2018 Best & Brightest: Evelyn Wang, University of Virginia (McIntire)

Evelyn Wang

University of Virginia (McIntire)

5-foot, 1-inch girl with an 11-foot personality.”

Fun Fact: I once had a near-death experience on a banana boat.

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

High School: Oakton High School


Commerce (concentrations in Marketing and IT; Business Analytics Track)

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Favorite Business Course: Database Analytics

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Minority Rights Coalition (MRC), chair
  • Community Honor Fund (CHF), president
  • UVA Student Council, McIntire School of Commerce representative
  • Cultural Programming Board (CPB), outreach chair
  • Virginia Model United Nations (VAMUN), deputy secretary for media and design
  • One Less at UVA, selections chair
  • Virginia International Crisis Simulation Conference undersecretary for external relations
  • UVA Smart Women Securities, star research analyst
  • The Haven Shelter, volunteer
  • University of Virginia Echols Scholar
  • Dean’s List

Where have you interned during your college career?

Pacific Architects & Engineers (PAE) – Arlington – Human Resources intern (2015)

Fannie Mae – Washington, D.C. – Multifamily Client Engagement intern (2016)

Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) – Arlington – marketing analyst intern (2017)

Where will you be working after graduation? Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) – Arlington – marketing analyst (2017)

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Kerrie Carfagno, who took the time to understand me and support me on a personal level beyond her responsibility as a professor. Professor Carfagno helped me see that I have a structure of support at McIntire when I doubted myself the most.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Talented faculty who challenged me to think broadly about the value of business beyond traditional conceptions of profit motive. Through McIntire, I have become passionate about the value of business as a potential force for good.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Although we can study theories and strategies for business, ultimately we must recognize that business is human and therefore irrational. In order to achieve success, we must learn to navigate the complex human relationships that are the center of every transaction.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Learn how to be an effective team player. Learn how to compromise and keep your focus on the big picture.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…International politics and gender studies, because I’m interested in the way supporting women and girls can transform local politics and economies.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by how applicable many of my courses were to everyday decision-making as a consumer. Lessons on negotiating theory in particular have helped me avoid unnecessary fees in more situation than one!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Although I had many role models who influenced my decision, Doug Chan (McIntire ’16) and Shreyas Hariharan (McIntire ’17) were particularly impactful. I met Doug and Shreyas as a first-year through the Community Honor Fund, a UVA-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving the Charlottesville community through microfinancing. Doug and Shreyas defied my typical stereotypes of a business student and taught me how to apply business concepts to projects for social good. Their dedication to serving the community and continued mentorship were important factors in my decision to major in Commerce.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Through the Minority Rights Coalition, an umbrella organization of nine minority organizations at UVA, I have worked to empower diverse minority communities to unify in intersectional advocacy. In a political climate that has resulted in increased fragmentation, fostering collaboration among people with great differences has become even more critical.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? I would renumber all the rooms to make them easy to find. I joke with my non-Commerce friends that the McIntire School is purposefully built like a maze to keep other majors out. Even as a Commerce major, I still get lost on my way to class!

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire Alicia Wang (McIntire ’18) for her endless positivity and commitment to the work she is passionate about. I worked with Alicia on two projects in McIntire and found her to not only be a stellar team member but also a good person. Outside of her rigorous course load, she has managed major projects such as the UVA Human Library and UVA Solar Car, with extraordinary success.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I’d want to thank my parents for teaching me the value of hard work over a reliance on pure intellect, and for giving me the tools to succeed. My parents were effective at striking a good balance of pushing me to be my best while not discouraging me when I was unsuccessful. As a result, I am able to strive for perfection but pull myself back up when I miss the mark.

What would your theme song be? “The Rainbow Connection” sung by Kermit in The Muppet Movie because I hope I never stop being a lover and dreamer.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. Walk the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in northern Spain
  2. Complete a Sudoku

Favorite book: Pachinko

Favorite movie: Ladybird

Favorite vacation spot: Paris

What are your hobbies? Reading autobiographies, visiting art museums, traveling, binge-watching Shonda Rhimes’ shows, painting, and writing short stories

What made Evelyn such an invaluable member of the Class of 2018?

“Evelyn’s contributions to UVA extend far beyond the classroom. Through serving as chair of the Minority Rights Coalition, Evelyn has created a legacy that will grow in magnitude on Grounds for years, if not decades, to come. What’s special about UVA is that we have students like Evelyn, who (through self-governance) help the University weather storms and become stronger through the process of healing from difficult times. Her leadership has touched thousands of students, and the administration is now collaborating with students more effectively because of the relationships Evelyn has established and built.”

Jeffrey Boichuk
Assistant Professor of Commerce



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