1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?
In 2017 I graduated with a major in Business Administration
2. What is your current position (title, company, location)? Can you describe a typical day?
I am a Senior Air Coordinator at WorldStrides, and am based in Charlottesville, Virginia. A typical day involves coming in and looking at my big desk calendar for upcoming contract deadlines, and Air Request submission deadlines. While I like to roughly map out my day, there are usually Air emergencies (such as a student who needs to return back to the U.S early, or a major schedule change) that can pull me away from my daily tasks. I am a visual person, so I write down the tasks that I would like to get done that day, and make notes about which tasks could potentially be put off until tomorrow. Creating a daily “to-do” list allows me to see where (whether it is ticketing a group, fulfilling an Air Request, or working with an individual student) I can help out another team member. We work as a team, so we can delegate the workload during our heavy months when we have several contract deadlines. For instance, I am in charge of University groups (ranging from undergrad, MBA, and EMBA programs) traveling to Asia, South Africa, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, but on a typical day, I might also be assisting on an Air Request for a group traveling to South America. My favorite parts about the position are that no two days are alike, and you never know what might pop up during the day. It can be daunting at times, but I know that no matter what happens, I am apart of a strong team that is right there to help.
3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?
Being a Business Administration major at UMW allowed me to graduate with strong communication skills, time management skills, and the ability to collaborate and work with a team. Since graduating, I realized just how valuable those skills are to have, and how fortunate I was to have had professors push us to build these skills that are used everyday.
4. How did you become interested in your field?
I was lucky to be able to travel since a young age. However, it wasn’t until I went to Mary Washington and took part in Semester at Sea that I realized I could make a career out of my passions – business and travel. I loved my professors at Mary Washington, and loved how their love for their field always came through in their lectures. I knew I wanted to be able to do something that I would be able to communicate with just as much compassion. After Semester at Sea, I came back to campus having decided to focus on International Business so I could combine my love for business and international immersion.
5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Learn all aspects of the company. By meeting with colleagues in different departments, you will learn more about your role, and how the company ticks. Go over to Accounting or to Operations, and shadow someone for a day. By immersing yourself in other aspects of the company, you will grow both personally and professionally.
6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?
Dr. John Marsh! His first day at Mary Washington was also my first day at Mary Washington. He was my first class on the first day of classes, and I will never forget that lecture. At the beginning, he went over his aptitude test results he took when he was in college, and how he had done almost all of the careers that his results suggested (including being a Park Ranger). I was so inspired to hear that he had tried different career paths, but ultimately found the path that was his true calling. I initially didn’t know what I wanted to do, but after that lecture, I knew I wanted to become a Business major because of the ability to work in various fields. Dr. Marsh and I stayed in contact during my time at Mary Washington, and he was my faculty advisor when I went on Semester at Sea during the Fall semester of my Junior year.
7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?
I cherished my four years at Mary Washington! I loved all of Mary Washington’s traditions, even the Ice Cream Social on the first day of Freshman year. However, during my Senior year I was invited to join the Women in Business group. It was an honor to be able to be apart of this group and network with several strong female leaders in the Fredericksburg area. It was inspirational to hear how they got to where they are today, and how they initially didn’t know just how much potential they had when they were recent graduates. Being able to participate in such a group instilled a desire to push myself out of my comfort zone, and to always work on my personal and professional growth. My goal is to work hard so I can go back to Mary Washington, speak to current Business students, and instill in them the same ambitions that those female speakers instilled in me.
8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?
I received the Operations Excellence award in 2019 for our division.
9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?
Someone who is compassionate, committed to helping others, and driven to succeed.
10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students?
You may not know what you want to do when you ‘grow up’, but never forget what you are passionate about.