For Shaye Jarvis, the classroom is only one part of her education. Shaye turned her experiences at VCU’s School of Business into a lifestyle. A successful one. She had two internships, participated in numerous student organizations and landed her first full-time position in her career.
We recently spoke with her to learn how the School of Business helped shape her success. Here’s what Shaye had to say:
What is the interaction like between peers and faculty?
I would say they start in the classroom. Then, conversations begin taking place in the atrium. Or you go to Bleecker Street Cafe to get a sandwich, and people will say, “Hey, what's going on? How are classes?” Everybody's free to just initiate conversation, and it just happens organically that way.
What are some of the ways VCU’s School of Business enables you to grow outside of class?
All of the offices within VCU are always putting on events, and I would get up each morning and check my emails and just say, “What can I get into today?” They had events, like the BOSS Fair, which helped me a lot. I found the Information Systems Club, which I became the president of within a year. Career fairs were great, and I landed my internship through one. Also, the Business Career Services office would have resume workshops or interview prep. I went in there and got my resume right, got my cover letter right.
Seem like you're pretty involved with student organizations and mentoring opportunities. Can you talk about those programs?
I decided to join the CONNECT mentoring program. That was great because, being a School of Business student, you see it's important to grow and have people in your network. It was nice because I was able to list what I was interested in learning about, and I put my major in there, and they paired me with an HR representative from Altria. It exposed me to different connections and different business units.
How was your network able to grow from there?
Actually, at the time I was working with Dominion, so I was able to make a connection with different companies other than Altria. Then, the next year, the School of Business paired me with a programmer, which was super cool. He worked at CarMax, so I now have a connection there. It's cool because the relationships are real. They would offer, like, “Hey! If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to call.” We follow each other on Facebook. It's great and super rewarding to have those relationships.
Does it make connections easier to be in a city the size of Richmond?
Yes. It’s centrally located. They have all those companies downtown. You just walk to class every day, and you look up, and you see all these businesses, and you say, “Wow, I could really see myself working there one day.” So, I think it's in a great location with so much to do. There are just a ton of opportunities here.
Do you find yourself inspired by the city and the people?
Yeah. I love it. I would just stay up late and be like, “Yeah, this is so much like a city, and it’s not a closed-off college town.” It's very inspiring to just be downtown and go to school there.
How will your experiences take you where you want to go?
It will help to have contacts If I'm thinking about a career move or going for a leadership role, I have people I can call to get advice, to practice interviewing with or to help me further my career. I feel I have a network and support that I can really lean on.