Roneil Yu is from Norton, VA and will be graduating on Friday, May 14, 2021 with degrees in Accounting & Information Systems, Accounting (ACCT) option, Finance, Financial Accounting (FFAC) option, and Management, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology (EIT) option. He will also graduate with minors in Professional Sales (PRFS) and Entrepreneurship – New Venture Growth (ENVG).

After graduation, Roneil is planning on pursuing his MBA in Data Analytics at the University of Wisconsin Parkside along with his CPA and CFP. After acquiring those certifications, he will consider getting his M.S. in Accounting and potentially his PhD, as his goal is to retire as a professor.

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

Why did you choose Virginia Tech?

I chose Virginia Tech because it felt like home. Not only does Virginia Tech have a strong business program – which will prepare me for my desired career – but also no other college campus made me feel like I could fit right in. When I toured Virginia Tech, however, it truly gave me the sense that I could be part of the community here.

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

There were many classes that validated my major choices; however, the ones that stand out for each major are ACIS 3115 (Intermediate Financial Accounting), FIN 3144 (Investments: Debt-Equity-Deriv), and MGT 4344 (Productivity and Quality Leadership). These classes all had bigger learning curves than did previous classes I’d taken, so they pushed me to work harder in order to be successful. Additionally, each professor inspired us to learn the material not only to be successful in the class, but also to be successful in our careers.

What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman?

Network. The Hokie network is incredible. All of your peers and professors will be super friendly, and you should take advantage of the networking opportunities and club activities that are offered here. Coming out of high school, I was very shy, so it took me a while to get involved. You might have to face the fear of conversing with and getting to know new people but doing so will open doors to endless opportunities.

What/who is your inspiration for leadership?

My parents. In a sense they spoiled me because I’m an only child, but they have sacrificed so much for me. My main reason for wanting to be successful is so I can have the ability to pay them back and take care of them 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?

The summer after my sophomore year, I held a Management Consulting Internship position with the Beacon Fellowship. The Fellowship took a group of students from across the country to London, England to provide consulting services for the Goethe-Institut. Though I found this internship through a comprehensive online search, it was an incredible experience that exposed me to how different currencies and cultures affect foreign business operations.

Additionally, the summer after my junior year, I worked as a Life Insurance Sales Intern at Mass Mutual. Due to the pandemic, this internship was remote, but I was still thankful that I got to experience sales firsthand. I had the opportunity to make both cold and warm calls and to work through the entire sales process under my mentor’s guidance and – eventually – on my own.

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

What makes Pamplin exceptionally great is that its professors have firsthand career experience in the courses they teach. Therefore, not only are Pamplin’s academic programs great, but the professors are well-equipped to demonstrate how course material actually applies in their students’ desired careers.

Any other words of wisdom or insights that you want to share about your journey or the value of your Pamplin education?

Have fun with friends. The stress of academics can get to you, but it’s so much easier to cope with stress when you have fun with friends. Many memories throughout my years at Virginia Tech involve spending countless hours with my friend group at Newman Library for late night study sessions, going to club activities that contribute positively to the community, and meeting new people. Strive to do well academically, but take full advantage of the resources available to you.