If you visited the Queally Hall in the past year, you were most likely greeted in the Dean’s Suite by Ralph Lanza or Michael Marquardt. Both juniors, Lanza and Marquardt work as the student assistants in the Dean’s Suite, alternating days of the week as the first faces most Robins School of Business guests see upon arriving.

Working alongside Robins School of Business faculty and staff, the students handle responsibilities such as welcoming and directing guests, receiving and distributing mail, helping students fill out paperwork and occasionally working on research and presentations for faculty and staff. “Working and talking with the faculty and staff has been what I’ve enjoyed most,” Marquardt said. “We have a lot of good laughs together.”

Marquardt knew he wanted to attend University of Richmond when his two older brothers became spiders. “I knew I wanted to study business at Richmond. I’m definitely a numbers guy,” Marquardt said.

Lanza also knew he wanted to study business once arriving on campus. Studying finance and management, Lanza said “The Robins School of Business was the main attraction for me. I have always been interested in the investment field and found my fit here.”

Both Lanza and Marquardt feel their position has given them skills which will be useful in their future professional endeavors. “This position has greatly improved my organizational skills,” Marquardt said. “I have also learned how to operate in a close workplace environment with others instead of being holed up in a cubicle.”

Lanza agrees, adding “Balancing an education with a job has taught me how to handle additional responsibilities while succeeding at both. The position has also introduced me to faculty and staff I wouldn’t otherwise know. It’s allowed me to be more connected to the school.”

Their assistant positions are not the only way Lanza and Marquardt stay involved with the Robins School of Business. “I have found the career services to be very helpful,” Marquardt said. “Working with them has allowed me to learn what I enjoy, where I want to go and how I can get there. I also attend many of the speaker events. Seeing the alumni return and network with students is really encouraging.”

Lanza has also taken advantage of all the Robins School of Business offers. “As a sophomore I went to Q-Camp and learned some great networking and professional skills. The events and programs hosted by the school are very rewarding if you take advantage of them,” he said.

This summer Marquardt is looking forward to an internship with Johnson Lambert in Falls Church, Va., which he hopes will help prepare him for an eventual career in consulting. Lanza is anticipating spending his summer in New York City in the finance or investment management fields.

While on campus both students are actively involved in their fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and the business school, and hope to keep the connections they have made with the students, faculty and staff long after they leave Richmond.