One of a collection of stories written by alumni for the Jepson School's 20th Anniversary

The Jepson degree has centered me in the values prescribed in Jepson Hall even while my career has taken me around the globe. 

I credit my leadership studies major with opening the door that allowed me to translate an interdisciplinary degree to a career in management consulting and banking. Since employers tend to know what coursework in accounting or finance entails, prospective employees don’t often get the opportunity to explain the program they studied. However, interviewers often asked me “what exactly is a leadership major?” This question gave me the platform to describe the unique attributes that make Jepson graduates ideal employees – strong communication and critical thinking skills wrapped around a global ethos. I took a job working for a small management consulting firm. I worked at financial services companies in North America and Europe before deciding that a lifetime of travel was not the right fit for me. I then settled down at Capital One in Richmond.

In the years since graduation, I have had the opportunity to leverage my leadership degree on a regular basis. Most often, I rely on interpersonal skills honed in group projects and in classes such as Leading Individuals and Leading Teams to help drive action in my job. I depend on foundational knowledge built through coursework in Leading Change to help me lead cultural change at my organization. And, I have often referred to Dr. Tom Wren’s textbook from Histories and Theories of Leadership to help me design leadership training programs for my teams. My Jepson education gave me the confidence to expect more out of my leaders and the company where I work.

Finally, Jepson’s focus on service and service learning has reminded me that the most enriching experiences aren’t always the ones that “count on paper.” I have continued to invest in service to my local community, spending time helping organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Richmond Area Boys and Girls Club, Central Virginia Foodbank, and Massey Cancer Center. Through this work, I am meeting Jepson’s mission to continue to understand the challenges of ethical and effective engagement in society.

-- Raegan Williams Morris