August 17, 2018
Adam Hale is a senior from Roanoke, Virginia pursuing a Dual Degree in Management, with the Management Consulting Analytics (MCA) option and Finance, with the CFA, and Banking and Financial Institutions Management options.
We recently asked him to share his experiences as a Management major and Pamplin School Business student.
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech? When and why did you choose MGT? A: Numerous members of my family including my grandfather, aunt, uncle and cousin graduated from Virginia Tech. That being said, growing up, my family has always had season tickets to Virginia Tech Football and Basketball games. However, my desire to apply to Tech wavered at first, because in some regard I wanted to blaze my own path. After thinking about the degree I wanted to pursue, I realized that VT was the best choice for me. In regards to picking the MGT program, that was a no-brainer. The reason I picked the program was because I knew that regardless of where my career led me, I could use the skills that I learned in the curriculum.
Q: Were there any specific classes that you remember as validating your major choice to date? A: There are three classes that come to mind … MGT 1104, MGT 3614 and MGT 4084
MGT 1104, Foundations of Business. This class provided a great foundation and introduction to the business school whilst simultaneously helping you understand that management principles span positions in the other aspects of business. (Accounting, Finance, Marketing, BIT, etc.)
MGT 3614, Strategy Competition Analytics: Dr. Seth’s class forced me to think and analyze cases in a way that I had never experienced before. While the class was, at times, particularly ambiguous, I believe that it was fundamental in developing the analytical skills I possess today.
MGT 4084, Management Consulting: Professor Skripak’s class was the perfect culmination of all of the skills we are expected to learn in the curriculum. However, it also allows you the opportunity to work on a real project with a real client. The communication and relational skills you build while on your project are fundamental to improving your ability to interact with various “clients” whether they are your boss, coworkers or parties outside of your firm or organization.
Q: 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? A: Steve Skripak. I first met Professor Skripak during my freshman year in one of his sections of what is now MGT 1104. During my time at Pamplin, he has been an invaluable resource when it comes to answering career related questions. Additionally, I’ve realized that I can always count on him to give clear and helpful feedback that will allow me to further develop myself as a consultant and leader. Without a doubt, he has been the most influential faculty member that I’ve had the opportunity to establish a relationship with since arriving at Tech.
“The faculty in the Management Department have been pivotal to my development as a student and a leader. The wholistic curriculum they’ve developed has given me the ability to learn about organizational behavior, ethical leadership, analytics relating to business strategy, and management consulting. They have developed a comprehensive program that has given me skills that I will be able to immediately implement upon starting at my first full-time position.”
Q: What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman? A:
- Prioritize your personal health Building healthy habits early is fundamental to your success in college. Some of these habits include: getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, learning how to manage your time and building healthy friendships and relationships.
- Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way Taking advantage of opportunities, especially in Pamplin, will allow you to build relationships that will set you up for success as you begin to apply for internships.
- Make your GPA one of your top priorities during your first two years Starting college off with a good GPA will make the rest of your time at Tech indescribably more enjoyable. Speaking from experience, it’s nice to have some GPA “wiggle room” when you get to junior year.
- Trust the process It’s cliché to say it, but the time you spend in college goes by faster than you can imagine. Give each day the appreciation it deserves, because it’ll only happen once. Odds are, you’ll probably want to be anywhere other than studying for that common time exam in that class you don’t think you’re interested in, but trust that you’re learning that material for a reason.
Q: What/who is your inspiration for leadership? A: My inspiration for leadership is not one person but the various leaders who have had a direct impact on my life. These leaders include my parents, my grandfather, supervisors I’ve had at my job on campus, bosses at my internships, coaches in high school and my troop leaders who supported me during the process of becoming an Eagle Scout. When you boil it down, the one thing they all have in common is a strong devotion to moral ethics. I’m a firm believer of ethics over everything. At the end of the day you have to answer to yourself, so avoid making decisions that cause you to be ashamed.
Q: Name some of the internships, if any, that you had during your Pamplin journey. A: I’ve had three summer internships since I started college. The first was essentially a back office position at a local moving and storage company in Roanoke. The second was with a Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Advisor in Atlanta, GA. Those positions opened the door for me to have an opportunity to intern with Ernst & Young (EY) in Tysons, VA.
While interning in EY’s Government and Public Sector Risk Advisory Practice, I had the opportunity to work on a wide array of assignments including those related to project management and engagement economics. My time on these projects opened my eyes to the importance of understanding the various aspects of project management and handling relationships once you’ve advanced past the staff levels in the firm. These are skills that I feel I’ve had the opportunity to attain or at least been exposed to during my time in Pamplin. As I’ve dwelled on the assignments typically undertaken by those who I had the pleasure of working with this summer, I’ve realized that it’s paramount to have a good understanding of the various components of management. This understanding will allow me and fellow students to be ahead of the curve, so to speak, when it comes to leading a project.
Q: Please provide a brief summary of your job and/or intern search - who, when, how did you approach the process? A: When starting your journey in the business school you hear about the power of relationships. It’s not until you begin exploring your connections, that you see just how accurate that idea is. That being said, two of my three internship opportunities were facilitated by personal connections. When looking for those first internships, I was open to any opportunity. Whether it be working in the back office of a moving company or reaching out to a connection to get a more well-known firm on my resume. Unlike the previous two internships, my internship at EY came as a result of attending Business Horizons during the fall of my junior year.
“The Pamplin College of Business has done an excellent job of preparing me to be a valuable addition to my teams during my internships and after I graduate. The curriculum has helped me realize the subject matter that I’m passionate about and allowed me the opportunity to explore that content in greater detail.”
Q: What are your plans during your senior year? Anything specific about your post-graduation as of yet? A: Senior year I plan on taking 21 hours in the fall and 18 in the spring. Additionally, I plan on continuing my roles as Director of the Management Student Advisory Board; Student Representative to the Management Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; and Mentor for the Pamplin Global Mentoring Program. While this won’t leave me with much free time, I plan on attending nearly all home and away football games including the opening game in Tallahassee.
I’m considering an offer I received at the end of my internship for a position with EY’s Atlanta office in their Risk Advisory Program.
Any other words of wisdom or insights that you can provide us about you, your journey, the value of your education.
- College rewards those who show initiative. If you proactively seek out opportunities then you’ll be rewarded in due time.
- Virginia Tech might seem overwhelming at times, but campus is as big or small as you make it.
- Director of the Management Student Advisory Board: As Director of the MSAB, I lead a team of peers in creating a better experience for future Pamplin students. We serve as a bridge between the students and faculty. The bulk of our organization’s work revolves around uncovering issues with the curriculum and suggesting ways to improve it.