Stephanie Alexander ’98, MBA ’12

Stephanie Alexander ’98, MBA ’12 knows a good opportunity when she sees one. The Hampton Roads native utilized her time in the Executive MBA program to plan for the launch of her first business, BOOST, a back-office and corporate support service provider for government contractors. In 2015, Alexander co-founded the online technology scouting tool, govmates, that finds innovative new companies that can help solve the government's problems.

Now, Alexander is making use of her time on the MBA Advisory Board to ensure students and alumni of Virginia Tech MBA programs can make the same positive effect on their lives and careers.

Opportunity knocks

“I give Virginia Tech a ton of credit for helping me start my business,” she said. Alexander initially began working in the field of government contracting after being laid off from her nascent public relations job in 2002. After 10 years in the government contracting industry, the Pamplin College of Business alumna decided to further her career prospects by enrolling in the MBA program.

“I decided to start my own company when I was about halfway through the program,” Alexander added. “From that point forward, I used every opportunity in the program to plan for the launch of my first business. Every group project, every paper, every assignment was about my real-life career and helped set the stage for my success.”

When Alexander says she used every opportunity, she means it. From the business’s name, the website, and even her title, Alexander workshopped everything about her future business in those classes.

“It gave me good fundamentals and made the program real for me,” she said. “It wasn't just textbook stuff; this was about my livelihood and trying to do things right and start a good company.”

Champions of the MBA community

Alexander began serving on the MBA Advisory Board several years ago because she wanted to give back to the university that she says was foundational in her career.

“The education that I received furthered my career,” she said. “I feel a sense of responsibility and gratitude for that. The way that I can give back is by giving my time.”

The MBA Advisory Board represents Virginia Tech MBA students and alumni from all programs – evening, executive, full-time, online, and professional. The MBAAB partners with the MBA Program Office to host networking and social events and provide programming that promotes enhanced learning, recruitment, and job placement.

“I believe that we are champions of the entire MBA community,” Alexander said. “We serve as a resource to both the students and the alumni.”

Hokies helping Hokies

One of the most important resources provided by members of the MBA Advisory Board is that of conduit. Alexander serves as the committee lead for the MBA Advisory Board’s ambassador program, which works as an overall networking resource for students and alumni.

According to Alexander, the ambassador program helps to serve as a channel between the MBA Advisory Board, alumni, students, and those people who want to help.

“When you join the MBA program, you already know that Virginia Tech is a great school,” said Alexander. “You are getting an MBA to further your career and you want the networking opportunities that come with being at a great school. These opportunities are not just with your cohort but with the larger Virginia Tech alumni population.”

She continued, “We help to facilitate these connections.”

The MBA Advisory Board also works with current MBA students in a mentoring capacity to help ensure success for all who come through the MBA program.

“We want to be a resource for the students, we want to provide them with opportunities,” added Alexander. “We want to help them find jobs. We want to give them access to experts. Everyone who has joined the program has done so because they want to be better at business. No matter of your position – scientist, engineer, or CEO – being better at business can only make you a better professional.”

Looking to the future

It was recently announced that the Pamplin College of Business academic programs in Falls Church, Virginia, will be relocating to Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The state-of-the-art 300,000-square-foot, 11-story building, set to open in Fall 2024, will provide a cutting-edge environment for the graduate programs.

“Embracing the transition to the Innovation Campus is a testament to our commitment to advancing teaching, learning, and research in the digital age,” said Parviz Ghandforoush, associate dean for Pamplin graduate programs.

Starting with the Fall 2024 entering class, Pamplin D.C.-Area graduate programs will have the opportunity to thrive and excel in this dynamic hub of technological advancements and collaborative possibilities.