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Student Ambassadors

  • Jasti Annapoorna

    What does Innovation mean to you?

    • Innovation for me means sustainability. I would consider a product innovative or new if the product advances mankind without harming the environment and making co-existence of humans and nature a practice in everyday life.
    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?
    • Be actively involved on campus and start making connections as early as possible and take advantage of the events organized by the Business College.
    Why WVU? Why the Chambers College?
    • I chose the college initially because I really loved the campus. But, as I came into the college I really liked how much effort the Business college faculty makes to ensure that their students have access to all the resources that make them ready for the world after graduation.
  • portrait of Casey Bilski

    Casey Bilski

    Junior Global Supply Chain Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship from Jefferson Hills, PA

    Clubs: WVU CEO Club and WVU Maniacs

    My favorite place on campus is the top floor of the crossing on the porch. On a nice day it’s the best places to eat, study, or just relax.

    For incoming students, the best advice I have is to make sure you have control of your time. Time management is extremely important while being a college student. There are many distractions while being in college, make sure school comes first and you will do great!

    Hobbies include: Watching WVU and Pittsburgh sports, Playing Hockey, Skiing, Fishing, Hanging with friends and family

    Some of my favorites:

    • Food: Steak

    • TV Show: The Office

    • Favorite Animal: Frog

    • Color: Royal Blue

    My favorite thing about WVU and the Chambers College is all the opportunities and resources that we have available to us as students. Within the John Chambers College of Business and Economics there are many clubs and student organizations that will help build your resume and earn lifelong skills and experiences. Also, within the college there are many job and career fairs, professional dinners and conferences that will better both you and your resume!

  • Lillian Bischof

    Lillian Bischof

    What impact do you hope to have at WVU in the future?

    • As a cofounder of Women in Business, I feel that it is important to have a community dedicated to preparing women for success in the workplace, especially in male-dominated fields of study. After I graduate, I hope that the organization continues to grow and develop within the Chambers College to provide a welcoming community to empower women.
    What do you wish you had help with in the beginning of your college career?
    • For me, the most stressful part of freshman year was planning my four-year course plan.I had so many interests that I wanted to pursue in my coursework, and I was already a double-major. On top of that, I wanted to have all of my courses planned out so that I could prepare for my four years at WVU. From that experience, I learned that it isimportant to find mentors in your major in addition to advisors and professors who can work with you to tailor your curriculum and extracurriculars at WVU to your passions.

  • Hunter Bodnar

    Hunter Bodnar

    Sophmore studying Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I am from Latrobe, Pennsylvania

    What was your first entrepreneurial endeavor, invention, business idea?
    • My first business idea was called the Tee Caddie. It was a multi purpose golf tool that helped push a tee into the ground, had a ball marker, divot fixer, and bottle opener. I actually got to go to Tampa, Florida for free through the school to pitch my idea in a national competition.
    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?
    • Be true to yourself and do what makes you happy. It really doesn’t matter if someone else thinks you're weird or doesn’t like you because it's your life not theirs.
    What would your graduation speech be about or TED Talk?
    • My TED Talk would be about living your life to the fullest and doing what truly makes you happy because no one is guaranteed any amount of time in their life.

  • Colton Canfield

    What impact do you hope to have at WVU in the future?

    • I hope to leave WVU better than I found it. I want to help my other students achieve the goals they want. I think a good way of doing this is through the Ambassador program, where I can help new students transition into their new life.
    Was business always a path you thought you’d take? Why? If not, tell us the story of what you imagined majoring in at college and how you ended up at Chambers College.
    • I was very unsure about what to major in before I went to college. I played around with a few ideas but ultimately decided on business. While looking at majors at WVU, business had some very interesting classes where you can learn some useful life skills. It also seemed to harbor an excellent community with people that are passionate about what they do.
    Why WVU? Why the Chambers College?
    • The main reason I choose WVU is because of the community here. Most people are so friendly and kind, and you can meet some of the best friends you’ll ever have. One of my favorite aspects of the school is the sports, and the passion that students of WVU have towards their sports teams really drew me in. I choose the Chambers College in particular because of the opportunities and experience the college will provide. Another good plus is that we are getting a brand-new building in 2022, Reynolds Hall.

  • Deanna Crumm

    What impact do you hope to have at WVU in the future?

    • As many alum have given their time to speak with the WVU Women in Business student organization for panels and workshops, I aspire to do the same in the future. While a conversation does not seem like much, hearing from others who were in my shoes is uplifting. My network and confidence has grown, so I hope to positively impact the future leaders while they are students at WVU by giving back my time to speak at events put on within the mountaineer community.
    What would your graduation speech be about or TED Talk? 
    • In line with my dreams, I would speak about embracing the unknown. Mountaineers go first, so my speech or TED talk would convey a message of inspiration and importance to any audience. My dream started with traveling the country--which is still on my bucket list to visit all 50 states--but I limited myself with that dream. There is an entire world for me to explore with new people and places, so I urge others to take a look at their dream and make it bigger. 
    What is something you’ve failed or found difficult and overcame? What helped?
    • I am currently completing my minor in business data analytics offered within the Chambers College. These minor related courses have pushed me outside of my comfort zone to learn and grow as a student, individual, and professional. To keep up and excel with the challenging coursework, I attended more office hours, communicated more often with my professors, and studied outside of class more than I have for any other classes because I want to understand the material in order to apply it in the future.
  • Isabella Fagnelli

    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?

    • I wish someone told me that balance is the key to having a successful college career and while school should be one of your biggest priorities you should also work some time into your day to focus on yourself and mental health. I also wish someone told me that it’s not weird to go out and try new things. The school has too much to offer to not get out of your comfort zone and try something new every once and a while!
    Was business always a path you thought you’d take? Why? If not, tell us the story of what you imagined majoring in at college and how you ended up at Chambers College.
    • All throughout highschool I really wanted to major in biology and go to med school in hopes of becoming an anesthesiologist. It wasn’t until my senior year that I took an economics class and because of how much I loved that class (and my crippling fear of needles) that I decided to apply to the Chambers College as a general business major. Once I started taking classes within the Chambers College I found myself very interested in all of my classes and decided to become a marketing major with an economics minor. The classes the Chambers College offer are extremely interesting and helpful and I’m so happy I decided to join it!
    What has been your favorite class, class project and experience learning outside the classroom?
    • My favorite class has been my ECON 201 class! I thought the material was so interesting and it was taught in a way that made it easy to understand while still being challenging. My favorite experience learning outside the classroom was living in the business LLC. Living in the LLC taught me how to network and build friendships that feel more like family, and it also connected me with people who are majoring in all of the different aspects of business. It also showed me that it’s ok to put yourself out there and ask people for help when you need it!
  • Amaya Gray

    What impact do you hope to have at WVU in the future?

    • I hope that I can impact the future of WVU with the Students of Color in Business organization. I founded this org because I want to create a comfortable environment for students of color within the business school. I’m hoping it will continue to grow after I graduate.
    What do you predict the business landscape will look like in 10 years?
    • I think we’re headed toward a virtual environment when it comes to business. Because of the pandemic, I think it will approach much faster than it would have if the pandemic never happened.
  • portrait of Benjamin Harman

    Benjamin Harman

    Junior – Accounting / Management Information Systems – Weston, West Virginia

    What has been your favorite class, class project and experience learning outside the classroom?
    • My favorite classroom experience within Chambers would be ACCT 201 with Presha Neidermeyer. I really enjoyed the way she encouraged us to conceptualize the material and her overall teaching style. I have too many supply chain projects that I have enjoyed to pick just one but a notable project would be writing a program in Python to help with warehouse location planning. One of my favorite outside-of-the-classroom experiences would be going on a group trip with the Supply Chain Management Association to the Toyota engine manufacturing plant in Buffalo, WV.
    What are you looking forward to most in Reynolds Hall? One word you think of when you think of Reynolds Hall?
    • I’m certainly looking forward to the proposed supply chain labs in Reynolds. It makes me want to continue to my Masters’ just to experience the building.

  • Emma LaBombard

    What are you looking forward to most in Reynolds Hall? One word you think of when you think of Reynolds Hall?

    • I am excited to be able to utilize the Bloomberg Terminal and conference rooms in Reynolds Hall. The word that comes to mind when I think of Reynolds Hall is home because I know once the building is open, I will be spending a lot of my time there learning, collaborating, and building connections.

    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?

    • As a freshman, I wish the advice I heard was how to build better study habits. Some classes are hard to study for, but in those classes I began observing my peers’ behaviors. I used Quizlet and created my own study guides to improve my study skills. Take advice from professors and students. Work on applying the advice in your daily life and when you do that, you will see growth and success.

    What do you predict the business landscape will look like in 10 years?

    • The business world will push to continuously find ways to connect employees from all around the world rather than flying them into the same meeting room. COVID-19 has shown us how helpful working in a hybrid or virtual environment can be. In 10 years, meetings will start moving from zooming people in via laptop to zooming them in via hologram, like Star Wars. I look forward to seeing how different jobs evolve. Many positions are becoming automated now. Those old positions taken over by AI need to evolve to continue to push business growth and provide more job opportunities. I am most excited to see what kind of technology will be openly available for employee and customer use.

  • Alexsa Ruiz

    Major: Management Information Systems; Minor: Data Analytics; Hometown: Weehawken, New Jersey

    If you could change the world with your degree what would it be?

    • I would try to start more programs for young women who want to be a part of male-dominated majors.
    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?
    • I wish I had learned to not be afraid to get more involved and apply to more programs within the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. I was hesitant because I did not know if I was qualified enough when I should have just gotten more involved my freshman year.
    What do you predict the business landscape will look like in 10 years?
    • Artificial intelligence will become more well known. This is exciting because although it might seem like AI can take away jobs, it actually can enhance businesses. For example, using an AI system to decide what music to play based on interests of the guests in attendance to lead to a better customer experience.
  • stump

    Rachel Stump

    Sophomore, Hospitality and Tourism Management and Marketing

    What is something you’ve failed or found difficult and overcame? What helped?

    • In high school, I was always the kid that got A’s, took AP and Dual Credit classes but having to actually study for classes and do legitimate homework was a little of a shock. Midterms my first semester served as a bit of a wakeup call- the call from my parents after getting my grades didn’t hurt either. At that point in the semester, I had a C in both accounting and calculus, and a B in microeconomics. The thing that helped me get my grades up and end the semester well was something people had been telling me to do since the beginning of the year- office hours. I started going to my professor’s office hours, even for the classes I wasn’t struggling in, and all my grades started to improve. For accounting and microeconomics, I also attended office hours and review sessions from the Neidermeyer Scholars. There is so much help available to students,take advantage of it!
    Why WVU? Why the Chambers College?
    • I come from a line of Mountaineers and at first, I fought the family tradition of being one myself. I toured a few colleges, including ones as far away as Georgia, but none felt more like home than WVU. I stepped foot in  Woodburn Circle and I had a feeling that is  a little hard to describe but I just knew that WVU was the place I would call my home away from home for 4 (maybe more than 4 for grad school) years. As for the Chambers College, my dad was a marketing major and I had always known I wanted to be a business major so when I heard and read about all the amazing opportunities it has to offer, my choice was set.
    What are you looking forward to most in Reynolds Hall? One word you think of when you think of Reynolds Hall?
    • It’s so hard to choose! Aside from all the new tech that is going to be in the building, I am most looking forward to all of the collaborative learning spaces built into the building. The library is great but sometimes during group projects, having more space than one of the study rooms would be very helpful. I am also excited about the new gym in Reynolds Hall.

  • Tim Shaw

    Was business always a path you thought you’d take? Why? If not, tell us the story of what you imagined majoring in at college and how you ended up at Chambers College.

    • Business was not always a path I thought I’d take. I came to WVU majoring in Sports and Adventure Media thanks to my involvement with broadcast journalism in high school combined with my love for sports. I eventually found my home within the business school after many conversations with Dr. Cook! She has been an outstanding influence for me and I couldn’t be more grateful to be enrolled in the Marketing program!
    What is something you’ve failed or found difficult and overcame? What helped?
    • One thing I found difficult upon arriving at WVU was creating new friendships. Coming from New York, I didn’t know many people locally. One thing that helped me was WVU’s targeted effort to get freshmen involved. There were so many opportunities and events at the beginning of my freshman year, and I was able to meet a lot of my close friends to this day!
    What impact do you hope to have at WVU in the future?
    • I hope to create a long-lasting impact at West Virginia University. I’d like to achieve this through the student organizations I’m involved with as well as the relationships I’m able to create with the amazing staff at WVU!

  • Alex Smigel

    What would your graduation speech be about or TED Talk?

    • My graduation speech would be about how overcoming your obstacles will only make you stronger. While this is very conry and some may say boring, it is a very important lesson to learn. Using personal experiences and examples of times that I know my class has go through will help show what we have already accomplished.
    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?
    • Stay organized! College courses are completely different from high school for many reasons. Keeping a calendar or agenda planner of assignments will help immensely.
  • Keegan Sahlin

    What is something you’ve failed or found difficult and overcame? What helped?

    • My personal struggles came with scheduling and self-discipline. I have always been spontaneous and a busy body. Quickly, I found myself in 5 clubs, multiple positions, up to my neck in to-do’s. Inevitably, I began to miss things and fall behind in my responsibilities. Learning to plan your days, make personal notes on your phone, and set alarms and calendar reminders becomes a must. My at home white board is my best friend. If you’d liketo know how to cram most people’s 3 day schedule into one day I have a few tricks!
  • Hunter Tankersley

    What advice do you wish you had heard as a Freshman?

    • “Knowing what I do now, I would have appreciated it if someone had reassured me that it is alright to not know exactly what lies ahead. I’ve found part of the college experience is learning what you want from life and what you don’t - not everything has to be decided from day one. Be honest with yourself, be open-minded, and be willing to challenge yourself.”
    What impact do you hope to have at WVU in the future?
    • “I hope to show those around me, and my future self, that college can be a place where we grow in more areas than just academia. Sometime after I’ve turned the next page, when people reflect on my time here, I’m desperate to know I've Proven they can: love others in a world that can be hateful, find and keep life-long purpose, and gain invaluable life experiences which enhance our moral standing, all the while studying hard and working to support their education.”
    What do you predict the business landscape will look like in 10 years?
    • In ten years, I expect the business world to be full of creatives. Those who can think critically and solve complex problems will be in the spotlight, and artificial intelligence will bring their ideas to life. The monotony of crunching numbers and completing routine tasks will have already begun fading away, and what remains of all the business professionals will be some of the brightest, most intelligent minds in business, ever.”
  • Elise Weber

    Elise Weber

    What makes you feel confident for the workday (Morning Routine)?

    • I get up every day and have breakfast which starts the day off right for me. I also list out in my organizer what tasks I need to accomplish that day/week/month, along with continually marking off tasks as I finish them.
    What is something you’ve failed or found difficult and overcame? What helped?
    • I wasn’t the best at interviewing. Two things helped me overcome this challenge. The first being the Center for Career Development in the Chambers College where I practiced mock interviews with them, and the other was getting real world experience by interviewing for positions I wanted, just as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect”.
    What has been your favorite class, class project and experience learning outside the classroom?
    • My favorite class was 491A Professional Development. My favorite project was from this class where I participated in Model UN. I represented Honduras on the United Nations Environmental Assembly where we worked to create applicable solutions to large amount of plastic pollutants in our waters. One of my favorite experiences learning outside of the classroom was in my business ethics class. During class, we walked over to the Tunnel of Awareness at the Lair that WVU students put together every year. The Tunnel of Awareness is an interactive social justice experience which spreads awareness about topics that impact the WVU community, our country, and our world. It was a great experience and had a huge impact on me.