Sara Armor ’17

1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?

I graduated in Spring 2017, completing my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, with a Marketing concentration and Business French minor.

2.  What is your current position (title, company, location)?  Can you describe a typical day?

I currently work at Capital One, at our Richmond West Creek Campus. I graduate this August from a two-year Management Rotational Program, sponsored across the enterprise for high-potential recent graduates to grow in Process, Project, Product, Agile, and Risk Management job families.

In my first role, I was a Risk Manager within Capital One’s Commercial Business Risk Office. I worked to provide risk advisory services, auditing, and controls monitoring for three Commercial Bank lines of business.

In my current role, I am a Project-Product Manager for Technology Talent. My team works to provide differential products and services for People, Performance, and Talent Development priorities across our 7 Technology towers, Digital, and Design organizations. We partner closely with Technology Leaders, Chiefs of Staff, People Analytics, and HR Consultants.

A typical day in the life involves team stand-ups, partner meetings, and ‘heads-down’ time. At a week’s glance, I check-in with my manager to discuss work progress and personal career growth and development.

Above all, my days involve chatting and building relationships with stakeholders, which is what I love most about this role. Stakeholders look different depending on the initiatives, but they are always my guiding principle. Stakeholders may be peers, partners, leaders, or one of our 9,000 Technology associates. They are those who influence, advocate, and ultimately use our products and services, and therefore should always remain at the center of attention.

 3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?

As a Liberal Arts institution, UMW prepared me for my current job by helping me build strong communication and problem solving abilities. There will always be job-specific skills learned through experience and chances ‘at-bat,’ but having a deep foundation in judgement, collaboration, and a strong sense of responsibility are attributes that are extremely transferable and will lead to success no matter the role or industry I find myself in. Thanks to my robust understanding of business principles and how to be well-managed, I can focus on being present, learning in the moment, and delivering results for my team.

4.  How did you become interested in your field?

I knew I wanted to work somewhere where I could make an impact on a large scale. The world of financial services seemed very intriguing because money is at the center of so many personal decisions. It’s what helps people buy their first car, purchase their first home, or save for a child’s college fund. So many of these monetary moments are hard, involving tough decision, and requiring great trust. When searching for a company, I wanted to work somewhere that cared and had a mission I could truly believe in. I found that Capital One didn’t just talk the talk, but really walked the walk when it comes to providing an inclusive, empowering atmosphere for their associates and customers. Here, I know that I am working to provide quality financial products and services, that I hope will help result in a great customer banking experiences.

5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?

Think of your career as a jungle gym, not a ladder – you may not be able to connect all of the dots at the beginning of the journey, but having confidence that each experience will be a growth opportunity and serve future endeavors is exciting!

YOU are in control of your own growth and development. It’s empowering and daunting at the same time, but how cool is it that we get to choose where we make an impact in this world…

 6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?

Marketing Professor Khashif Majid made a lasting impression on me during my time at UMW. Before Majid’s Intro to Marketing course, I had no idea I’d be so enthralled in the world of marketing and brand management. I always enjoyed Majid’s classes, his humor, and his ability to bring color to course material through real-world applications and stories. I soon thereafter switched my major from Political Science to Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing. In the second half of my junior year, I partnered with Professor Majid and another student for an independent marketing study. Our independent study findings later went on to be accepted and presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2017 Conference in San Antonio, TX! This experience further drove my interest in marketing, and led me to explore Capital One due to its notable brand awareness and innovative work in the Financial Industry. Since joining the company, I have explored many different roles thanks to my rotation program, however I still hope to get back to marketing one day!

 7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

My fondest memories at UMW took place on the Battlegrounds. As a goalkeeper on the Women’s Soccer Team, I spent hours on the field and in the varsity weight room with my teammates. Teammates who are still and always will be my life-long friends, and the people who made my college experience so amazing. Collegiate soccer taught me that everyone has a role in a team. Regardless of skill or experience, anyone can make an impact in the lives and experiences of others by being a great teammate. One of the best memories with the team was during my Junior season beating CNU in the CAC Tournament Semi-Finals, on their home field. It was a huge team win, after countless battles against CNU.

8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?

Since graduation, I received my first career promotion (Q42018) and received my Agile Scrum Master Certification. I have had the opportunity, with Capital One, to complete coursework in Design Thinking, Product Ownership, and Project Management.

I have been afforded opportunities to attend multiple industry conferences, including the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women Technologists, Amazon: AWS re:Invent, and CultureFirst.

Most notably, I’ve had the chance to give back to my newfound home in the Richmond community through Capital One’s HEARTEmpowers, CODERS, and projectHOMES volunteer efforts.

9.  How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?

This is a tough one. I’d venture to guess that they would say I’m eager to learn, a go-getter, and a team player.

 10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students? 


Explore the world, explore your passions, and explore various career paths. It’s great to have a general plan with goals, ambition, and drive – those qualities will always serve you and keep you accountable. But having a growth mindset and being open to new opportunities as they arise (especially those that you don’t even know about yet!) will lead you to new experiences and open doors that are right for YOU. It’s just as important to find out what you DON’T want to do, as it is to figure out what you DO enjoy doing.