Alumni Spotlight: Megan and Brian Lau ('07)

Alaska native Megan Lau’s path from Western to winning the 4 Under 40 Award from the American Marketing Association this year is a fascinating one. She graduated with a degree in business administration with a marketing concentration, combining her love of math and marketing. 

“I loved all the marketing at Western, especially marketing research classes. I got a great grounding in the basics.”

Among the most important classes she took was business ethics.

“I learned about the importance of transparency and business law and the importance of always acting from a base of good ethics.”

Fascinated not only by data, but consumer behavior that leads to an outcome, she worked in survey creation, data analytics and client relations for comScore for five years before making a change to PopCap Games (EA). She became a quantitative game analyst, helping to optimize metrics dashboards and digging into gamer behavior to maximize rewards and playability within the games. In 2014, she took a role Microsoft, where she now serves a research director for Microsoft’s customer and marketing research division. From focus groups to new methodologies, she is constantly seeking the why behind the numbers and solving problems with innovative solutions.

“I like translating complex data science into information that gives marketers the confidence to move forward.”

Megan isn’t just a star at Microsoft, she also won the 2020 American Marketing Association 4 Under 40 Emerging Leaders Award.

“I was blown away. I couldn’t believe it! The best part was getting to meet my fellow winners who are all doing great work in marketing research.”

Megan met her husband Brian at Western. Brian says, “We met Freshman year. I was in Edens and she was in Higginson. But we didn’t connect until senior year.”

The couple live in Bothell near Brian’s parents. Family is deeply important to the Laus, especially as they raise their daughter Faye. In their spare time, they both enjoy Peloton and watching movies.

Their love of Western inspired Megan and Brian to establish the Megan and Brian Lau Scholarship in the College of Business and Economics.

Megan’s advice for students graduating into these uncertain times is: “Be open to new experiences. It’s easy to say yes even when maybe it wasn’t in the plan, but trying new things can bring great opportunities. Also, when you do make it into the job market, know that you can be a leader regardless of your seniority or position. Don’t let your title define you.”

Brian’s advice is to slow down and enjoy your years at Western. “Savor your time and forge as many relationships with teachers, staff, and other students as you can. The beauty of a smaller school like Western is the ability to make strong connections and be scrappy. Once you leave Western, it’s harder to maintain alumni connections.”