I have worked at Virginia Tech nearly 50 years. Throughout, I have observed a consistent common denominator among our alumni - an appreciation for a fundamental business education.

There are valuable disciplines and skills found in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College which include accounting, finance, marketing, management, business information technology, hospitality and tourism, plus centers for entrepreneurship and business intelligence and analytics. A new multidisciplinary real estate degree is anchored in Business.

Many students choose a business major. Others choose a variety of disciplines, yet most professions engage business skills, business transactions and business technology. Moreover, relationship building through marketing, management and other majors strengthens nearly every career path.

Time magazine reported recently that 100 CEOs representing the largest corporations came together to discuss “the ‘big bets’ on the future being made by their companies.” All agreed that data has become their most powerful asset, yet all are critically challenged by turning data into intelligence. Virginia Tech is uniquely poised to address these challenges. Business joins with engineering and science to strengthen the intellectual capital and assets of these companies and others.

How students integrate their learned skills with their natural talent helps them strengthen personal business acumen. They become better practitioners, better advocates, sellers and negotiators, better visionaries, better managers and leaders and better interpreters of data.

Business education is evolving in order to prepare the future work force. More creative strategies are engaging students through practical experiences in internships, externships, shadowing and capstone project problem solving.

Pamplin is nurturing students’ instincts and challenging them to advance solutions to problems. Students from all disciplines have the opportunity to come together in a planned complex of campus buildings designed around creative teaching strategies that combine traditional academic classroom spaces and non-traditional learning spaces. Additionally, some students will have the opportunity to live in residence halls within the new complex, including themes and spaces devoted to interests in analytics, entrepreneurship and international business.

Virginia Tech and its College of Business embrace a plan to increase the pipeline of qualified graduates to meet these specific skill demands both nationally and globally. Virginia Tech offers a solution through business.


Published in the Roanoke Times on August 26, 2018.