Joey Akridge, a senior from Bassett, Virginia and is pursuing a dual degree in Business Information Technology and Management. His concentration in BIT is Operations Systems Management (OSM) and his concentration in MGT is Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology (EIT). In addition, he also pursuing a minor in Business Leadership.

We recently asked Joey to describe his academic journey since arriving at Virginia Tech. 


Why did you choose Virginia Tech?  When and why did you choose Pamplin College of Business and the management major

I choose Virginia Tech because of its strong reputation, beautiful campus, and rigorous courses. In my third semester I spoke with my academic advisor and she explained that I had enough incoming credits to either graduate early or add a second degree, so with that, I added MGT to my first major of choice, BIT, because I felt that they would both pair well for a potential management position early on in my career.

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

Organizational Behavior (MGT 3324) with Professor Beal

This class really helped me truly understand how a business operates from within. Through this class I learned various leadership models and how hierarchies are structured for different industries.

Product Quality Leadership (MGT 4344) with Professor Deck

Throughout this class I learned a lot about how all organizations should have a culture of continuous improvement to stay ahead of the curve and to continue to evolve and grow. This class was sort of a capstone class in that it concluded with a half-semester long project where groups worked with various organizations to observe, analyze, and report out on how each organization could improvement their operations moving forward. This project gave me in-the-field experience on how to work closely with an organization outside of VT to plan and produce a successful deliverable.

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? 

Professors Margaret Deck and Richard Curtis both inspired me this semester to persevere through the obstacles that I’m sure the majority of students faced through the transition of online learning. Both, their teaching styles and selflessness to meet with students anytime outside of their class times to discuss projects, class material, or just life, in my opinion, helped a lot of students through this unusual semester.

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

I interned at Carilion Clinic the summer of 2019 as a financial data analyst and believe that courses within the MGT curriculum such as Managerial Analytics and Intro to Accounting/Finance set me up to succeed in that position. I believe that all the course within VT’s MGT curriculum prepares Pamplin Alum to enter the business world as a well-rounded, business-centric individual. 

The curriculum of both the BIT and MGT are designed to produce well-rounded, knowledge-strong, business individuals that are ready to tackle their careers upon graduation.

What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman? 

My advice to any incoming Pamplin freshman would have to be – form a close relationship with as many professors as possible because they will be a vital part of your network when searching for jobs/internships. Professors in Pamplin have many connections or at least know someone that is connected to an industry you might want to pursue a career in and if relationships are formed with those professors, it’s a good chance that they will be able to get you a contact.

What/who is your inspiration for leadership?  
My inspiration for leadership derives from literally any professor, manager, co-worker that is always open to communication and assistance. I believe that in order to be a leader, one must not solely have to be “in charge” of a group of individuals, but lend a helping hand to any co-worker, classmate, or friend that needs help.

Originally scheduled to graduate in the Spring of 2021, Joey is now taking advantage of the opportunity to graduate a semester early and will be graduating on Friday, December 18, 2020. He is currently pursuing internships/externships that can fill his spring semester that will potentially lead his to a full-time job by Summer 2021. Joey is interested in a business analytics position dealing with supply chain/procurement management.