Students gathered at the German Club Manor on Saturday, January 28th to attend the 18th Annual Pamplin College of Business Student Leadership Conference. Hosted by the Pamplin Leadership Development Team with 11 corporate sponsors, the conference allowed undergraduate students to attend company-led seminars, participate in breakout sessions, and network with alumni and business representatives.

One of the factors that makes the Pamplin Leadership Conference unique is that it benefits both underclassmen and upperclassmen. Covering a variety of topics from general career advice to specific industry insights, all levels of Pamplin students were able to gain valuable professional and leadership skills that can be used in the classroom and in the working world.

Dean Sumichrast gave opening remarks welcoming the students and offering leadership advice. “It is important for students to seize leadership opportunities and this conference is a great way for students to take advantage of interacting with top employers.”

During the morning portion of the conference, students enjoyed breakfast as they listened to a presentation by Ernst & Young about personal branding, while KPMG later discussed professional development and Capital One provided insight into the internship process.

Keynote speaker Pete Smith gave a memorable address, urging students to get out of their comfort zone and pursue an identity-driven plan of action. Afterwards, students were able to attend additional breakout sessions led by corporate sponsors followed by a second seminar led by Dixon Hughes Goodman.
Sophomore Brianna Ehle, a Marketing and Management double major, was excited about the chance to have one-on-one interactions with corporate representatives and gain exposure to companies early in her undergraduate experience.

I’m excited about the chance to network with other Hokies and learn skills that will help me throughout my professional career.

For additional information about the Pamplin Leadership Conference, visit their website at or on Twitter at @Pamplin_LDT and #PamplinLeads.