Welcome to another student spotlight! We had the pleasure of speaking to Taylor Fitchett, who is a junior pursuing a dual degree in Consulting, Analytics, and Marketing. She is the Marketing Chair on Virginia Tech Honor's College Student Council, Student Advocate for the Deans Advisory Board of Students, and she is a part of the Consulting Group at VT. Follow along to learn more about her amazing involvement! #vtmktg #studentspotlight

Q1: What kind of hands-on experience have you gained on the consulting team?

My mama is a Sunday school Teacher and the Chief Financial Officer for an industrial pipefitting firm called James River Mechanical, my father is a business owner, my little brother is the captain of his baseball team and president of an environmental club, and they are all consultants. They’ve earned the title of consultant because they lend people a helping hand before anyone knows they need help. This past September I accepted an offer as a consulting intern in New York and due in part to my pursuit of a career in consulting, I sought to join the Consulting Group here on campus. The group is rewarding because I get to work alongside some of the most driven undergrads I have met in addition to working with a real client. This Spring has been my first time on a project and ironically I have been put on the marketing team because of my experiences in PR and as a Marketing major in Pamplin. I’ve had the privilege of talking with the CEO of an app called Dive because of the consulting group and am working to promote the app through various experiments. One of the most defining things I’ve been reminded of while on this project is the value of failure. Our client has a vision but wants us to try a variety of things even if they are predicted to fail. A common misperception people have is that failing is detrimental. With the Consulting group and every opportunity I have had at Tech, the reality is that a common theme in everything is failing, but ironically it’s all of my failures rather than my successes that led me to talking with you today.

Q2: What are your responsibilities as the marketing chair of the Honors College student council?

To start, it’s been exciting to start a new role with the Honors College. One of my biggest motivators at Tech has been Dean Paul Knox, Sara Vandyke, and Mary Helm’s vision for the Honors College and investment in the success of students here so I’m proud to play a role. I’m excited to be helping to plan our Honors Formal this year which will be a fun 70’s disco theme for everyone to come together and share a little community. I enjoy being on the marketing team, but the role I play is only to demonstrate that there is a voice for all marketing, Pamplin, and Tech students within the Honors College.

Q3: How do you go about representing and advocating for marketing students on a college-wide board?

I'm one of two Pamplin representatives on the honors college board student council. As of right now, I'm taking my senior capstone for the honors college, and I'm the only Pamplin student they see on a weekly basis, let alone the only marketing student. Being a marketing student in all these organizations which don't necessarily have marketing students is how I represent; putting myself in those situations where they don't necessarily see marketing students every day. Every marketing student and Hokie, in general, is unique, but I play a role within my community and carry myself in a way that hopefully portrays a positive image of who a marketing student from Virginia Tech is.

Q4: What has been your favorite part of being a VT marketing student thus far?

My professors know I'm a marketing major and a consulting and analytics major, sure I’m from a little town called Smithfield, and yes I need a job after college. But, they see me as a person. I admire many of the Pamplin faculty for putting what they know or may not know about a person aside and in my experience simply listening to what they have to say and approaching a given situation from there. In doing so, they simultaneously keep the success of their students in mind. A couple of perfect examples of this are the dean of the Honors College, Dean Paul Knox, who recognizes me as a marketing student but sees me as a professional and respects my opinion, or Dr.David Williamson who is a consultant which is the career field I’m venturing into, but somehow we lost track of time talking about the role being a Master Naturalist has played in his life as a professional. Moments like when I've presented different projects and ideas, or just heard and listened about their (My professor’s) day have been one of the most refreshing experiences with Pamplin in general.

Q5: What does the future look like for you?

In regard to the marketing department, I want to be one of those alumni that come back and talk to students and are invested in current students. There’s nothing more riveting than listening to people’s passions and goals which I find exhilarating, especially with my current peers. Some of the most inspiring people have been those I met in my hall in Pritchard, in Owen's Chick Fil A, or even in the classroom. I am excited to visit Virginia Tech as an alumni that wants to invest in the livelihood of students that are in the position I once was in. Regarding my professional career I am interning with Deloitte in New York this summer which will be a learning curve, but ultimately I am in pursuit of a life that gives back to my community wherever that may be (hopefully near a beach). It's a fast-paced environment. I have a lot of dreams and aspirations. I always joke that in a few years, my biggest dream is to own an art gallery. That seemingly has nothing to do with my career or my major, but I think it has everything to do with it. The relationships that I've made in the marketing major have been something that I've learned from and will credit towards when I open that art gallery of mine. People have conversations about the big picture and “where you see yourself in 10 years,” but they're all filled with these little moments that make up the big picture. So when I step back, that's all I see: the excitement I felt when my baby brother told me he decided to come to Tech, a laugh with Dr. Williamson, my curiosity regarding the research done on campus, a trip with my best friends to the Blacksburg quarry, or just the thrill and uncertainty of the failures it takes to turn dreams into a reality. Things like that are what make me a marketing major.