I graduated 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
2. What is your current position (title, company, location)? Can you describe a typical day?
I’m a Brand Storyteller & Content Strategist at Capital One in Richmond, Virginia. I’m part of a 30+ person team called “Brand Social and Content” and I specifically support content strategy for Learn & Grow, a consumer-facing content hub on capitalone.com. In other words, I think a lot about how we tell stories via long-form articles and how we manage the process that gets them on the site. I’m an early bird, so my day typically starts a little earlier than most and gives me a chance to check emails and prepare for the day. On any given day, I’m bouncing between team and project meetings and moving my own projects forward. A lot of my time is spent putting strategy and process to paper – and doing it in a way that tells a story that will get my audience on board.
3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?
The business administration degree gave me a great foundational introduction to the many facets of business of marketing. More than that, it was the soft skills nurtured during that time – communication, writing, speaking, interpersonal relationships – that helped me adjust to the “real world.” Those skills are invaluable, and are something most professionals are still working on to this day.
4. How did you become interested in your field?
I wish I could say that I’ve always known I would want to work in marketing, but it turns out that this career found me instead of the other way around. After graduation, I helped plan major university events for UMW. Through that experience, I came to find that I loved communicating about events more than planning them. That realization led me to pursue my master’s degree in PR and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University and sparked a career that led me to work in media relations and marketing for UMW before joining Capital One’s Brand Social and Content team.
5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Write a 20-year career plan. That might sound cliché, but I was given that advice last year and while I’ve always had a sense of where I wanted to go, taking the time to intentionally reflect on my future gave me a step-by-step plan that actually got me the position I’m in today. Even if the plan changes, planting a flag for your future gives you a sense of direction and a way to make decisions about the skills and experience you need to gain to get there.
6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped
you when you were at UMW?
I still have my notes from Professor Oxford’s business communications course. The lessons learned in her classroom around writing with a “you” attitude and how to approach different types of communications have stuck with me to this day.
7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?
I lived in Virginia Hall my freshman year and always loved the mornings when I would wake up to bubbles in the fountain overflowing and occasionally tumbling down Campus Walk (sorry to whoever has to clean it up!).
8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?
Since graduation, I’ve also launched Living Dappled, a blog and community for women with vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that I’ve lived with since the age of seven. As the founder and editor, I write stories, coach contributing writers, collaborate with sponsors, host virtual events and plan photo shoots – just to name a few. In this role, I’ve also spoken at World Vitiligo Day and the Vitiligo International Symposium, had five stories published on The Mighty and have been featured in a podcast hosted by DermHealthCo.
9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?
A thoughtful, driven “do-er” who sees a vision and runs with it. (seven is hard!)
10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students?
No opportunity is too big or small to show up for – just say yes.