Trav Clark ’15

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

I majored in Business Administration and graduated in May 2015.

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

I am an attorney at Shannon, Mullins, & Wright, LLP in Alexandria, VA where I work primarily as a litigator in the firm’s Real Estate, Construction, and Business practices.  My days vary greatly and depend on our clients’ needs and where each case is procedurally.  A lot of my time on any given day is spent doing research, drafting pleadings, meeting with clients, and opposing counsel, or appearing in court.  Litigation is fast paced and unpredictable, so oftentimes my day ends up looking a lot different than what I expected coming into the office that morning.

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

Having a business background was extremely helpful in both law school and my current position.  We represent a lot of businesses and help with their formation and structure, so the foundation that Professor Frackelton’s Business Law course laid regularly comes in handy.  I also spend a lot of time negotiating settlement agreements and get to apply a lot of what I learned in Professor Oxford’s Negotiations and Business Communications courses.

4. How did you become interested in your field?

There isn’t really one event that triggered my interest in the law, but it was something that was always in the back of my mind that I thought I could see myself doing.  I took the year after graduating from UMW to work at a law firm and study for the LSAT before committing to law school and my experience at that firm confirmed my belief that a career in the law was something I wanted to pursue.

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

Don’t shy away from opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone.  Whether you’re pursuing a job that’s different than what you’re used to, or taking on a new role within your current position, saying yes to new challenges almost always leaves you better off.

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

Professor Oxford had a real impact on me.  Like I mentioned, I had her for both Business Communications and Negotiations and both of those classes were things that took me out of my comfort zone.  Having to negotiate against my friends and classmates was something that made me extremely anxious at the time, but it helped me develop skills that are absolutely necessary in my current role.

7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

Definitely the friends I made while at UMW.  I still talk to people from Mary Washington every day and I hope many of them will be lifelong friends.

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

I like to think that my friends and family would describe me as “hardworking but still able to enjoy myself”

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

There are a lot of different things you can do with your business degree so don’t be afraid to explore different things early on in your career—there’s no need to ever pigeonhole yourself into any one career.