Laura Wyrick’s, '13, class schedule is a mix of statistics, economics and art history surveys. On weekends, she works at the front desk of the University of Richmond’s art museum. She’s busy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wyrick came to Richmond with precisely this vision of campus life. “I wanted to be somewhere where I could get a liberal arts education and possibly go into business,” she says. “I wanted to have lots of options in terms of liberal arts.”

What Wyrick didn’t expect was that she would be partially supporting herself. Her family’s financial situation changed during the recession that overlapped with her senior year in high school. She had never considered not going to college, so after weighing her options, she decided to move forward in pursuit of her education at Richmond.

“I wasn’t ready to go into the workforce,” she says. “I needed a college education. I think I’d regret it if I didn’t get it.”

For Wyrick, that decision meant taking on some personal responsibility for the costs of her education. Her family worked with Richmond’s financial aid office to come up with a package that worked for their situation.

“My financial aid package is mostly grants and loans,” she explains. “This year, I have student loans. It’s a little scary, but I feel like it’s something I can handle.”

She didn’t qualify for Federal Work-Study, so Wyrick found her on-campus job as a museum attendant through the University Work Program. The job has turned out to be more than just a paycheck — it’s a training ground for a career in the business side of the art world.

“I’ve been learning a lot about how the museum works,” she says, explaining the different roles of directors and curators. She adds that one of the benefits of working on campus is “the responsibility of having a job and being in a professional environment.”

In addition to her work experience, Wyrick is preparing with a major in business administration from the nation’s No. 12 undergraduate business program.

“I feel like I’m taking advantage of some of the best resources here,” she says. “Hopefully that will get me to where I need to be in order to be financially stable in the future.”

Her father, Bill Wyrick, B’80, walked in similar steps as a UR student three decades ago. Father and daughter even share a common link in Joe Ben Hoyle, associate professor of accounting, who taught both Wyricks. “Hoyle picked up on my last name the first class,” Laura Wyrick remembers. “It’s been 30 years since he taught my dad.”

To round out her liberal arts experience, Wyrick has a minor in art history, may add a minor in French, and plans to study abroad at Rouen Business School in France.

Wyrick’s pursuit of liberal arts balanced with business helps her to feel confident about the future. Her list of possible careers include working at an auction house, gallery or museum, or working for a collector. “And that’s just the art side of things,” she says. “I’m hoping that I’ll come out [of UR] with enough skills in different areas that I could have options in the job search.”