The Reginald F. Lewis College of Business at Virginia State University dates back to 1929. It was later named for an incredible alumnus, the first African American to set up a law firm on Wall Street, and first to become a billion-dollar business owner. His legacy is secure, and the College strives to honor him through excellence in all aspects. Being AACSB-accredited since 2006, the business programs are designed to be “educating, empowering, and evolving.” Students learn in a dynamic, relevant, innovative, ethical, globally-aware, technologically sound, and encouraging environment. A priority is placed on interactions and leadership from local businesses and professionals, which help develop students into competent, informed, and experienced graduates ready to succeed in the world of business.
Through small class sizes, students interact with dedicated and passionate faculty on a personal level. The integration of multiple disciplines throughout the business curriculum allows students to build strong communication, collaboration, and decision-making skills. Lewis focuses on undergraduate studies and is made up of three departments. There are Bachelors degrees in Management Information Systems, Accounting, Marketing, and Management with an optional concentration in Human Resources. Minors exist in International Business, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Management, Information Systems, and Cyber Security & Forensics.
Business students are awarded scholarships each year. There is the Reginald F. Lewis Scholarship, the University Scholarship, and several departmental scholarships. Students can partake in scholarships to travel internationally and obtain a study abroad education. This type of study builds an understanding of self, different cultures, and international business. Students can study business at the Paris School of Business, international accounting and business at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, or Management in Rome.
Professional presence and hands-on experience are essential both inside and outside the classroom. Classes are always bringing in business professionals to speak with their students. Students travel to companies to shadow professionals doing their job and gain insights into the professional environment. Lewis students find internships with companies like Altria, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Prudential, Ernst & Young, Toyota, and Thomson Reuters. There are also a variety of opportunities to work with real clients performing real-life projects to gain real-world experience.
Student organizations possess many beneficial qualities. Business-specific groups include the Student Advisory Board, American Marketing Association, Global Association of Risk Professionals, National Association of Black Accountants, Black Data Processing Association, Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society, and Financial Management Association. Through these groups, students make friends, attend conferences, compete against other schools, and serve the community. Events include the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Apple Project, the National Sales Conference in Atlanta, the Congressional Black Caucus Conference in D.C., Women’s Business Summit in Richmond, and the Dominion Energy Leadership Conference.
The Center for Entrepreneurship is an excellent resource for students and the community to receive education, training, and support in entrepreneurial ventures. It also gives students ways to help the community, along with the many volunteer hours they give to community events and outreach.