Christopher Russell ’08

Christopher Russell '08

Christopher Russell ’08

What was your major/minor and what year did you graduate?

I graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in Business Administration.

Tell us about your current position. Can you describe a typical day?

I am currently an MBA student at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin and a graduate exchange student at the University of Edinburgh. Upon graduation this spring, I will return to IAP (an aerospace and defense company), where I interned this summer. In my role as a special projects associate, there really is no typical day. My primary responsibility is to conduct research on a range of topics and report my analysis to the CEO. This summer, for example, I explored international growth opportunities, new product development, and business process reengineering.

How do you think your major/program prepared you for the job you have now?

I think the great advantage to a liberal arts education is the ability to be multi-faceted—to quickly learn about new subjects and incorporate seemingly disparate ideas that add value to a recommendation.

How did you become interested in your field?

Before my MBA, I worked for Deloitte Consulting, but I have really been interested in strategy since college. I think it is fascinating how different elements of a business can come together to create value.

What’s the best career advice you have ever received?

Plan your career. Be deliberate with your career direction and think about what you want out of the next job or even the one after that.

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

Professor Phares, for sure. I had him for Research Methods, but he also served as my academic advisor when I completed a research project a year later. He challenged students, but I learned a lot from him.

What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

Seaco, just kidding (kind of). No, probably the great conversations on the benches around Ball Circle. I am still close with my fellow deliberators.

Why do you stay involved with the College of Business?

I think the College of Business is at an inflection point. I am looking forward to what is next and I want to help it get there.

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

I have a design patent pending with the US Patent and Trade Office.

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

Someone with a good sense of humor and varied curiosities.

What’s the single most important advice you’d like to give to current business students?

If you can identify your ideal job after college, it will help frame what classes you take, what clubs you lead (or start!), or even what internship you accept. At the same time, think about how your network can also help you achieve this goal.