Lindsay Conrad studied Management with a concentration in Human Resources and a minor in Business Leadership at Virginia Tech. During her undergraduate career, Conrad managed a full plate of priorities. Conrad balanced full course loads with part-time jobs and internships, proving that time management is not only a skill but an art. In addition to multiple responsibilities, she was a member of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and Chi Omega.
After graduating in 2008, Conrad began her master’s degree at Pennsylvania State for Human Resources and Employee Relations. Conrad worked full time at Lockheed Martin while earning her graduate degree, and later spent two years with Honeywell in Seattle, Washington. Conrad currently works at General Electric as a Site Human Resources leader in Richmond, Virginia. Conrad discusses her education and career experiences, and identities key characteristics that contributed to her success:
What was the most valuable lesson you learned as a student?
The power of networking is invaluable, and it is important to follow up on relationships when people offer to help you or to stay in touch. Those were critical tools for me when I was looking for my first job after graduation. The letters written by my professors were essential for me in the graduate school application process.
What did you do as an undergraduate that prepared you for your first job?
I completed 3 different internships during the school year, so I had to balance a full time course load, an internship, and a part-time job at the University Development office. After that experience, I was well adjusted to the 8-5 work schedule, where I also earned my graduate degree while working full time. Having multiple responsibilities during my undergraduate career helped me transition to the working world. I learned to juggle competing priorities and consistently follow through, which created a firm sense of accountability.
What’s a typical work day for you?
There is no typical day in my job because it revolves around people.
What is your favorite part of your job, and what is challenging about it?
I like that I work with a lot of really smart people and I am able to help them get where they want to be in their careers by providing career coaching and access to resources, which is really rewarding. The most challenging part is helping people navigate through life changes at work, like adjusting to new organization structures and leadership changes.
What is the most important characteristic of a successful person and employee?
I have found that is accountability and trust are very important characteristics. Following through on your word is the baseline for any kind of reward, recognition, and advancement. Having a high say/do ratio is essential for getting to where you want to be in your career. Establishing trust is an ultimate part of relationship building, and is crucial for being a peer, a leader, and part of a team.
Why do you think the Recent Alumni Board is important?
I think the Board is important because we represent a gap in previous years of engagement with alumni. We have a deep passion for the university, and we are close enough in age to provide valuable guidance and mentorship to current undergraduates. We can have a huge impact by connecting with students, whether that is placing them in an internship, opening doors, or providing feedback to the dean and the PAC.
Conrad also applies her strong work ethic and human resources experience to the Pamplin Recent Alumni Board as a member of the policy committee. Her committee drafts the bylaws and is ultimately responsible for helping identify new members of the Board.
According to Conrad, “helping build the Pamplin and Hokie network in itself is beneficial and imperative in the business world, and we can help current students who will then pay it forward.” Conrad’s participation and support of the Board directly benefits undergraduate students, and helps establish a valuable resource for students, faculty, and alumni.