Rose Wynn, ’14, was pleasantly surprised last summer when she was offered an internship with the business development team of a consulting firm in Northern Virginia whose clients include the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.  

“I’m a leadership studies and rhetoric and communication studies double major,” says Wynn. “I don’t have a business background. But when I applied for the internship, which was required for my leadership studies major, they said they thought my skills would really benefit the business development team.”

She was elated when the internship turned into a job offer — and a request to start working part-time when she returned to campus. Then the nerves hit. Would she be able to work part-time, take classes, conduct research and enjoy her senior year?

Wynn knows now that the answer is yes.

“The offer was too good to pass up,” she says simply.  She began working remotely in September and will transition to a full-time position in June as a corporate business analyst.

Wynn’s responsibilities during the internship included working with the organization’s COO on marketing initiatives and supporting corporate business development.

“I actually got to manage parts of a proposal volume, the biggest proposal the company had ever gone after,” says Wynn, who found the internship through SpiderConnect.

From a leadership standpoint, “it was interesting to take a look at the dynamics of the executive team and reflect on aspects of organizational culture, including its high ethical values,” she says.

In addition to working part-time, Wynn is conducting research for an honors thesis in leadership studies that is helping her gain additional insight into ethics and leader and follower behavior. 

“I’m interested in the relationship between leaders and followers and why people are willing to blindly follow unethical behavior,” says Wynn. “I’m looking at the Big Five personality traits in followers and trying to determine whether those factors relate to tendencies to accept unethical behavior.”

She is also working on a thesis for rhetoric and communication studies that is “centered on the anti-Communist Polish workers party, Solidarity, during the era of the 1989 revolutions in Berlin. Her research is examining how the name ‘Solidarity’ functioned rhetorically to articulate a narrative of unification and identity for the Polish while contesting a Communist ideology that articulated similar narratives of social and political unity.”

Even with everything Wynn is juggling during her senior year, she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m just glad I don’t have to spend my senior year looking for a job,” she laughs.