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The Richmond MBA News & Notes

November 2017

MBA Community:


Thank you so much for following along in The Richmond MBA News and Notes. This month, we are featuring many aspects of our MBA program: unique teaching opportunities, the benefits of the MBA Capstone Project, and the success of one of our alumni.

I am thrilled to announce that Rick DeJarnette, management consultant at CapTech and owner of CapRock Venture Guides, will be joining our faculty in the spring of 2018, giving our students the chance to get out of their comfort zone to learn problem solving, team work, and leadership.

One of our recent graduates, George Handler, GB’17, completed his Capstone Project with Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Va. In the feature story below, learn about how his unique perspective as a senior staff engineer helped him create a future business plan for the organization, as well as land a new job shortly after graduation!

Finally, if you’re a fan of home renovation, you need to meet Jordan Hutchins, GB’12. He and his wife have garnered national attention for their incredible designs and home renovations in the Richmond area. He shared his story of starting his own business, and how The Richmond MBA helped him launch his career.

We also want to thank everyone for coming to our MBA Alumni Tailgate this month! We had a great time catching up with everyone and cheering on the Richmond Spiders from the end zone! 

Randy Raggio

Associate Dean
Robins School of Business

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The Richmond MBA

Princeton Review Rankings

Our program made the list of best business schools 2018! Read the full ranking information here

Top 40 under 40

Andreas Addison, GB'12, Richmond city councilman and owner of Civic Innovator made the list of the top 40 people under 40 in Richmond by Style Weekly. Read the feature here.

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Career Corner with Tom Kemp, Executive in Residence

On occasion, I come across an article that captures my attention, not only because I am interested in the topic, but also because it accurately describes what I believe or how I feel.  Last week, one such article from Travis Bradbury came into my daily LinkedIn feed and I want to share it with you.

The article presents Bradbury’s thoughts on the behavioral characteristics and habits of successful people and effective leaders.  In short, he points out that successful people are more likely to demonstrate opposite characteristics simultaneously. For example, successful people are polite, but they are not afraid to rock the boat.

Our work lives seldom play out in such black and white terms.  More often, we deal with varying shades of gray that require us to step outside of our comfort zone, or what I call our “default behavior mode”, in order to adapt and see the broader picture.  As Bradbury points out in his article, the characteristics of successful people often seem paradoxical to those who rely on their default mode of behavior and resist change.

Enter self-awareness.  The first step in any behavioral shift or change process is our ability to be self-aware.  Do we recognize our weaknesses, blind spots, or biases? Can we adapt to with a diverse group of co-workers and stakeholders? 

As you progress along your career path, you will be challenged to navigate unfamiliar situations in order to maximize success.  As you read Bradbury’s article, think about your behavior, how others experience you, and your ability to adjust in order to succeed.

Tom Kemp is the MBA Executive in Residence, and 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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