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Employee Spotlight

New York, Las Vegas, and the Tanner Building

With a background in fashion merchandising, Andrea Farrell used to travel to places such as Las Vegas, New York, and Guangzhou, China, for her day job. Now, as the financial manager for the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at the BYU Marriott School of Business, she spends most of her workdays in room 470 of the Tanner Building. Although Farrell has momentarily put business travel to rest, she’s found a job she loves, where she gets to see students realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

Andrea Farrell, Financial Manager at the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Farrell.

As a 1990 BYU graduate in fashion merchandising, Farrell worked for a start-up children’s dress-up company where she attended trade shows in New York and Las Vegas regularly and traveled to China on a factory sourcing and product inspection trip.

After four years of working with this company, Farrell decided to pivot to opportunities which kept her closer to home. When her three older children had graduated high school and she just had her youngest son at home, Farrell had more free time than usual. “My youngest was busy with friends, sports, and school,” Farrell recalls. “I found that I had mornings mostly free and ended up looking online for a part-time job that would allow me to be home when my son returned from school.” Farrell, who had picked up some accounting expertise from her CPA husband while helping him with some clients, decided to apply for and was hired as an accounts payable specialist at UVU.

Farrell at a Buddhist temple on a business trip to China.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Farrell.

Farrell had no intention of looking for anything different until her daughter, who was browsing BYU job postings for a friend, called. She had stumbled on a job opening for a financial manager at the BYU Rollins Center. Farrell remembers her daughter saying, “Mom, you need to apply for this job.” She decided to trust the suggestion and send in an application. In what Farrell describes as a “meant-to-be-experience,” she was hired by the Rollins Center.

Farrell setting up at a trade show.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Farrell.

After receiving the job offer, Farrell was onboarded in June 2020 during the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although starting a job remotely created a “high learning curve,” Farrell wasn’t deterred, and she loves her new role. “This is an incredible place to be,” she says.

Farrell spends her time behind the scenes, helping students achieve their goals. “I work frequently with students who win prize money from our competitions, as well as grant recipients,” Farrell says. In addition to helping prize-money and grant awardees, Farrell oversees financial and accounting operations within the Rollins Center and also provides instruction and mentoring for faculty, staff, and students on university financial policies and procedures. She deals generally with “all the funds going through the Center.”

“The Rollins Center is all about being a resource for the students to learn about entrepreneurship,” she says. She encourages entrepreneurial minded students to seek out the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology where they can collaborate with others and develop their business ideas through the programs offered here.

Farrell in China on a work trip.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Farrell.

"I’m looking forward to fall semester and seeing another wave of students grow as they pursue their educational goals,” Farrell says. She is grateful for BYU Marriott and the opportunities it provides to her personally as well as all those who step on campus.


Writer: Zelle Harris