Maggie Regnery is looking confidently towards her future. She credits what she’s learned and those she’s learned with during her time at McIntire with helping to eradicate any now long-gone reservations she might have had in the past.
“The uncertainty doesn’t scare me anymore because I know I have built a strong foundation of knowledge and a broad network of people who will support me after my two years in Comm that will allow me to be successful in whatever path I choose,” says the Accounting concentrator.
Drawn to UVA from her hometown of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Regnery notes that the Commerce School was a big reason for her coming to Grounds.
“I always knew I was interested in business, but I didn’t want to be siloed immediately into one specific program; I wanted the opportunity to explore other areas first and receive a true liberal arts education,” she explains. She stayed true to that ethos, having double majored in Foreign Affairs and minored in French.
After an eye-opening experience as a first-year in the Foundations of Commerce course, she recalls how a discussion leader spoke so highly about McIntire and their career in banking that Regnery’s interest in business was further heightened. And as she wraps up her years in the School’s undergraduate program, she’s come to the realization that its excellence is driven by the faculty.
“There is an incredible difference with how much Comm professors care about their students,” she says, recalling conversations she had with Professor Jeffrey Leopold during her first year and Professor David C. Smith in her second that demonstrated a philosophical approach to teaching that she valued and sought from her education.
The innovative coursework sealed the deal: “The concept of ICE was also very appealing to me because it provides an interdisciplinary and group-based education that would provide a strong foundation for my future pursuits in business. Talking to older students I knew in Comm and exploring the curriculum helped me determine it would be the right fit. It’s fast-paced and provides a plethora of experiences that excited me.”
Regnery, who would go on to become a Teaching Assistant for that Foundations of Commerce course during her third year, says that the position provided her with some of the most cherished moments she’s had at Rouss & Robertson Halls.
“The comradery that developed between the discussion leaders and Professors Jeffrey Leopold and Ryan Wright alongside the other faculty second semester are lifelong connections for which I am very grateful. Perhaps the most memorable experience was really getting to know my students and helping them find their place at UVA, whether they were on the path to Comm or another trajectory. The lessons I learned in leadership, teamwork, and collaboration are some of my strongest attributes that developed during this year,” she says. “We also took the time to get to know each other outside the classroom, which led to some very fun memories and funny stories.”
Although Regnery can’t help but feel a bit down knowing that her time at McIntire is coming to an end, she’s eager for her next phase. She’ll be returning to where she interned in Credit Suisse’s Financial Sponsors Group; this time she’ll be officially serving as an Investment Banking Analyst. But before she assumes the role, she’ll be headed to Europe with family and friends—some of whom were her classmates in the Comm School. We asked her to reflect one more time on her learning and how it will help keep her ready for whatever comes her way.
What McIntire educational experience has made the greatest impact on you?
This semester, I have had the opportunity to take Professor David Mick’s mindfulness class. At first, it seemed a bit out of the norm for Comm classes, but I think this curriculum should be incorporated into the Integrated Core. The lessons of mindfulness practices, whether it’s meditation, journaling, getting enough sleep, working out, or just taking time for yourself, are extremely important, especially if you are going into an industry where you’ll be working 75-plus hours a week. By fully investing myself into this, which can be challenging with everything we have going on at UVA, I’ve noticed a significant difference in my overall stress levels, decision-making abilities, and happiness. But it’s not always easy. You have to be willing to make a significant investment of time into yourself by slowing down and finding the practices that work best for you.
What Comm School lesson has best prepared you for your career?
The power of people. Whether it’s people you’re working with on a team, having fun with on the weekends with, or talking with to explore careers, all McIntire students and alumni are willing to support you. Especially with alums—all Comm grads are eager to help you be successful, and I greatly benefited from this during my recruiting process. Just hopping on the phone with someone, whether a fourth-year or a full-time analyst, to ask questions about the industry and their experiences or to prep technicals was a luxury that I am extremely grateful for. I would encourage anyone going into business to leverage this network.