Megan Carolla is from Arlington, VA and will be graduating on Friday, May 14, 2021 with a dual degree in Marketing Management and Management, Management Consulting and Analytics (MCA) option.

After graduation, Megan will be working as an Operations Analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York City.

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

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

I chose Virginia Tech because after touring the school as a senior in high school, I fell in love with the campus and could feel the energy of the amazing community we have here. At the time, I had no idea that I would end up in Management, but as my collegiate career took off and I was able to take management-related courses with such wonderful professors as Dirk Buengel and Mark Mondry, I was sold on the major. Through my preliminary courses as a Pamplin student my freshman and sophomore years, I learned that I have a passion for leadership and project management work.

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

While I have enjoyed many of the undergraduate Management courses I have taken, Strategy Competition Analytics and Management Consulting are two that have been challenging yet incredibly rewarding courses for me. Strategy Competition Analytics was one of the first classes that truly taught me how to think like a management consultant and apply my ideas in constructive ways. Though at first I was intimidated and challenged by the course’s Python assignments, I am grateful that I was able to learn that valuable skill since it will follow me into the workplace.

As for Management Consulting, I have been lucky enough to interact and work with a real-life client during my final semester at Virginia Tech. This has been an invaluable experience since it has not only given me a true sense of what it is like to work as a consultant, but has also enhanced my communication, teamwork, data gathering, and leadership skills. I am confident that this course will be one that I reference in interviews and meetings for years to come.

Has there been a faculty 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?

I am thankful for the education that all of my Pamplin professors have provided me during my four years at Virginia Tech, but I especially want to thank Joseph Simpson, Dirk Buengel, Michelle Seref, and Chien-Chi Tseng. Professors Simpson and Buengel have been a tremendous source of inspiration for me, not only as incredible instructors, but also as individuals with extensive careers in management-related industries. Michelle Seref and Chien-Chi Tseng have also inspired my abilities as a leader through their organization and mentorship with the Engage UTA program.

What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman?

While I am sure that you have already heard this plenty of times, I cannot emphasize it enough: Your four years will fly by – make the most of them! Join any extracurriculars and clubs and take any classes that interest you; do not just do what is required or expected of you. Push beyond your boundaries and do your best to find new outlets of friends and activities because the same resources will not be as easily accessible when you graduate and enter the working world. Also, if you have the opportunity and can fit it into your academic plan, study abroad! I studied abroad in Lugano, Switzerland the spring of my junior year and it was the best semester to date.

What/who is your inspiration for leadership?

The managers and senior leaders who I was able to work with during my internships serve as my inspiration for leadership. They have exhibited great leadership and have been valuable mentors, giving me advice on how to create and manage a successful team. Shadowing these individuals has inspired me to continue to strive to become a leader of my own team one day.

Name some of the internships, if any, that you had during your Virginia Tech and/or Pamplin journey. How did you approach the process?

Throughout my journey as a Pamplin undergrad, I was fortunate enough to have summer internships with Conference Managers and Morgan Stanley after my sophomore and junior years, respectively. I worked as a Conference Intern with Conference Managers, where I provided event support and gained valuable experience working in a fast-paced office environment. As for Morgan Stanley, I worked remotely as an Operations Intern with the Investment Management New York Trade and Derivative Processing Team. Through this experience, I was able to connect and work with individuals across the globe while simultaneously learning more about project management styles – like agile – and the financial services industry as a whole.

I approached the internship process by applying to a plethora of internships online and getting my name out to as many people and organizations as possible, which involved stepping out of my comfort zone to effectively network. When Business Horizons came around, this was especially prevalent; I practiced speaking to recruiters across a variety of industries, viewing each conversation as an opportunity to learn. As time went on, conversations became more natural and fluid, which sharpened my networking skills and helped me get to where I am now. I also made a point to keep a running document of questions to ask companies and recruiters as well as any advice I received during informational interviews. This strategy tremendously helped my job search, especially during the final round of interviews.

During my senior year I have worked as a Pamplin Engage Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Management 2064: Foundations of Entrepreneurship. This program has also helped shape my career today by providing leadership opportunities and skills in a classroom setting.

If you could give a testimonial about Pamplin and/or the Management Department curriculum, what would you say?

The Management Department at Virginia Tech truly works in the interest of its students to provide the best learning experience possible. Its course offerings are some of the most engaging and interactive classes in Pamplin, and the curriculum sets you up for success in the workplace and life after college.