2019 Best & Brightest: Bo Sampson, Christopher Newport (Luter)

Bo Sampson

Christopher Newport University, Luter School of Business

“I am a calm, curious, and creative individual with an honest, hopeful, and happy demeanor.”

Fun fact about yourself: When I was a child I was convinced there were only 4 or 5 squirrels that were just following me around everywhere in an attempt to deceive me into believing that there is a robust population of squirrels. I’ve grown out of this delusion but squirrels have made me paranoid ever since.

Hometown: Arlington, VA

High School: Washington-Lee High School

Major: Marketing

Minor: Communications Studies

Favorite Business Course: Digital Marketing

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Delta Upsilon (social fraternity): Leadership: Philanthropy chair, Vice president of community affairs

Alpha Chi (National Honor Society)

Beta Gamma Sigma (International Business Honor Society)

Lambda Pi Eta (National Communications Honor Society)

Order of Omega (Greek Honor Society): Leadership: Secretary

Where have you interned during your college career? Newport News Shipbuilding – Newport News, VA – Video Production Assistant

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

What company do you admire most? I think the company that I admire most is SpaceX. I find space to be super interesting. Unfortunately, I was not born before the space race in the 1960s and could not follow the exciting leaps in innovation being made. With SpaceX coming to prominence as it competes with government-sponsored programs and other privately owned ones, I am thrilled to be able to follow the advancements they are making in the industry.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is probably Dr. Lisa Spiller. I have found her classes not only teach me basic terminology and concepts but allow me to creatively employ them in real-world projects. The projects that I have done in her classes have been so of the greatest learning experiences in my time at CNU.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I enjoy the culture at the Luter Business School. All of the students and faculty are just so friendly; I never feel like I am alone when I am in the Luter building or at an event, even if I am not with anyone who I’ve already made acquaintance with. There is no feelings of competitiveness, which was something I was nervous about coming into college. At Luter, everyone just pushes each other to do their best. I would also say that the culture at Luter is very professional. People act with the same honesty and integrity that I would expect to find in a real work environment.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson that I have gained from studying business is that there is a fine balance between when you should trust your gut when making decisions and when you should go ‘by the numbers’ and only do what the data suggests as the best option. I have grown familiar with this tough-to-grasp lesson through difficult projects, as well as by observing the real successes and failures of businesses.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The advice I would give to a student is that the coursework is only a sliver of the education… The concepts you learn may appear fully understood from a textbook reading, but to really grasp all the aspects of business, you have to apply it to the real world. Whether that is following relevant business news, reading about past ventures, or doing it yourself, there is more to preparing for the business world than just the classes.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What surprised me most about majoring in business is how many unknown variables there will always be. A lot of information that is gathered is trusted as being accurate, but it can never be 100%. Models and predictions are built up with a margin of error that I did not know even existed before my time at the Luter School.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying… Information technology or computer science. Absolutely everything is ‘going digital,’ and I would consider pursuing a career in pioneering and streamlining this transformation.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I do not think there was anyone outside of myself that strongly influenced me to pursue business. As I was completing high school, I became well aware of my strengths: writing, analyzing numbers and seeing patterns, and understanding how people tend to think. After some reading, I saw business as the best path to go down in order to create value by employing a synthesis of all three.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I think one achievement that I am most proud of is my ability to get a 4.0 GPA last semester, which was the hardest semester I had in all of college. I was taking extremely work-intensive classes like the business capstone course, the first marketing capstone course, a business law course, as well as a marketing data analytics course. I had multiple projects that spanned the entire semester with a variety of different peer groups. While it did feel good to be able to get top marks on all of the projects and all of the classes at the end of the semester, what really made me proud was knowing that I had consistently done my best through some of the busiest months of my life. I am proud to look back on all that I had learned and how I had grown as a person in just one semester.

Which classmate do you most admire? I could not think of anyone peer that I admire most, but there are a few traits that all my peers share which I admire very much. I am always amazed to see how people’s learning processes are all different. Even though we are all reading the same textbook, and when given a question will all reach the same answer, the path that everyone takes is unique. I think that one of the best parts about being in the Luter school is that I can be in an environment where I can learn with others and see these paths.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I think I would most want to thank my father for my success. Throughout my life, he has been a role model for me and I think that it is because of his influence that I grew up to be a hard-working, dedicated individual.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I want to go into space. I don’t know how long it will take before that becomes a feasible option because I don’t want a career as an astronaut. I just want a chance to orbit the Earth a couple of times.

I want to see the Northern Lights. Pictures and videos don’t do them justice for me and I have a strong desire to go see them in person before I die or lose my vision in an unexpected accident.

What are your hobbies? I spend a lot of time drawing geometric line art. I also enjoy listening to new types of music.

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

“Bo possesses the true qualities of a lifelong learner.  He is patient, diligent, optimistic, and enthusiastic. In the classroom, he welcomes complexity and routinely spurs active learning opportunities with his peers with wit and an affable sense of humor. Bo has a bright future.  He is a leader, problem solver, and collaborator extraordinaire.”

Dr. Matt Hettche
Associate Professor of Marketing
Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing



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