2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Kylie Nagel, University of Virginia (McIntire)

Kylie Nagel

University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce

“A bright leader with a love for traveling, learning, technology, and helping others.”

Fun fact about yourself: I lived in Copenhagen, Denmark for four years and am currently relearning Danish!

Hometown: Chantilly, Virginia

High School: Chantilly High School

Major: B.S. in Commerce (Concentrating in Information Technology with a track in Business Analytics)

Minor: None

Favorite Business Course:  COMM4263: Cybersecurity as a Business Risk, co-taught by Professors Ryan Wright and Bryan Lewis. This class was not only engaging and interesting, but was a perfect introduction to my future career in the intersection of business and cybersecurity. The combined expertise of Professors Wright and Lewis creates a dynamic environment that embodies all the values of learning at McIntire. This class goes beyond a traditional classroom setting and allowed me to think like a C-suite executive to solve real-life problems. I was given the chance to consult industry leaders in the field, bridging the gap between academia and real-world cybersecurity processes. I learned to be forward thinking to solve complex problems of the future, which is essential for the rapidly changing climate of cybersecurity.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Net Impact at UVA: President, previous VP of Marketing, previously ESG Analyst
  • Best Buddies: Social Media and Outreach Chair
  • Alpha Phi Sorority: Active Member
  • Dean’s List
  • Independent Study: Developing a case study and teaching note on building organizational resilience in light of modern cybersecurity threats

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • PwC, Cybersecurity Consulting Intern – New York, NY
  • CGI Federal, Business Analyst Intern – Fairfax, VA

Where will you be working after graduation? PwC, Cybersecurity Consulting Associate – Washington, D.C.

Who is your favorite business professor? Professor Ryan Wright has not only been an exceptional business professor, but an amazing mentor who has influenced my academic and professional journey. He is a leader in the field of cybersecurity, and his teaching style of valuing practical scenarios rather than a theoretical approach garners applicable skills for real life. You can tell that Professor Wright genuinely cares about every student who takes his course and strives to make a positive and supportive learning environment. I am very fortunate to learn about cybersecurity from such a well-distinguished professor, and look forward to the independent study on organizational resilience I am collaborating with him on this Spring semester.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I have taken from studying business is the importance of diverse perspectives and experiences within a team. I’ve learned that the most successful teams are ones that allow people to use their unique backgrounds as an asset. McIntire celebrates and empowers students to share their differences and use them to create solutions to real world problems. Celebrating diversity allows every student in McIntire to confidently contribute their perspective without the fear of being oppressed or ignored. I am so lucky to start my business career having learned the importance of diversity, inclusion, and collaboration.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Make as many connections as you can while in college. Keeping close with your peers and past alumni of your respective business school will open so many doors in the future. You could find a mentor in someone you may have never met if you take the initiative to reach out. You have no idea who could refer you to your dream job or end up as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I am so thankful for all of the alumni and faculty I have met throughout my time at the University of Virginia, and urge everyone to make a friend wherever possible.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising thing I have learned is that business encapsulates so much more than its meaning in the traditional sense. I came into UVA as an intended pre-medicine major with a skewed perspective that business was just companies making money, nothing else. McIntire has shown me how much of a societal impact you can make through the world of business. Through my coursework and my extracurriculars, I have learnt how major companies minimalize their carbon footprint and do more than just make money. Learning about the intersection of sustainability and entrepreneurship has inspired me to make a difference in my future career.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Looking back, I would have engaged with more of the amazing competitions, networking events, and conferences McIntire hosts. I wish I had taken advantage of the resources McIntire has to offer and gotten involved way earlier. Being more proactive would have given me a much better idea of how many possible career options are available. Since I am returning to PwC full-time, I have had the amazing opportunity to attend PwC events at UVA and help other students find future careers in consulting! I wish I had engaged earlier with industry partners to learn about all the amazing career trajectories and paths available.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The achievement I am most proud of is overcoming the imposter syndrome I initially felt attending the business school here at UVA. My peers are exceptionally bright and had amazing accomplishments under their belt, making it incredibly easy to feel inadequate in comparison; I often found myself questioning how I fit in amongst my talented classmates. I am most proud of my determination to overcome this and find myself a niche in my McIntire community. I engaged with leadership positions within business clubs and have been sitting on the President’s Council of McIntire organizations for the past two years. I found passion projects that bettered my community through my engagement with Best Buddies. I found an academic pathway that suited my career pursuits, and I am now working on publishing a case study in the cybersecurity field. Imposter syndrome is a real phenomenon that occurs when surrounded by other amazing individuals, but I am most proud of my perseverance to find what makes me great.

Which classmate do you most admire? During my time at UVA, I am so grateful to have been continuously surrounded by peers who inspired me to be stronger. So many people in my classes (shoutout Block 1!) and extracurriculars have shaped me into the person I am today. The person I most admire is Yasmin Azizi. Yasmin is easily one of the most impressive and valuable members of the McIntire Class of ’24. I am so lucky to have had her as my roommate for endless hours of advising and study sessions. Her experiences and unique perspective make her an asset to every classroom, as I’m sure any peer or professor could attest to. Despite her strenuous school and work commitments, she still finds time to make a social impact through filing taxes for low- and middle-income individuals in the Charlottesville community. Her work ethic and determination are something I aspire to achieve, and I am so grateful to have her not only as a peer but also as a friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my parents for being my biggest supporters in every endeavor, and my personal heroes. It would be impossible to put into words everything my parents have done for me. They have been there to support me in every challenge I have faced and pushed me to be the best I can. They taught me how to be hardworking, kind, generous, and appreciative of every opportunity I receive. Their sacrifices, both seen and unseen, are a testament to their selflessness and commitment to my well-being. They made sure my childhood was only filled with happy memories, from our time traveling abroad to taking me daily to every extracurricular I had. I am so grateful to have grown up in such a warm and loving environment, with my parents as the most amazing role models possible.

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

1) I hope to someday work in Executive Management for a team in the National Football League. I love football, so this would be the perfect passion career

2) I hope to come back to McIntire as a guest speaker one day. I’d love to be able to engage with my fellow Hoos and share all the lessons I’ve learned as a woman in the field of cybersecurity.

What made Kylie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?  

“Kylie Nagel is an exceptional student with a curious, intelligent, mature, and driven personality. She excels academically and participates actively in various extracurricular activities. She is humble and humorous, never showing off her accomplishments or abilities. She is a leader and a mentor, always willing to assist her peers with advice and support. I’m excited that we are now collaborating on a cybersecurity case study using data from my research, which has showcased her analytical skills and creativity. I have been teaching at McIntire School of Commerce for many years, and I can attest that Kylie is one of the best students I have ever met. I look forward to seeing what she will achieve in the future.”

Professor Ryan Wright
McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia


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