several Thousand Alliance in Cincinnati. He spent years as an accountant in Cleveland, then moved home to Dayton (he grew up in Kettering) to start a manufacturing company, where he worked for 13 years. He sold it last year and helped start STA, a business consulting firm.

“It was just a coincidence that I was looking for consulting jobs for post-grad,” Oei said.

Brill invited her for coffee and a conversation, but by the end of the meeting, he knew Oei was just what the firm was looking for.

“I called my partners that day and said, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to have her do, but we need to hire this young lady,’” he said. The next week Brill invited Oei down to Cincinnati to interview with the company in person and soon offered her a full-time position.

As she graduated in May, Oei walked across the stage at UD Arena with confidence knowing her UD experience paid off in a big way. She started with STA full-time in June as a consultant. Oei knows that without this chance meeting and other networking opportunities she’s had, she wouldn’t be leaving UD with a job and years of experience.

“Networking with UD alumni breaks down such a barrier for students in terms of nervousness and getting to know people. You already have that commonality of [Dayton] — it has such a huge community and sense of culture.”

“Networking with UD alumni breaks down such a barrier for students in terms of nervousness and getting to know people. You already have that commonality of [Dayton] — it has such a huge community and sense of culture,” Oei said.

During her time interning as a Stitt Scholar, Oei worked closely with several clients in downtown Dayton who she has maintained relationships with. Not only did this opportunity help her build professional skills, but it gave her a leg-up in her job search.

Brill agreed, saying it was one of the many reasons they hired her right away.

“It’s very important, especially in the world of consulting. Missy having these contacts downtown — being able to foster those relationships — is huge for us,”  he said.

Oei is still adjusting to working full time and commuting a few days a week to Cincinnati. She hasn’t had to give a big presentation in front of any clients yet. But she’s hopeful that when she does, she’ll still be loud enough for everyone to hear.



Photos by Sylvia Stahl '18

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