The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics established the B&E Young Professional Network in 2014 to engage young alumni. And today, those young alums are giving back through the establishment and initial award of the YPN Launch Scholarship.
B&E YPN is made up of 134 dedicated young alumni under the age of 45 who support the college’s philanthropic efforts through meaningful contributions which, over time, will create a legacy for the future of B&E.
Those who joined in the initial year were designated as charter members and, because of that distinction, those members were able to decide how money raised through this membership was to be spent to help their business school. As a result, members created the YPN Launch Scholarship for B&E students who are preparing to enter the workforce.
“As a member of WVU’s B&E Young Professional Network, I made a commitment to support the transition of students to young professionals. Due to the success and dedication of the YPN, we are able to offer a unique opportunity for WVU B&E students in the form of our Launch Scholarship,” said Nick Oxley, a 2005 B&E MBA graduate and member at Arnett Carbis Toothman Wealth Advisors LLC in Charleston, West Virginia. “This scholarship provides funding that many typical scholarships fail to cover. It is my hope that the YPN Launch Scholarship provides meaningful support to students at a very challenging point in time – as they begin the next chapter of their lives.”
The Launch Scholarship is available through a competitive selection process to juniors, seniors and graduate students in B&E with at least a 3.0 GPA. The fund provides up to $1,000 in financial reimbursements on pre-approved expenditures to help a student “launch” his or her career, such as purchasing professional attire, studying abroad, traveling to an interview or housing during an internship.
Colin Frosch and Samantha Wood are the winners of the initial YPN Launch Scholarships.
The winners of the initial YPN Launch Scholarships are Colin Frosch, a dual MBA and civil engineering graduate student from Fairmont, West Virginia, and Samantha Wood, a rising senior majoring in marketing from Morgantown, West Virginia.
Frosch, who received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, recently competed in the MBA Big 12 Case Competition as part of the WVU team that brought home third place. He also recently served his third term as president of the student organization Engineers Without Borders. Frosch is using the funds from the YPN Launch Scholarship on his study abroad trip to Germany with the MBA class earlier this month.
“I lived in Germany for four years when I was young, then again in high school for about a month with a German family, and I also studied abroad there during my undergraduate career,” Frosch said. “I’m interested now in learning more about the business side of it, potentially job opportunities in the future and things of that nature. I think living in Germany has definitely opened up my eyes to a lot of different things and I am so grateful for the Launch Scholarship to help me continue with my endeavors.”
In addition to her degree in marketing, Wood is also working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies. In addition to her course work, she is involved in the WVU Marketing Club (AMA Affiliated Chapter), the WVU PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) Chapter, and is a College of B&E Student Ambassador. Wood will use the scholarship funds to pay for housing during an internship this fall.
“My dream is to work with organizations to improve their social media presence and to better connect with their consumers,” she said. “I have accepted a social business internship with Southwest Airlines in Dallas, Texas. I’m so excited to be able to intern with such a prestigious brand. I’ll really be able to hone my social media marketing skills, and the YPN Launch Scholarship and the members of the network are really helping me make that happen.”
To become a member of YPN, alumni under age 45 are asked to make a minimum donation of $10 per month or become a lifetime member of the network by donating $1,200 or more.For more information on the B&E Young Professional Network, please visit http://business.wvu.edu/alumni/young-professional, or to register as member, please visit https://www.mountaineerconnection.com/YoungProfessionalNetwork.