Will Wild, GB'22

September 20, 2021
MBA Student Leadership Council President Looks to Expand the Spider Web.

As this year’s Richmond MBA Student Leadership Council president, Will Wild’s main goal is to expand the Spider web among his fellow graduate students. “You can get an education anywhere, but what really makes the difference is the people,” he shared.

After his graduation from Virginia Military Institute, Wild spent six years in the Marine Corps as an artillery officer before transitioning to a foreign military advising team. His service took him from the Pacific to Afghanistan before landing in Camp Lejeune, N.C. “I saw pockets of the world that most people won’t, and it colors your perspective for a lifetime,” he said.

Wild wasn’t sure of his plan after the military, but when interviewing for jobs sensed a disconnect between his undergraduate academic career and his current interests. “I loved being in a classroom and saw a graduate degree as a tool for advancement,” he said. “I saw an opportunity for discovery to help me figure out what I hope to do next.”

Beginning the program during COVID-19 presented a roller coaster of emotions, Wild shared, and with little background in accounting, finance, and other business subjects, he has spent much of the past year in a growth mindset. “There was some busting of rust to get back into that academic mindset,” he said. Attentive professors and supportive peers have made all the difference. “Everyone was very willing to help.”

 Since his cohort’s first year in the program was spent in a hybrid model, Wild shared that his classmates are looking forward to getting to know each other off Zoom and in person this fall. “I got to know a lot of people’s dogs, but it’s not the same connection as the shared late-night study sessions or lively classroom discussions we have now,” he said.

The conversation usually flows outside the classroom as well in what students have dubbed the Parking Lot Podcast. “We got in the habit of hanging in the parking lot after class to wrap our head around what we learned or just talk about any number of things,” Wild shared. “We are really building a tight team."

Wild looks forward to strengthening those bonds this year through ongoing social activities and academic opportunities. “I am really excited about the Capstone Project. People are reaching out to some really cool companies—organizations I never thought I’d have the opportunity to work with and this project opens those doors. The anticipation of finding out your Capstone company has a Christmas Eve element to it,” he said. 

He is also mindful of his role as council president and MBA students’ service to the community. “We are gaining skills that can’t be taken away, and if we do nothing with them then you haven’t left anyone better off than when you started,” he shared. “Academic institutions serve to make communities better. How can we contribute to the greater good of society? I think we have an obligation to give back with what we have gained.”