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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Woodie Hillyard '12

Hometown: Media, Pennsylvania

Major: Business Administration

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • President of Interfraternity Council
  • Undergraduate Head Honor Advocate
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Phi Delta Theta Fraternity
  • Student Affairs Committee
  • Club Squash
  • Williams Investment Society
  • W&L Student Consulting

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Williams School Sophomore Internship Program in Houston
  • The Science of Cooking in Siena, Italy
  • Summer Analyst program and Deutsche Bank
  • The Economics of the Auto Industry in Detroit, Michigan

Post-Graduation Plans: Analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York

Favorite W&L Memory: Fancy Dress my Senior Year

Favorite Class: 19th Century European Art History

Favorite W&L Event: Parents Weekend

Favorite Campus Landmark: The Colonnade

Why did you choose your major?

I knew I wanted to major in the Williams School but was deciding between economics and business administration until my sophomore year. I found the business classes I had taken more interesting and liked how business was more exacting than economics, which I saw as more theoretical

What professor has inspired you?

There are two professors that have inspired me during my time at W&L. The first would be Professor Amanda Bower and her Marketing class. I had always been numbers guy before I took her class and it allowed me to unlock my creative side. The second is Professor David Touve and his iStartup class. Professor Touve really challenged all of the students in his class to think outside of the box. There was absolutely no spoon feeding done in that class, it really pushed us all to that next level intellectually.

Advice for prospective or first-year students?

Take advantage of everything W&L has to offer, whether that means getting involved in student government, joining a fraternity or sorority, joining a student organization, doing an Outing Club trip, attending a speaking event--the list can go on. There are so many great things I wish I had been part of during my four years at W&L, but I always convinced myself I didn't have time. Make time for yourself and really enjoy your W&L experience.

What do you wish you'd known before you came to campus?

I was lucky enough to have a sister who went to W&L so I had a pretty good idea of what W&L was before I came here. I wish I had a little more help mapping out what classes I would take over my four years. Make an effort to reach out to an upperclassmen who you admire and ask for their advice regarding the different majors and what classes to take.

I knew I wanted to go to Washington and Lee when I stepped onto its campus for the first time my sophomore year of high school. I was lucky enough to have an older sister who went to W&L. Thus I came to W&L with certain expectations, all of which have been exceeded over my four years. The rich local history, the small classes, the honor system and speaking tradition are all things that initially drew me to W&L, but the best part about being a student at W&L is that you alone define what your college experience will be.

Washington and Lee's small size and emphasis on student self-governance give students the ability get involved in all aspects of the school, whether that be through a governing body, varsity sports, or its numerous clubs. I was fortunate to be involved in two of the areas that make W&L so unique, the Greek System and the Honor System. I have served as the President of the Interfraternity Council and the Undergraduate Head Honor Advocate.

As a freshman, I knew I wanted to become a member of a fraternity but had no idea how much Greek life would enhance my W&L experience. Being a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity gave me the opportunity to meet some of my best friends and to become the President of the Interfraternity Council. W&L has one of the country's strongest Greek systems, with over 82% of the student body choosing to go Greek, but the best part about Greek life at W&L is how inclusive it is. The college experience is enhanced by Greek life because of its inclusive nature, with students in any fraternity or sorority having the option to attend any open Greek event.

Another defining part of my W&L experience has been my work as an Honor Advocate for the Executive Committee and later as the Undergraduate Head Honor Advocate. Helping students prepare for their honor trials and being in the EC room to support them through the trial gave me a unique view of the Honor System. Without the Honor System, W&L would be an entirely different place, and I was lucky to play an integral part in upholding the system.

Lastly, as a business major at W&L, I had the privilege of taking classes from some of the best professors at our school through the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. Business majors are able to gain exposure to many business-related areas including finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, management and economics. I have gained valuable experience as a member of both W&L Student Consulting and the Williams Investment Society. Additionally, the alumni network and job opportunities really set W&L apart from any other school. W&L alumni will go out of their way to help students find jobs and internships if students take the initiative to contact them. W&L alumni have been a great resource for me. I am grateful for all their help and hope to offer the same to younger alumni someday.

If I can leave you with one closing thought when considering "why W&L?" it would be this: If you want a college where you aren't just another student, you are someone who wants to make a difference and have an impact on those around you, than Washington and Lee University is the place for you.