2020 Best & Brightest: Hanna Lankler, University of Richmond (Robins)

Hanna Lankler

University of Richmond, Robins School of Business

“I would like to thank my planner, my felt-tip pens, and too much espresso.”

Fun fact about yourself: I went skydiving after being voted by my high school friends as the least likely to ever go skydiving.

Hometown: Larchmont, NY

High School: Mamaroneck High School

Major: Business Administration, Marketing Concentration

Minor: Leadership Studies

Favorite Business Course: Marketing and Media Disruption

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

President, Robins School of Business Student Government Association (May 2019 – Present)

  • Serve as the senior, elected representative of the collective study body for the Robins School of Business (RSB).
  • Act as the designated liaison to the RSB Deans and high-level administration.
  • Organize events to elevate student experience and promote inclusivity within the business school.
  • Represent the interests of the RSB student body as a member of the Presidents’ Council, RSB Student Advisory Council, and RSB Executive Advisory Council.

Volunteer Mentor, Youth Life Foundation of Richmond Delmont Center (September 2016 – Present)

  • Tutor and mentor elementary school students weekly in an underprivileged community.

Service and Philanthropy Director, Kappa Alpha Theta, Epsilon Psi (August 2017 – January 2018)

  • Worked with local organizations to schedule and coordinate service opportunities for sorority women.
  • Organized an on-campus philanthropy event; managed volunteer committees and vendors.

Recruitment Media Head, Kappa Alpha Theta, Epsilon Psi Chapter (September 2018 – January 2019)

  • Assisted with all tech, video, and other media efforts for the 2019 Recruitment Cycle.

President, Spoon University: University of Richmond Chapter (August 2018 – August 2019)

  • Lead the organization during one year term, including directing meetings and events.

Marketing and Public Relations Director, Treasurer, Spoon University: University of Richmond Chapter (August 2018 – August 2019)

  • Organized campus events in collaboration with local businesses.
  • Oversaw all brand promotion efforts.

Treasurer, Spoon University: University of Richmond Chapter (August 2018 – August 2019)

  • Managed all chapter finances.


  • Alfred E. Lyon Marketing Scholarship: Awarded to the highest performing students in the marketing concentration at the Robins School of Business.
  • Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society: Membership awarded in recognition of standing within the top 10% of the class in the Robins School of Business.
  • Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success: Membership awarded based on academic standing and leadership potential.
  • Phi Eta Sigma First-Year Student Honor Society: Membership awarded in recognition of receiving high marks in the fall and spring semesters of freshman year at the University of Richmond.
  • Dean’s List for all eligible semesters.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Buying Intern in Cosmetics Division, Bloomingdale’s, Inc., New York, NY (June 2019 – August 2019)

  • Supported merchant efforts through assessment of product trends and consumer demand.
  • Evaluated a key business challenge for an internship-long project and presented recommendations to the executive committee and shareholders.
  • Executed a comparative analysis of brand performance online and in stores within the millennial beauty concept to inform departmental buying and marketing strategies.

Student Worker in Consumer Marketing, Oncology Division, Pfizer Inc., New York, NY (May 2018 – July 2018)

  • Assisted in the development and review of media and content for IBRANCE website overhaul.
  • Brought an IBRANCE Facebook image advertisement through creation, review, and publishing.

Student Worker in HR Communications, Corporate Affairs Division, Pfizer Inc., New York, NY (May 2017 – July 2017) 

  • Researched specific drug manufacturing practices in relation to the public image of the company and presented findings to the divisional executive leadership team.
  • Supported the development of internal marketing and communications plans for several projects, including Pfizer’s headquarters move and its transition to a new global service platform.

Where will you be working after graduation? Bloomingdale’s Inc. — Assistant Buyer

What company do you admire the most? I really admire Patagonia. As a marketing student, I think that the “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign was incredibly well done— the company capitalized on recent sustainability trends in a way that is genuine, refreshing, and memorable. Patagonia has followed through on its commitments to lowering its environmental impact and as a result, has defined itself in the market as a business that consumers can trust and feel good about supporting.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The people. I am always inspired to do more and do better by my peers, many of whom are some of the most impressive people I have ever met. I have been fortunate to feel constantly supported by my professors both in and outside of the classroom. I have additionally received invaluable guidance from the Deans in my capacity as President of the RSB Student Government Association. It is a remarkable community.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I have been most surprised by the level of creativity that business requires. As a first-semester freshman, I initially didn’t look into a business path because I was looking for something to do with all the creative energy I had. I wanted a major that would force me to be continuously exercising that part of myself and teach me how to transition that into something of value when I eventually entered the workforce. In those early months as a college student, I didn’t think this was something a business major could provide for me.

Now, at the end of my Robins School of Business career, it is difficult to believe that I ever thought that was the case. Industries are constantly evolving and no business survives without continuous innovation. My friends in other majors think that business school students spend all our time working with numbers, but my courses consistently remind me that numbers are nothing if you cannot turn them into strategies and solutions. Once you go beyond the foundational courses and get to the application, creativity is essential.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of the work I have done making the Robins School of Business Student Government Association (RSB SGA) into a more active, established, and involved organization. In previous years, RSB SGA had a more muted presence campus. With help from an incredible executive board and senators, I have spent my final year at Richmond learning what it truly means to be a representative.

As President, I created a form that allows RSB students to share feedback and suggestions regarding their experiences within the business school, which has been critical in providing the administration with a well-rounded perspective of the student experience. I have worked to ensure that RSB SGA is actively involved in some of the more sensitive issues that we deal with on-campus that affect students. In my efforts to be an effective representative to all students, I have taken time to meet with RSB students with different life experiences than my own to better understand the perspectives I may not have. With the goal of consistently promoting a feeling of inclusivity within the business school, we have hosted events, started traditions, and improved our outreach to RSB students and the rest of UR. It has been the most rewarding experience and the greatest honor of my time at the University of Richmond.

Which classmate do you most admire? I deeply admire my classmate Mary Taylor (‘20). She is the epitome of a woman who empowers women. Despite being overwhelmingly busy due to all her involvement, she acts as a major support system to countless students at UR. As a sophomore, she served as a Peer Sexual Misconduct Advisor, on call as a resource to students who were victims of sexual assault. Despite leaving that position to take on other roles on campus, she has continued helping survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence during her time at Richmond. In her position as UR Panhellenic Council’s VP of Recruitment Education, she revamped the curriculum to include more discussions about mental health and body positivity and made herself personally available to young women who needed additional support. She has been instrumental in efforts to destigmatize mental illness on campus, and in the process has improved the lives of countless students. I am incredibly grateful to have her as a friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My father has been a constant source of guidance for me. I grew up watching him on work calls in which he always prioritized “doing the right thing” and expressed genuine appreciation for his associates at the end of every conversation. He has taught me the value of maintaining humility, integrity, and kindness both in life and in business, and showed me how to be both an effective leader and an asset to others. I am grateful to him for the countless resume reviews, the long advice-filled Facetimes, the much-needed reminders that grades aren’t everything, and the love and excitement when hard work pays off.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Develop a game-changing marketing strategy for a company.
  2. Be in a position to mentor others.

What are your hobbies? Cooking, painting, yoga, and traveling!

What made Laura such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?  

“In all my years of teaching, I’ve never met a student like Hanna Lankler, and I suspect I never will meet another one quite like her again. She is a one-of-a-kind whose 3.94-grade point average after three-and-a-half years of college is but a small indicator of her super-hero like talents. Hanna’s intellect, maturity, and ambition are neatly hidden beneath a demeanor that is consistently pleasant and happy—no matter what is going on in her personal life. She is usually not the first person to answer a question during a class discussion. However, when she participates, her comprehension of the material and her insights go well beyond that of her peers and many times of the instructor as well.

Hanna is a leader who is respected and admired by her classmates, her professors, and our school’s administration. As the 2019/20 president of the business school student government association, Hanna has been at the forefront of helping to usher in a new culture of diversity and inclusion. She is a trusted advisor to her peers. They usually seek her advice on resumes and cover letters when applying for internships and jobs. She served as an officer in her sorority and maintains a number of part-time jobs off-campus.

Hanna has been s student in three of my classes over the past two years, and I remain astonished at her boundless energy. What differentiates Hanna from others is that she has learned to manage and direct her intensity in ways that result in positive outcomes for herself and for everyone who comes in contact with her. The University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business is a better place today because of Hanna Lankler. Her contributions are many, but most of all, she has set a higher standard of academic and personal excellence that will be difficult to achieve for those who follow in the years ahead.”

Bill Bergman
Instructor of Marketing


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