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The Richmond MBA News & Notes

May 2018

MBA Community:


Although campus is quieter during the daytime now that the undergraduates have left for home or internships, the evenings are still buzzing with activity as summer MBA classes continue, featuring a host of new electives, including “Data Visualization,” the first course in a new track in business analytics.  As we start the summer term, we take this opportunity to reflect on the past year and some of the recent successes of The Richmond MBA. This month’s MBA News & Notes features a local alumnus whose organization is making a national impact, highlights the 10th annual MBA Alumni Society golf tournament, and recaps an exciting and productive year for The Richmond MBA. 

Ryann Lofchie is CEO of The Frontier Project, a consulting and training company headquartered in RVA that has garnered state and national headlines multiple times, including the list of Virginia’s Fastest Growing Companies and the Fortune 5000. Read about her journey in a profile featured below.

The tenth annual MBA Alumni Society golf tournament at the Country Club of Virginia started with 84 golfers on a beautiful day and concluded with a thunderous afternoon downpour that drove participants into the clubhouse for an early reception and awards ceremony featuring the Hoggard Jazz Band to wrap up the fun!  

The past year included more competitive recognition for our students, new professional development and networking events, a record MBA Mentorship program, and 21 degrees conferred! I encourage you to read all about it in our Year in Review.

As the summer continues, we’ll be busy preparing for Opening Residency in August, and engaging with local leaders, students and alumni exploring opportunities to continually improve the program.  Look for updates on both of these activities in the September issue of News & Notes.  On behalf of the MBA staff, Alumni Society, Student Leadership Council, and Spider MBAs around the world, I wish you a summer to remember! 

Randy Raggio
Associate Dean
Robins School of Business

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Career Corner with Tom Kemp, Executive in Residence

'Tis the season for commencement speeches and last Sunday the Washington Post published snippets from a few that targeted advice related to careers.  From Oprah Winfrey to Amy Wambach, there are some powerful messages about the intersection of work and life. Hope you enjoy! 

Oprah Winfrey, chair and CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism at the University of Southern California

Winfrey, whose past speeches have drawn speculation that she might be planning a run for president — a rumor she has squashed — got plenty of attention for her calls for graduates to vote in her speech at USC on May 11. But after offering a litany of practical wisdom (“Eat a good breakfast,” she said. “Pay your bills on time. Recycle.") she also added some clear advice for graduates' time in the workplace.

“The number one lesson I can offer you where your work is concerned,” said the media titan, “is this: Become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do, that your talent cannot be dismissed.”

She also countered the typical “do what you love” advice that fill so many graduation speeches with something else. “You need to know this: Your job is not always going to fulfill you,” she said. “There will be some days that you just might be bored. Other days you may not feel like going to work at all. Go anyway, and remember that your job is not who you are. It’s just what you are doing on the way to who you will become. With every remedial chore, every boss who takes credit for your ideas — that is going to happen — look for the lessons, because the lessons are always there.”

Abby Wambach, retired professional soccer player

The former professional women's soccer star spoke at Barnard College's commencement May 18, describing rules she's used to lead her team. Be energized by failure, support people from the sidelines and champion the power of the team, she said. But even people who play on a team, Wambach said, need to know when to “demand the ball,” stepping up when the time calls for leaders to take over. 

Wambach recalled the story of playing with Michelle Akers, a women's soccer star from the 1990s, when she was just 18, and the team found itself down three goals. After a game of coaching and leading her younger teammates, Wambach said, Akers demanded that she get the ball.

As she put it: “At this moment in history, leadership is calling us to say: 'Give me the effing ball. Give me the effing job. Give me the same pay the guy next to me gets. Give me the promotion. Give me the microphone. Give me the Oval Office.' "

There are times, Wambach was saying, that leaders — particularly female leaders, who are often coached to stay in line and be grateful for the opportunities they receive — should take charge rather than playing a supporting role.

Click here read the full article from The Washington Post.

Tom Kemp is the MBA Executive in Residence.  He is available to work with you on your career aspirations and journey.  To contact Tom, visit him in the Robins School of Business, in office #122. His office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-6 p.m. You can also reach him by email at

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