School of Business

VCU Blogs

Author: Megan Nash

Meet Breona Walker, assistant director of Career Education and adjunct instructor at VCU Business. With a degree in marketing, Breona quickly realized traditional corporate roles weren’t her fit, so she looked within. Drawing on her own personal journey as a first-gen student, she found purpose in supporting those underrepresented. In a recent interview, Breona shared her passion for impacting student success, her likeness for global cuisine and 14 reasons why a certain animal will never let her forget her beloved sorority.

Let’s get started!

Where can we find you on the VCU map?

You can find me at the VCU School of Business (Snead Hall), Suite B1102.

Can you share a bit about your educational journey? Where did you go to school, and what was your major?

I received my B.B.A in Marketing from James Madison University, and my M.Ed in Counselor Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

What inspired you to pursue a career in your field, and how has your journey evolved over the years?

After graduating with my marketing degree, I soon had the realization that the traditional corporate marketing roles were not for me, my purpose or my personality. I reflected on my past internship and professional work experiences working with diverse, first-generation, underrepresented students in numerous roles to provide college and career readiness. As an underrepresented first-gen student myself, I know the importance of having support services readily available to you and people to assist in navigating challenges as they arise, so that led to searching for roles like the one I’m in now that have meaning. I bounced around in higher education before landing in career services, but I’ve stayed here as it gives me the opportunity to combine my business knowledge with my counseling skillset. I utilize counseling theories and skills to advocate for students and assist them as they begin their career path and navigate life transitions, while being mindful of intersectional identities and cultural influences. 

My work also provides me the opportunity to push the information I wish I had regarding resources as an undergraduate student, as I typically took the “figure it out yourself” approach (and didn’t even know that a career services office existed until I was graduating!). It drives me to be proactive and meet students where they are (literally – I visit classrooms to ensure they are aware of what BCS offers!), and once they come to my office, I’m devoted to creating an open, inclusive, challenging, inviting and supportive mentoring environment for them to enhance their success.

Could you describe a current project you’re working on? What excites you most about it?

A project that I’m working on is overseeing and enhancing my Peer Career Coach program. It was something that I mentioned that I wanted to create for the Business Career Services office during my interview process for this role, and I’m glad I have a supportive team and leadership that was able to support and assist me in making this initiative come to fruition. 

BCS’s Peer Career Coaches are current VCU students who provide first level career coaching, including but not limited to resume and cover letter reviews, interview preparation and navigating Handshake, our opportunity posting database, through both appointments and drop-in hours. Additionally, they assist with student outreach to strengthen the awareness of our office and services, and frequently present career topics in classrooms and at student organization presentations. 

I proposed this peer-to-peer program with the hopes of helping students create social relationships, further student aspirations and enhance the university culture supporting student success due to the collaborative modeling approach. I’m glad to see the impact it’s made so far within its first year of implementation, and I’m excited to see how it grows.

Let’s switch gears for a moment …

Where’s your favorite dining spot on campus or around RVA?

As a born and raised Richmonder, I typically branch away from campus dining locations. However, one that is close by that I absolutely love is Mama J’s!

If you could swap jobs with someone in an entirely different field for a week, who would it be and why?

Guy Fieri. He gets paid to combine two of my favorite things – traveling the world and eating.

What’s the most unusual or interesting item on your desk or in your office that tells a story about you?

I have 14 elephants in my office (which are all VCU color coordinated)! 

They were all gifted to me by loved ones as an ode to my beloved sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Overheard at VCU Business:

“I think Breona is a great asset to the Business Student Success team because she is knowledgeable, passionate and always encourages her students to aim for better. The way she balances compassion while also challenging students is admirable. She also has a way of helping students realize their full potential, which will help them in all aspects of their life.”

– Morgan Matthews, M.A., Undergraduate Recruitment and Enrollment Counselor, VCU Business

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