Sadie Fuller is from Fairfax Station, VA and will be graduating on Friday, December 18, 2020 with a degree in Management, Management Consulting and Analytics (MCA) option. This is actually Sadie’s second degree and major. She graduated with her first degree in International Studies majoring in National Security and Foreign Affairs in May. She also has three minors in German, Business (from her first degree!) and International Business.

Sadie will be starting in January at Alpine Consulting Partners in Washington D.C. as an Analyst.

We recently asked her to share her Virginia Tech and Pamplin journey with us.

Why did you choose Virginia Tech?  When and why did you choose MGT?

I chose Virginia Tech because my Mom was a Hokie and always talked about how it was the best school in the world. I grew up wanting to come to Virginia Tech and then I made it happen! I was in the Business school until my Sophomore year, when I switched out of it to do National Security and Foreign Affairs. As I completed my first degree and after I went on a Pamplin abroad program, I realized that I wanted to lean more on the business side instead of the government side. That’s when I decided that picking back up where I left off in the business school was the best decision I could make for my future. I chose Management because it covers all the bases of business, and Management skills are important in every career.

Were there any specific classes that you remember as validating your major choice to date?  

I took PQL and Ethical Leadership this past semester, and both courses have validated my major choice. I think it’s difficult to know how much of what you are learning will be used in the real world, and both courses showed me how to apply my knowledge to the business world. Both courses also taught me so much that I didn’t already know!

Has there been a faculty member or staff member within Pamplin and/or the MGT department that has served as a mentor or source of inspiration for you during your journey? 

Professor Dirk Buengel has served as a source of inspiration for me this semester. He cares about each and every student, and truly wants us all to reach our full potential. Professors like him are hard to find and I’ve been inspired by his commitment to us as individuals. Getting honest feedback and constructive criticism is crucial for personal development, and I have appreciated his high expectations and honesty with me and my peers throughout the semester.

What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman? 

The number one piece of advice I would give incoming Pamplin freshman is to advocate for yourself. It can be easy to get lost in the sea of hundreds of students at VT and in Pamplin, and I wish I had learned to speak up sooner. Professors and advisors want to help you, all you have to do is ask. I found that once I started asking for help, reaching out to Professors, and speaking up for myself when I thought something was wrong or unfair, I had an overall better experience and gained more confidence in myself. I would also tell incoming freshman to enjoy every second of their time at VT, it goes by so fast and this time you have with your friends and your peers around you is limited. I wish I could do it all over again!

What/who is your inspiration for leadership?  

My Dad is my inspiration for leadership. He coached my soccer team for 12 years of my life and I learned everything I know about being a leader from him. He is unapologetic in his opinions and beliefs, but is inclusive and welcoming to every single individual regardless of what they think and believe. He knows how to discipline when something is wrong, but he always looks at situations within their context and gives people the benefit of the doubt. My Dad truly has an impact on every person he meets, and he has shaped who I am as a person. I can only hope to be half the person and leader he is.

“The Management Department is the perfect major for learning all the different parts of business. Management majors are exposed to all different types of business, and apply general business skills to the management setting. Good managers and leaders can make or break a business, and it is one of the most important roles you can learn to be in because most people do become managers at one point or another in their lives!”

Did you have an internship?

I interned with the Information Security Oversight Office at the National Archives in Washington D.C. as a National Security Policy Intern. This internship helped me discover what I want to do with my career and what I don’t want to do. It led me to add on my Management major because I realized I wanted to learn more about the business side of working with the government, and I wanted to make real change.

Please provide a brief summary of your summer internship - who, when, how did you approach the process?

I approached the process of finding an internship by attending Business Horizons and applying to everything possible on Handshake. I received an offer through Handshake to intern in D.C. as a National Security Policy Intern with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). I got exposure to government procedures and processes, and got to meet people from the FBI, NSC, Congress, the Intelligence Community, and various other government agencies. I think it’s important to make connections and reach out to potential employers on LinkedIn and through other channels early in the process. I wish I had known tips and resources for my internship search, and my advice to those looking for an internship (or a job) would be to do your research and reach out to as many people as possible. It really pays off to learn about a company or a position, and can help you out in the recruiting process!

Any other words of wisdom or insights that you can provide us about you, your journey, the value of your education …

If I had to give any words of wisdom or insight to incoming or current students I would say that studying abroad was the most influential part of my time at VT. Going abroad for a semester shaped the rest of my college experience with the new friends I made, the experiences I got to have, and the things I learned during my time abroad. I think of it as the best semester of my life and I’m confident that anyone you ask who studied abroad will say the same thing!

I also think that the best parts my journey and the value of my education have come from the Virginia Tech community. My friends, classmates, and even random students on the drillfield have all made the last four years as incredible as possible. Every student is in this together, and I’ve experienced so many random and unexpected acts of kindness, worked with so many awesome people, and been a part of the best friend group in the world. College is a whirlwind, and having the VT community to lean on was essential throughout my time here.