2019 Best & Brightest: Alana Coleman, College of William & Mary (Mason)

Alana Coleman

Raymond A. Mason School of Business, College of William & Mary

“An easy-going and curious Jersey girl who is more competitive than she’d like to admit.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am exceptionally skilled at whistling

Hometown: Jackson, NJ

High School: Jackson Memorial High School

Major: Business Analytics Data Science with a concentration in Marketing

Minor: Mathematics

Favorite Business Course: Advertising & Digital Marketing

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Alpha Kappa Psi

– Membership Committee (2016)

– Fundraising Chair (2017)

  • Delta Gamma

-Vice President of Programming (2017)

  • Peer Educator with the Center for Student Diversity (2016-2019)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society (member)
  • Orientation Aide (2018)
  • Dean’s List
  • Delta Gamma Lamp of Knowledge recipient
  • Volunteer at Brookdale Senior Living in Williamsburg, VA

Where have you interned during your college career?

Lendlease – New York, NY – Finance and Accounting Intern

Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance – Williamsburg, VA – Undergraduate Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? VidMob in NYC as a Data Analyst

What company do you admire most? I have a great deal of respect for Patagonia. Their commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices is admirable, especially considering the current climate crisis.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Dawn Edmiston, my professor of Advertising & Digital Marketing, is the best teacher I’ve learned from in my academic career. She has an infectious positive energy and makes the utmost effort to know and relate to her students. She is a lifelong learner and constantly looks to improve her courses to better serve and engage her students.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The faculty and staff at Mason are unmatched. From the moment I started here, I have felt like my voice mattered. My professors have always made the effort to turn the classroom into a non-intimidating setting where you can learn without fear of making mistakes.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Supplement your business major with as many arts or sciences classes as you can! The perspective gained through taking classes for my math minor and in other fields of interest has helped me gain a more holistic view of business problems. It is so important to realize that the business world is not at the center of the universe and that having knowledge in as many domains as possible will make you a better, more empathetic business-person.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? There are so many different career paths that you can take with a business major. Before starting business school, I didn’t realize how transferrable the skills I would learn would be.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Natural science/pre-vet track! I absolutely love animals always say that in another life I would want to be a veterinarian.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My decision to pursue business was one I came to mostly on my own. I originally intended to major in Mathematics when I came to William & Mary, but by the end of my freshman year, I knew it was not right for me. After doing some soul-searching and learning about the Business Analytics Data Science major, I knew that it was the perfect way to utilize my aptitude for quantitative reasoning and develop the soft skills to complement it.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? In the Spring of 2018, I completed an exchange semester at the Vienna University of Economics & Business and knew no one when I arrived there. I’m most proud of how independent I became while I lived there and how I was able to adapt to my courses and make a core group of lifelong friends from all over. I left the experience feeling more confident than ever in my knowledge of business and interpersonal skills.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate, Teddy Tanous. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met and embodies the collaborative spirit of Mason. He is constantly working hard but never fails to remember the importance of forming meaningful bonds with your peers.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank Rita Murphy, the Associate Director of the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance. Rita believed in me as a sophomore and took me on as an intern at the Boehly Center when I was still very new to studying business. Since then she has become a friend and constant support through my time at Mason. Her work ethic has inspired me to push myself out of my comfort zone in school. My experience at the business school would not have been the same without her.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? To meet Julian Casablancas and to eat at Sukiyabashi Jiro

What are your hobbies? Snowboarding, singing karaoke, traveling with friends, attending music festivals, petting every dog I come across!

What made Alana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“William & Mary has always attracted bright, inquisitive students who seek to make a difference in our world, and Alana Coleman is a perfect example of this combination of intelligence and passion.  She designed a rigorous program of study to develop her diverse interests by combining a major in Business Analytics with Data Science with a concentration in Marketing and earning a minor in mathematics as well. In each of these areas, she has performed at the highest level, earning selection to Beta Gamma Sigma as one of the top students in her class. She has flourished in a number of roles on campus, from Peer Educator for the Center for Student Diversity, to Orientation Aide, to the officer in her Greek organization. Her semester abroad in Vienna, Austria helped her refine her interest in marketing and develop the vision to see things from the global perspective needed to thrive in today’s business world. Alana has demonstrated her creativity, analytic ability, and skills as a web designer throughout her internship with the Boehly Center, and is sure to be a great addition to VidMob when she joins them as a Data Analyst following graduation. In all she does, she truly embodies the ideals of “One Tribe, One Family”, which is why she is an invaluable addition to the class of 2019.”

Rita H. Murphy
Associate Director, Academic Engagement
Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance

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