Business Graduate Lands Position at Charles Schwab

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Sarah Edwards (‘16)

After completing one milestone — earning a bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership from Southern Virginia University — 2016 graduate Sarah Edwards will take the next major step in her career by working at Charles Schwab.

Edwards will begin working at Charles Schwab next month as a financial consultant trainee. Charles Schwab is an award-winning banking and brokerage company that was recently named one of the Fortune Top 50 “Worlds Most Admired Companies.” Edwards landed the position after undergoing a series of interviews beginning last fall.

“I will be helping clients to make important decisions that will shape their financial future, whether that be investing or opening a retirement fund,” Edwards said. “The interview process was rigorous, but it was great because Cameron Crowther helped me prepare for the interview[s] beforehand.”

In addition to expressing gratitude for the Student Professional Development Center on campus, she said, “I have learned so much from my professors and I owe them so much for the best education I could have received.”

Two classes that had a particular influence on her were “International Business” taught by Professor Todd Brotherson — the Business Management and Leadership Program coordinator — and “Principles of Organization and Leadership” taught by Dr. Mark Matheson.

“Sarah is excellent in every way,” said Brotherson. “One of the reasons she was really great to have in class was her analytical skill and willingness to completely engage. I found her to be someone who would be easy to recommend professionally because that’s how she handled her work here. She was always prepared and always thinking.”

Edwards began attending Southern Virginia as a first-year student in 2011.

“I fell in love with it for so many reasons,” she said. “Not only was I able to play softball, the sport that I loved, but I was really able to discover my passions. I had no clue what I was going to major in when I came to the school, but I had so many encouraging professors that would help me see what I was really interested in.”

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While at Southern Virginia, she was starting catcher on the Knights softball team, a Spanish minor and a member of both Chi Epsilon Omega, the university’s business honor society, and Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honor society.

She took a break from her education to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cuernavaca, Mexico, from Oct. 2013 to May 2015. Edwards said that her mission was “one of the most wonderful experiences of [her] life.” She said that a mission preparation class at the Buena Vista Institute of Religion helped her prepare for her 18 months of service.

Brotherson said that he thinks Edwards will be easy for clients to work with at Charles Schwab “because she’s proactive.”

“I think she’s got the capability to do just about whatever she wants,” said Brotherson. “She’s bright and she has done something with that to propel herself into a position to be able to contribute quite a bit wherever she goes. She’s articulate both orally as well as in writing. … The sky is the limit. It really is. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her doing anything.”

Edwards said that she is excited for her new position and for what the future holds. She also said that her choice to attend Southern Virginia has been rewarding.

“I loved the small environment,” Edwards said. “It made me feel like I was important enough for the professors to care about me and it was great to see how you can grow in such a good environment. If I had to choose all over again I would choose [Southern Virginia].”