Sarah Armellino ’19

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

I graduated in May of 2019

with a major in Business Administration

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

I currently work for The Building People in Leesburg, VA as a Proposal Coordinator. As a proposal coordinator I spend a lot of time writing/editing documents that we submit to bid on a contract. There are so many moving parts in proposals and it involves a lot of team effort, which I love. Typically, I spend about 80% of my day reviewing different parts of proposals, and the other 20% is spent in meetings talking about current proposals.

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

There are so many ways that the COB and my major prepared me for what I do now. I use aspects from my marketing courses, business communication course, management, and more. Being a business administration major afforded me the opportunity to take a wide variety of business courses, and I really feel like I use what I learned every single day.

4. How did you become interested in your field?

I actually stumbled upon proposals/contracts! After graduation I worked for a credit union in the marketing department and I was looking for a new career as my husband and I were moving to Northern Virginia. I basically just put my name out there for any job I was qualified for (this was right when the pandemic started). I was offered a position as an entry level proposal coordinator and just happened to really love what I was doing.

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

Never stop learning. I don’t mean you always have to be in school, but there are so many opportunities for professional development, and most companies offer a training allowance each year. My goal since graduation has been to complete at least one training course (not required by my work) a year. Since graduation I have become lean six sigma certified, and I am working on becoming a certified Proposal Management Professional right now.

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

Dan Wolfe really helped me out during my junior and senior years in the COB. I took his very first class he taught when he came to UMW (Movie Marketing), and I enjoyed it so much I took other classes of his until graduation. He was also my advisor for an internship I completed during my senior year. Dan was someone I could go to for advice and he would always be honest with me.

7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

Definitely a hard question because I have so many great memories of UMW. My mom is a two-time fellow COB alum (B.S. in Business Admin in 91 and MBA in 2004), so I would say being able to experience different things with her during my 4 years. She came with me to tour UMW when I was a senior in high school and I loved getting to hear about her time at UMW. Right before I graduated I took senior pictures on campus, and my mom had a flag from when she went (it was still Mary Washington College then) and I had a UMW flag. It was really special to know that we had these shared experiences, even if they were 30 years apart.

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

I earned my Lean Six Sigma certificate and I am currently working to become a certified Proposal Management Professional.

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

Caring, determined, funny, and hard-working.

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

Take advantage of all of the course offerings in the COB. I never thought I would like some of the classes that I took, but looking back I use them every day.