Coming to the University of Richmond

“One of my main requirements in choosing a college was that I would not be a number,” Robins School of Business graduating senior, Tiffannie Williams said. “The University of Richmond has definitely fulfilled that requirement.”

Williams fell in love with the school after a campus visit from her hometown of Winter Garden, Florida, during her junior year of high school. An accounting major with a minor in international business, she will graduate with full-time employment at PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Richmond office.

Beautiful weather and a great financial aid package also attracted Jun Xie to the University of Richmond. Her trip to the University extended all the way from Suzhlu, China (outside of Shanghai).

“I picked Richmond, because it’s a liberal arts school. So if accounting didn’t work out, there would be other options as well,” Xie said.

Fortunately, accounting did stick, and Xie will now go to work for Ernst & Young in Richmond after graduating in May.

Brittany Kneidinger, who will be an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York City, said the Robins School was her deciding factor on whether or not to come to the University of Richmond.

“I had heard great things about the small class size, accessibility of the professors and hands-on learning experiences that the school offered,” she said. “I was immediately drawn in.”

Determining the Next Steps

Williams and Xie both found their future employers through the University’s Office of Alumni and Career Services. For Williams, her journey towards employment began with an internship the summer before her senior year, which led to a full-time position. Xie started searching for employment in the beginning of fall semester.

“In terms of accounting, [the Robins School] has a lot of recruiters coming. All of the Big Fours recruit heavily here,” Xie said. “They come twice a year, and they start preparing you from sophomore year with externship and internship opportunities and eventually full-time job opportunities.”

Williams said her professors were also a great resource for navigating the job and internship search process.

“They all had experience that I could draw upon to figure out where I would prefer to work,” she said. “They taught me the proper etiquette about what to do when turning down an offer, as well as helped prepare me for the interview process.”

Kneidinger and Remo Kommnick (an international student from outside of Berlin, Germany) used the Robins School’s alumni network to form their career paths. Kneidinger’s internship last summer with the Market Structure Strategy group and her post-graduate job with Deutsch Bank both came from connections with alumni.

“I feel that being a part of the Robins School of Business was a key factor in the opportunities I have been afforded,” Kneidinger said. “The business school strengthened and developed my ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and become a leader.”

For Kommnick, an internship with Google in Ireland led to a job offer, but he decided to defer the offer in order to pursue his own business venture in Richmond.

Kommnick and his Executive Advisory Council mentor in the Robins School, who is also an ‘06 graduate, will start a teen technology incubator beginning in June. Their summer program, called TechHatch, will bring high school students from the Richmond area together to create and launch technology startups.

Moving Forward

Each student has found something at the Robins School that they can bring with him or her into their professional careers.

For Kneidinger, it was a sense of community.

“The culture at the University really is exceptional and seems to bring the best out in everyone,” Kneidinger said. “The variety of extracurricular groups and activities works to bring together students across years and majors.”

Kommnick felt the benefits of strong support.

“One thing I’ve noticed about this school is open doors,” Kommnick said. “Literally, if you walk up to [one of the professor’s doors] right now, it is going to be open.”

The support and time that people offer to help you has made a difference in Kommnick’s time at the University, especially as an international student.

“Being international is valued,” he said. “It’s not an obstacle to conversation.”

And for Williams, the Robins School has opened doors.

“While the curriculum can be grueling, I think that through it, I have been able to gain a broad understanding of business that could take me in almost any direction I choose,” she said. “I love that even though you concentrate in a specific subject, I have had the opportunity-- and sometimes requirement-- to take courses that may never have come to my attention otherwise.”