“My internship was basically a 10-week job interview,” said Meaghan Griffith, a senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in leadership studies. “Interns are given a great deal of responsibility, and I was able to work on a project over the course of the summer that I presented to the executive management team.”

Griffith received the 2009-2010 Alfred E. Lyon Scholarship, which is offered through the University’s marketing department. As a recipient of the scholarship, which is supported by Philip Morris, Inc., she was able to interview for an internship with Altria.

“I initially applied for the internship because I heard great things about the program and the level of responsibility interns were given,” said Griffith, who will graduate summa cum laude. “And Altria is a well-known, extremely successful company.”

Griffith said that throughout her summer internship, she worked hard to be proactive and take initiative with her responsibilities and projects. Griffith also credits her studies in both business and leadership with setting her apart from the crowd, not to mention her work with the campus improv comedy troupe, which she said helped her build confidence and enabled her to think on her feet.
“My interviewers were aware of the high-quality education I received in the business school, and I was also able to apply what I learned through my leadership minor,” said Griffith, who was offered a position with Altria Group, Inc. as a territory sales manager for the Mid-Atlantic region.

After interviewing with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati and a business consulting firm in New York City, Griffith accepted the Altria offer in part because she would be able to select an eastern-U.S. territory and is familiar with the Richmond corporate headquarters.

“After I got the offer, I stayed open to other opportunities, but I only became more convinced that Altria was where I wanted to launch my career – it’s the right company for me.”

In her new position, Griffith will have her own territory of approximately 150 retail locations, working directly with the retailers to consult about products, pricing and promotions. She will also work on research projects as part of a team to analyze internal and external environments for the company.

“I would love to end up in a management position and potentially move into brand management,” she said. “And I hope to be involved with recruiting at Richmond in the future.”