Meet the Class of 2021: Emily Murphy
College of Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering
"All our dreams can come true... if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
Hometown: Bristow, Virginia
Fun fact about yourself:
I sang at the White House with my choir when I was in 8th grade and I got to meet the President and the First Lady!
If you participated in an internship, what company was it for and what were your job responsibilities?
From Fall 2018 to Fall 2020, I participated in a part-time internship at Exeleration Consulting at the Corporate Research Center. My day-to-day responsibilities included working in a team to develop high-quality software solutions for our clients. I worked in several different coding languages including C#, VB.NET, and HTML. I specifically worked on the Compressed Gas Association project to improve their website functionality and UI/UX.
In the Summer of 2020, I was supposed to be an industrial engineering intern for The Walt Disney Company. However, the internship was canceled due to COVID-19 and I was fortunate enough to participate in undergraduate research with the ISE department instead.
Which faculty member has made the biggest impact in your undergraduate education and how?
It is difficult to pick just one! I would say that Dr. Robert Hildebrand had the biggest impact on my undergraduate experience because he introduced me to all of the cool and exciting things you can do in operations research! I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Hildebrand on an undergraduate research project involving optimally redistricting state congressional districts. He always pushed me to learn new skills and think outside of the box, which helped me grow and expand the way I think about ISE.
I also want to give a shout-out to Dr. Natalie Cherbaka for teaching me through so many courses and helping me build my foundation in ISE.
Lastly, I want to thank Dr. Manish Bansal for seeing the potential in me to take initiative.
Aside from your classmates, what has been the best part of being an industrial and systems engineering major at Virginia Tech?
I have really loved being involved in the student organizations in the ISE department, specifically IISE and ISE Ambassadors. I absolutely love these organizations because they are filled with people passionate about ISE and Virginia Tech. It's been so fun to share my love for ISE with my classmates outside of class as well as help the department grow by recruiting more ISE students.
What club or activity excites you most at Virginia Tech and why?
During my time at Tech, I have been very involved in the Panhellenic Community and have made an impact in my sorority, Pi Beta Phi. I love my sorority because they have given me a strong foundation of friendship and leadership that has helped me form lasting memories at Tech. I had the opportunity to serve as the VP of Finance and the Director of New Member Experience, which helped me improve my organization and create a lasting legacy. Being a part of such a great group of women has shaped me into the woman I am today and for that, I am truly grateful.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your student career so far?
My biggest accomplishment in my student career so far was being named the Oustanding Junior in ISE this past year. It was such an honor to be selected for this award and it means a lot to me to be recognized by my professors and my department. I have worked hard to excel academically since my freshman year and I hope to carry that same drive with me into my professional career.
Did you get the chance to study abroad?
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program. I traveled to the UK and Ireland for two weeks and visited local engineering firms and explored the local landmarks. This experience was one of my favorites as I got to dive into new cultures with my fellow engineering students and look at engineering from a global perspective.
What was your defining moment at Virginia Tech and how has it prepared you for your future career?
My defining moment at Virginia Tech was probably when I received my first internship at Exeleration Consulting. I remember interviewing as a freshman and thinking that I was so inexperienced and unqualified that they would never offer me such an amazing opportunity. However, when I accepted the position and started working, I realized that experience isn't everything. I was holding myself back by thinking I couldn't do something. I came to shift my mindset to see that passion and eagerness to learn can set you apart in any career. Since then, I have reached for my dream opportunities and lead with my excitement and love for learning.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am excited to be heading to Capital One in their Management Rotation Program in Richmond, VA!