May 17, 2021
Reagan Snead is from Forest, VA and will be graduating in May 2021 with a degree in Management, Management Consulting and Analytics (MCA) option.
After graduation, Reagan will be working for the Baptist Collegiate Ministries at Virginia Tech while simultaneously taking counseling classes through Liberty University. She is excited to begin working toward her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling while continuing to pour into and disciple fellow Hokies.
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?
Initially, I found Tech’s size to be rather daunting. I only considered it as an option because my twin sister wanted to pursue a civil engineering degree here. However, once I visited, I fell in love with the campus and the motto, “Ut Prosim.” Coming into college, I struggled to pick a major because all I knew was that I wanted a career that would allow me to help people. Tech’s motto matched my aspirations and assured me that I would learn how to serve my community through whatever major I chose.
I was leaning toward working for a nonprofit when I arrived at Tech, so my mom encouraged me to consider a business degree to help me better understand how they operate. I eventually selected Management specifically because I was drawn to the leadership components included in the major’s curriculum, and I loved the idea of gaining a broad understanding of all the business fields. I wanted to understand how they all fit together so I could use the basics of each to be successful at a nonprofit.
Were there any specific classes that you remember as validating your major choice to date?
I honestly struggled with whether or not I had picked the right major for a long time. However, I absolutely loved Management Consulting with Professor Dirk Buengel this semester. For me, it confirmed that I am capable of serving others with the consulting skills I have learned through Pamplin’s curriculum and showed me that working for clients in a consulting role is fulfilling.
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?
Dr. Kimberly Carlson served as my faculty mentor during my application for the Austin Michelle Cloyd Fellowship. Dr. Anna-Katherine Ward helped me dive into research on refugee employment and mentored me through the process of developing a recommendation report for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership. Lastly, Professor Dirk Buengel taught me to continuously look for ways to improve and challenged me in ways few other professors have ever been able to do.
What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman?
Step out of your comfort zone. Pamplin provides so many amazing opportunities, but they can often seem overwhelming – especially when you are first starting college. Don’t let that stop you from pursuing them. You are capable, and even if you apply for something and it doesn’t go your way, you will learn something throughout the process. Be willing to make mistakes; it’s how you learn. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way you will truly be able to grow and change.
What/who is your inspiration for leadership?
Mr. Webb, my high school band director, is my inspiration for leadership. He made student leadership a huge part of our marching band program, and it really transformed the way I thought about leadership. He taught me that leading includes setting an example, serving those around me, and challenging myself and others to achieve at the highest level. While I have learned much more about leadership since high school, Mr. Webb convinced me of its importance and helped me build the foundation of leadership as service that I still use to this day.
Name some of the internships, if any, that you had during your Virginia Tech and/or Pamplin journey.
During the summer of 2020, I worked as a Development Intern for United Way of the New River Valley in Christiansburg, VA. In this role, I assisted with the social media campaign to promote United Way’s GiveLocalNRV fundraiser, edited and designed campaign materials – including United Way’s Employee Campaign Coordinator Guide, partner agency materials, and event sponsorship flyers – and researched local resources to update the COVID-19 Community Resources page on the website each week.
During the summer of 2019, I worked as a Programs Intern for Freedom 4/24 in Lynchburg, VA, where I helped with long-term event planning by researching race materials, designing photo albums for race directors, updating race webpages, and managing fundraisers. I also ran a social media campaign for the Virtual Race, which included creating a promotional video, scheduling social media posts, and designing a rewards program for social media participation.
Lastly, during the summer of 2018, I worked as an Education Intern for the National D-Day Memorial Foundation in Bedford, VA. Here, I assisted in the process of planning and executing events for a national non-profit organization by creating three flyers, brainstorming and designing more than ten activities, and supervising five events. Additionally, I shadowed site operations and volunteer management to understand the daily functions of the memorial and how to schedule and interact with volunteers to maximize retention.
If you could give a testimonial about Pamplin and/or the Management Department curriculum, what would you say?
The Management curriculum is extremely relevant and hands-on. Initial classes give students a broad foundation in all areas of business, which really pays off later when they are asked to make strategic, big-picture recommendations for businesses. Understanding the entirety of how a business operates allows Management majors to assess the full situation, and it gives them the puzzle pieces they need to solve the problem.
All of the classes are taught by informed industry experts, and they incorporate projects with real companies to give students actual management and work experience during class. This hands-on learning is extremely valuable. The most important aspect of the curriculum, though, is its flexibility. The courses are not designed to teach students what to do, but rather how to think. They give students required tools, but they also teach them how to decide when to use those tools and how to use the information they unveil to add value for their clients. Those analytical skills can be used in any environment or position, making management one a high-level, versatile major at Virginia Tech.
Do you have any other words of wisdom or insights about Virginia Tech, Pamplin, Management, or your broader college journey?
Find a community. I discovered the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) during my first week at Virginia Tech, and it transformed my life. I found my current roommates and best friends through the bible studies I joined, and I discovered a beautiful support network that has carried me through many late nights and stressful weeks. Not to mention the staff members at BCM provided a safe place for me to be vulnerable, challenged me to grow spiritually, socially, and emotionally, and helped me discover my gifts and how to use them to love those around me. I would not understand the true meaning of discipleship or the Christian community without them, and I would not love half as well as I do now if I had never been empowered by them.
Finding that support network and mentorship was instrumental in my development as both a Christian and an individual, so I highly recommend making that one of your first priorities at Virginia Tech. It will likely require effort to find and build, but it will change your life.