IT Success at CarLotz For Malik Hicks!

We are excited to hear from Malik.  Here are his own words with going through the process of finding an internship this fall!
Time and time again, I kept asking myself “What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I seem to get hired? Is it because of my lack of experience in the technological field? But isn’t that what an internship is for?” I felt lost to answer this question as I could always get my foot in the door to as far as first and second interviews for whatever position I applied for. But it wasn’t until I started revisiting the career services again for the school year that I learned… I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was doing everything right.
I first started visiting the career fair the first semester of my junior year as I had just switched to become an IS Major during the spring semester of my sophomore year.  It was a whole new experience as it allowed me the opportunity to receive help with my resume and actually get the feeling of how an actual interview was conducted.
But ultimately,  the best part about going to career services was being able to meet the staff and seeing how personable they were with me as I could feel their support as each and everyone one of them wished for my success and I loved that. It was because of that support that I went to the Career Fair with confidence and and never gave up when applying to job positions while improving who I was at the same time.


So, to all my fellow individuals who feel this way, please go to Career Services as they can really help.  I am a living example of how they changed me. For me, I truly thank Darlene, Laura, and Madeline for opening their schedules to help me.
And now, I look forward to starting my fall internship with CarLotz this week and gaining the experience that it has to offer!
Malik Hicks, Information Systems major, May 2018
Congratulations to you Malik and thanks for sharing your info for the Blog!

Accounting/Human Resources Major, Curtis Holloway, is a STAR at BDO!

Please see the article below which was shared on the BDO news world page.  The #BDOInternLife campaign is put on nationwide by the Campus Recruiting team. 

Greater Washington D.C. Assurance Intern Curtis Holloway’s personal motto? “Stay hungry.” That’s something many people who know him are already familiar with. In fact, when speaking at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) leadership studies program’s graduation, he asked the audience how to stay inspired … they all shouted back: “stay hungry!”   Holloway has made it his mission to explore both the Assurance and Tax business lines before starting his public accounting career. His first internship was in Tax, and as he nears the end of his second internship, he can say “mission accomplished.” A senior with a double major in accounting and human resources, Holloway says he will miss his VCU professors when he graduates in December and receives his bachelor’s degree and starts studying for the CPA, as they taught him the importance of taking initiative and meeting new people. 

LIFE AT BDO: AIN’T HIS FIRST RODEO  This summer, as an Assurance intern, Holloway supports team engagements and assists in year-end and employee benefit audits. He shares that the support he receives from associates, managers and partners has left a lasting impression on how he views BDO professionals. “I’m treated like a professional, and I always feel like I work with BDO, not for BDO,” he says. “It’s not a competition. Everyone’s always willing to help each other out, and I like that very much about my team.”   For interns unsure whether to pursue a career in Assurance or Tax, Holloway shares his perspective, “This is your future, not anyone else’s. I try to meet with people from both sides to get their advice and help me feel comfortable about my decision,” he says. After interning for both practices, Holloway is still gathering information before he chooses where to continue. “I know that whichever business line I end up in, I’ll feel comfortable with my decision after the research I’ve put in to determine the best fit for me.”   Staying true to his motto, Holloway has some advice for future interns, “Stay hungry and continue to learn new things while giving your best and showing your drive,” he says. Even more, Holloway has a unique way of viewing his day-to-day professional experience. “I don’t have to come to work, I get to come to work and learn something new and exciting every day.”


Holloway at the Residential Life & Housing Banquet after being a resident advisor for two years.

Holloway at the Residential Life & Housing Banquet after being a resident advisor for two years.

In his spare time, Holloway enjoys hanging with friends, meeting new people, going to the gym and reading leadership books. “The best part about meeting new people is trying to make them laugh,” he adds.   Holloway also thanks Assurance Senior Associate Shafaq Majid for her guidance throughout his internship, as well as Nonprofit Assurance Associate Sean Herrity, Transaction Advisory Services Senior Associate Chris West and Tax Senior Manager Nick Dulo for helping him grow as a leader throughout his internship experience. “My mentors have all been extraordinary impactful in helping me carve my path for the future, and I am very appreciative for their support” says Holloway. Between his two internships, Holloway undoubtedly absorbed BDO’s culture and already embodies BDO’s mission of helping people thrive. Recently, he volunteered by helping with tax returns for low-income families in his community and plans to teach financial literacy to low-income individuals. “I want to do more community service, give back and support the students in public high schools from my area,” he shares. In the next few years, Holloway hopes to join BDO in either Tax or Assurance and wants to become more involved in Greater Washington D.C.’s BDO Counts program.


Additional Comments from Darlene:

Curtis shared with me that he has already received a full-time job offer with BDO as an Audit Associate!   I have enjoyed working with him throughout the years and I am so excited about his progress.  Curtis was previously featured on my Blog.  I highlighted his success as the former President of NABA( and again in 2014 when he was a sophomore just beginning to receive internships. (

If you ever need an example of a student that has done it all very well, please see his story.  Curtis Holloway is one of the most professional students in the School of Business!

Internship Success for Amer Awad at ALDI!

Amer Awad has a summer internship at ALDI. Amer is a business foundations/MGT who will graduate in May 2018.  He met the ALDI reps at our spring Career Fair and started the connection. After four interviews, he got the news that he landed the internship!

After looking at his resume, it is plain to see why he was a great choice for the internship.  Amer already has three years of retail experience (at the Associate level) under his belt and a very strong GPA.

Congratulations to you Amer and best of luck in your summer internship!

Internship Success for Daniela Quiroga Rodriguez!

I have only posted one or two fall internships and I am happy to say that one of our own has already landed a position!   Daniela will be working at The Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at VCU providing a wide range of database, research, administrative, and general support to the ICA’s development team. 

She found the opportunity on my Blog and she wrote me a very sweet email message, “Thank you for all the energy you put into making students successful. This is the very first, real step in my career and I could not have achieved it without your continued support to the School of Business.”

I am so happy that she moved very quickly to apply for the role and I think the experience will look amazing on her resume.  Congratulations Daniela!!

Daniela Quiroga Rodriguez (May 2019) is a Junior Info Systems student who is also pursuingan undergraduate certificate in Product Innovation.  She has an impressive resume with a strong GPA and leadership experience from participating in the STEM Ambassador program, a teaching assistant position with the VCU Focused Inquiry Department, and her membership in the Association of Information Technology Professionals.


Internship & Leadership Success for Accounting Student, Keith Willett!

Keith Willett, Accounting Major, August, 2018

“I started going to career services during my first semester(spring ’16) at VCU. I recently separated from the United States Navy and I was interested in an internship in accounting.  After my spring semester, I started meeting with Darlene.  I would literally show up every week with questions to get ready for fall recruiting season.  One thing I started doing was creating cover letters for accounting firms I was interested in before they were posted on HireVCURams.  I started networking with multiple recruiters during numerous Beta Alpha Psi events and used the Ram to Ram program to reach out to numerous alumni in different areas of accounting.  I received two great internships this year, one as a Spring Tax Intern with Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP and a Summer Audit Intern with Myers and Stauffer, LC.  I can’t STRESS how important it is to start early with your resume, preparing answers for interview questions (using the STAR method) and educating yourself with the firms in the Virginia area.  Darlene has a great timeline sheet that you can use to gauge where you need to be in the process of the summer onward to Meet the Accounting Firms (hosted by Beta Alpha Psi) in the fall.  Without the combination of the School of Business Career Services and Beta Alpha Psi, I highly doubt I would have the success I have had.  Once again, I really can’t stress how important it is to start talking to Darlene and her staff at Career Services now.  You will be less stressed once Fall recruiting season comes because you will be ahead of everybody else.

Beta Alpha Psi is a great organization that has brought me to new heights. We were able to go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for our regional conference and I will be going to Anaheim, California this summer for our National Conference.  We have great networking events throughout the semester.

I am the President of Beta Alpha Psi and we have many great things planned out for next year.  If you would like to join or have any questions please feel free to contact me at (”


Internship Success: Congratulations to Brittany Amefu, Target Executive Intern!

This is the time of year that students have found out that they have landed an internship.  Be on the lookout for posts to celebrate internship success.  The first one to share is from Brittany Amefu:

“This summer I’ll be completing an internship with Target as an Executive Intern! (I know there are three other VCU students completing the program as well). We start June 5 and end sometime in August. The majority of us found the internship through the career fair that happened several weeks ago in the Atriums and completed two rounds of interviews before being offered the position in early March. We have been assigned a mentor who is a current store leader and will be shadowing them during the course of the summer to learn the various store operations and what their jobs entail. I’m super excited for this opportunity and I can’t wait to see all that I will learn.”
Brittany Amefu:  Dual Degree in Management & Marketing
Strong GPA and leadership experience from organizations such as Sigma Sigma Sigma and Admissions Ambassadors.
Graduation:  Dec. 2017

Amazing Full-time Job Success For Brianna Earl at Altria!

   2017 picture of Bree in Snead Hall

We are certainly proud of our business students!  Brianna “Bree” (Human Resources major) will be graduating in May 2017.  She has been a joy to work with over the years.  I would describe her as extremely talented leader and a go-getter.  I featured Bree in June 2015 when she landed her internship at Estes and I am thrilled that she will be walking into a full-time HR position with Altria.  Her internships, her strong GPA, and her leadership roles in SHRM (president) and in Alpha Kappa Psi made her an obvious choice for one of Richmond’s largest employers!  Congratulations!!!

In her own words:

“I began going to Career Services when I was a freshman. The guidance that I received was amazing from the start. I volunteered for the career fair and was able to connect with multiple employers before even being able to apply for the internships that were available . One employer I connected with was Altria. I was determined to work for Altria but wanted to get as much experience as possible. I continued to keep in contact with career services and landed a HR Internship at ValueOptions, summer of my freshman year. Summer of sophomore year, Career Services helped me find a wonderful opportunity at Estes Express Lines. I worked for Estes for 2 years while keeping in contact with Altria. Through networking and continuous hard work, I was able to land a full-time job with Altria as an Associate Compensation Analyst and will be starting after graduation in May.

Thank you so much Darlene and Career Services for your endless dedication to students in Snead. I am proud to be able to continue to give back to VCU after graduation. It’s never too early to start preparation for your career”.

Post From Back in the day (2015)

I am pleased to share this internship success for Brianna Earl, sophomore Business Administration major graduating in May 2017.   This Chesapeake native impressed me from the very start with her strategic job search goals and her willingness to get involved in leadership programs to grow her interpersonal skills.  Brianna, or Bree as she likes to be called, is the Director of Philanthropy in Alpha Kappa Psi, an active member in SHRM (will be the Treasurer for 2015-16) and a participant in the Ram to Ram mentoring program.  She starts a human resource internship this summer at Estes Express Lines.

Here are her words:

“I am pleased to announce that after a long interview season, I am now a HR Support Intern with Estes Express Lines. I am so thankful for the connections that the VCU Career Services has provided me with and how dedicated Darlene Ward was with helping me prepare for possibly interning this summer. From day one, I told her that my goal is to have an internship every summer until I graduate and I am happy to say that as a sophomore that I am on track.  Thank you for everything!”

 2015 Bree as a sophomore!


****If you have a success that you would like to share via the Blog, please email me at and let me know.


NABA Means Success!

NABA Means Success!

Joining a student organization is certainly important for job searching.  NABA is the National Associate for Black Accountants, which is a very strong organization within the School of Business.   After talking to four of its members, a consistent theme kept arising.  More than one the students said that NABA members are family.  They help each other in so many ways:  they share job leads, support each other with employer connections, critique each other’s employment documents and uplift and encourage each other.

President of NABA, Curtis Holloway says, “The main thing you can say about NABA is how we truly support each other on our journeys to more success.  As each member is on their search for opportunities, we always tell them to keep the drive and we make sure they are prepared for interviews.  I believe the main event that motivates our members is our signature event that we host each year which celebrates our member’s success in school and the job search. We truly “Lift as We Climb” in our organization. Without the support from NABA, I would probably still be searching for an internship.”

Curtis has had a tax internship at BDO last year and has an audit successful internship at BDO in summer 2017.  He graduates in 2017.

Vice President of NABA, Kadeja Abbott says, “I would like to say that NABA is more than the professionalism aspect of it because we are a family. We literally assist each other, laugh with each other, and have real conversations about accounting and other issues of the world. I know that if I ever needed anything, I can always reach out to my peers. It is all love!  I’ve asked my peers for mock interviews and resume reviews for second opinions and they have been there to give me that help and support I needed to become a better professional.

I have also made networks with NABA professionals who have written recommendation letters for me for scholarships in which I won for 2016. Because of NABA, I have increased my communication skills, my professional skills, and have expanded my networks. We continuously watch each other grow.  We really live by the motto “Lifting as We Climb.”

Kadeja has received an offer at Dixon Hughes Goodman for summer 2017.  Previously, she had an externship with Keiter.  She graduates in 2018.

Tasha Robinson, who is a current NABA member, has used her connections to land an  Accounting Internship at the Virginia State Corporation for summer 2017.  Previously she has had externships with Grant Thornton and Yount, Hyde, and Barbour.  Tasha graduates in 2018.

Ranier Moore is a current NABA member who is employed at KPMG.  True to form, he has reached out to NABA members and Business Career Services to share information about a new KPMG program.  He said, “I want more VCU accounting students to know about this and apply!  It’s an amazing, one of a kind opportunity.  Who doesn’t want a free Master’s?”

He also shared a little background, “In August I received a phone call from a KPMG partner in New York randomly.  He strongly encouraged me to apply to this unique program in which, if accepted, KPMG will pay for a Master’s degree of Accountancy and Data & Analytics, including room and board.  I applied, interviewed, and was accepted!  The next step was taking the GMAT and applying to Ohio State and Villanova (the only 2 colleges they will pay for the degree from currently).  I took the GMAT (which they reimbursed me for) and I was accepted into Ohio State and I will be moving to Ohio August 1 however, upon completion of my degree, I will be moved to the Philly office for a minimum of 3 years.”

Details of the program:

Ranier is the former Treasurer of NABA.  He graduates in 2017.

****If you are interested in joining this organization, please reach out to Curtis Holloway at

Dominion Success this Summer for Connie Tran!

Connie Tran is our newest VCU Business student who will be working at Dominion this summer as the Finance intern in the Diversity Scholarship Program.  Connie is one of the 30 student who will not only be a summer intern, but she won an extremely competitive scholarship!


Connie is a double major in finance and marketing with an extremely high GPA.  She is a junior who will graduate in Dec. 2018 and is involved in both The Money Spot and the Student Ambassador organizations.  In addition, she has to be one of the nicest students in the entire School of Business!

Connie shared that she was not a student who applied for one internship and got it right away.  Instead she said,  “I’ve been applying and searching for part-time jobs and internships since I was a sophomore. I faced rejection after rejection.” I know the job search process can be rough but her advice is to never don’t give up.  “Know yourself and be confident in all that you’ve accomplished and be able to share those accomplishments with recruiters.

If you do face rejection, look back and see what you could have done better so you can improve for the next opportunity. Every rejection is a learning experience. So don’t give up, keep trying and you’ll find the job that’s right for you!”

I have to admit that I was so pleased to hear about her being awarded this amazing opportunity!  Connie is a well-deserving student of the Dominion program/award and I am extremely proud of her.

If you see her in the halls between classes, reach out and give Connie a great big hug and congratulate her on a job well done!



****Do you have a success story to share? I am ready to post it, so email me ( and include a picture!



Accounting’s Beta Alpha Psi Means Success!!

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)accounting students for having a wildly successful fall recruiting season!  From August to November 2016, our accounting students and alumni were heavily engaged with networking and professional development events that put them in front of some of the best employers in the field.  I am fortunate to work very closely with the faculty advisor, Jon Hill, and the Exec Board of BAP to help co-organize some of their events.

Employers Connections:

After 16 years of working with business students, I have to say that last fall was the best for employer connections for BAP students.  We had representatives from each of the BIG FOUR Accounting Firms, top regional firms, private sector employers and state agencies who were excited to recruit at VCU Business.

In the fall, employers participated in activities such as:

  • Fall Accounting Leadership Summit
  • Meet the Accounting Firms
  • Accounting Mock Interviews
  • Professional Accounting Workshops/Panels
  • On-Campus Interviews
  • And Employer Days (Information Sessions, Office Visits and Coffee Breaks)

Some of our active employers include:

Altria APA BDO The Roseline Group Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
Deloitte E & Y Heritage Wealth Keiter CPA Kimble CPA
KPMG McGladrey McPhillips, Roberts & Deans Meadows Urquhart Mitchell Wiggins
Dixon Hughes Goodman Myers & Stauffer PB Myers PWC YHB

Offers, Offers and More Offers:

We had a record number of employers post positions in our Hirebusrams database and participate in our on-campus interview program.  Numerous accounting students and alumni had multiple first and second round interviews in Business Career Services and at the employers’ sites.  Many of the employers commented that the VCU accounting students were strong, confident and impressive.  From the number of job and internship offers, I would have to agree that our students were well-prepared and ready for the intense competition for accounting positions.

Examples of Success:

My blog post would be too long if I shared ALL of the successes from the fall, ….so I will just focus on these seven.

Vice President,  Bi Ou

I am doing a dual degree in Accounting and Information System, I am graduating in May!

My full-time position is IT Audit Associate at Elliott Davis Decosimo – Charlotte, NC. I had a number of internships before. I interned at Virginia Housing Development Authority as a Staff Auditor Intern during Summer to Winter 2015, Seasonal Audit Professional at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP in Spring 2016, Audit Intern at Elliott Davis Decosimo in Summer 2016, and I am currently interning at AECOM as a Tax Intern.
Anthony Helmadollar:
I just graduated this fall Magna Cum Laude. I’m off to KPMG – Richmond as an Audit Winter Intern. Once, I complete the internship I will be attending William and Mary in their Masters of Accounting program.
Sarah Baldwin:
I have accepted two internships for the spring and summer. For the spring I will be doing a tax internship at Mitchell, Wiggins, and Company and over the summer I will be doing an audit internship at KPMG.
Trish Cao:
I’m currently a junior majoring in Accounting and International Management, graduation date May 2018. My summer Internship is with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Jessica Chavez:
My position is Accounting Intern. My company is and I started May 2016.
Keith Willet:
I am currently a Tax Intern with Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP and I will have an internship this summer as an Audit Intern with Myers and Stauffer, LC.
Matthew St. George:
Keiter CPA, Audit Intern, Summer 2017
***If I had to share any advice with you, it would be to build your network, become job-ready and join a student organization.  It will make a difference!