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Chambers College Graduates: a Reason to Celebrate

Chambers College Graduates: a Reason to Celebrate

There is something special about December Commencement. 

The holiday season is in the air and everything our students have worked for comes down to this moment: graduation.

Chambers College 2021 December Commencement

What makes this graduation special is that it is the first in-person ceremony at West Virginia University’s Coliseum since the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, December 18, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics welcomed 246 business graduates into our alumni family. 

All graduates – 170 undergraduate students and 76 graduate students – came together with family and friends at 2:00 p.m. at the Coliseum to hear inspiring words from West Virginia University’s President E. Gordon Gee, as well as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed.

We often say that our Chambers College students are the future of work, and that has never been more true than it is today. 

“The jobs of tomorrow will favor those who are prepared to innovate and adapt on their feet,” said Josh Hall, Milan Puskar Dean of Chambers College. “Companies are rethinking how they work, and they will look to this generation to make an impact and shape a new course for all functional areas of business.”

Year after year, our students continue to inspire. They navigated their education with flexibility and tenacity, and are graduating and going right into their next chapter of life.

A first-generation student from Guatemala, Andre Toledo, is graduating with a degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a minor in Cybersecurity. 

Toledo is currently an IT Auditor for BPM LLP in San Francisco, California. 

"I started interning with them the summer of my junior year and I was made an offer to come onboard full time after I graduate. After graduation, I will be moving to California to be closer to my office and fulfill one of my lifelong dreams of living on the West Coast," he said. 

He may be moving to the west coast, but he will never forget his home among the hills and the experiences he had here at WVU. 

"West Virginia University has given me the most fulfilling college experience I could have ever hoped for," said Toledo. "I’ve had significant growth both personally and professionally over the years and I’m excited to apply the skills I’ve learned here into the real world as I continue to build my network both domestically and abroad." 

Gabriella Anile, a Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) graduate, is a WVU alumna twice over and will be working as a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Morgantown’s MVB Bank.

“Chambers College exposed me to opportunities I didn’t even know existed,” said Anile. “It’s difficult trying to navigate your career and goals, as no one knows exactly what they want to do until they get tangible experience in that field. The College and its faculty opened doors for me that I would have never had access to - not just with a master’s degree in a field that I wasn’t all that familiar with, but with Fortune 50 internships, a massive network, and job opportunities I could have never imagined.”

She believes you never truly know what you are capable of until you get out there and start taking risks. After all, the biggest risks reap the biggest rewards.

When it comes to her advice for other students, she wants them to know that everything has a way of working itself out.

“Everyone’s path is different and no one’s is better than another person’s path,” said Anile. “Stay true to yourself and choose jobs, classes, and situations that are right for you, and don’t let anyone make you feel like that’s invalid. I graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising and have now earned a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management. Life will lead in different directions and place you where you’re supposed to be, as long as you stay true to you. 

Other graduate students, like Douglas Hill, chose the online Master of Science in Business Cybersecurity Management program at Chambers College for the highly technical coursework, hands on exposure to penetration testing and machine learning, and certifications including AACSB accredited and National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity with designations in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) and Cyber Research (CAE-R).

After graduation, Hill will be advancing his career with Bell Flight and Textron by taking on additional enterprise and cybersecurity architect responsibilities.

“I will miss group projects involving team members from numerous academic disciplines and professional backgrounds,” he said. “If I could go back and tell my younger self something, it would be to take my time and fully enjoy the program.”

Dean Hall reminds graduates to never stop dreaming big.

“As you take on the world, remember the importance of taking care of yourselves and each other,” said Hall. “Be courageous enough to turn impossible to impossible, and humble enough to learn from your mistakes.”

From all of us here at Chambers College, we cannot wait to see how all of our business graduates change the world for the better.

Chambers College