Christopher Wilson, '23, at Capital One Hall, the bank-holding company's performing arts center in Tysons Corner, Virginia

Christopher Wilson, '23

November 15, 2022

Senior’s internship at Capital One yields job offer

Christopher Wilson, ’23, was thrilled when he landed a summer internship in the human resource department of Capital One, a Fortune 500 bank-holding company based in McLean, Virginia. He was even more thrilled when, at the conclusion of his internship, Capital One offered him a full-time job in its Human Resources Rotation Program, starting after his May graduation.

His Jepson internship with Capital One gave him an immersive experience in leader-follower dynamics and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), two areas of great interest to him, said the senior from Memphis, Tennessee.

“One of my projects involved looking at the relationship between an associate employee, their direct manager, and their manager’s manager,” said Wilson, a leadership studies major and business administration minor. “Regular performance evaluations are essential to those relationships. At Capital One, we want our associates to know where they are doing well and where they can grow. We value their professional development.”

He praised his managers for soliciting open, honest feedback from employees. After attending an event that brought together interns who had been working remotely, as he had, with those working in person, Wilson, a Black first-generation college student, made suggestions for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion among interns.

“I really appreciate your candor,” he recalled his supervisor telling him. “Your voice has ricocheted across the company.”

Describing Capital One as “a very progressive company when it comes to DEI,” Wilson said he hopes to leverage what he has learned at University of Richmond in support of the company’s DEI efforts when he starts working full-time.

A discussion in Dr. Kristen Bezio’s Leadership and the Humanities class about reparations for Black Americans sparked his interest in DEI, he said. He has explored DEI further through co-curricular activities, including as a University cultural advisor promoting inclusivity on campus, a Jepson Corps member connecting to prospective and new leadership studies students, and a Bonner Scholar performing weekly service in the city of Richmond. Most recently, he was tapped to interview acclaimed journalist and best-selling author Clint Smith prior to Smith’s Jepson Leadership Forum presentation, “Historical Memory and Racism.”

I was looking for a college that offers an abundance of opportunities, and I found it at Richmond, particularly at the Jepson School.

Christopher Wilson, '23

“I was looking for a college that offers an abundance of opportunities, and I found it at Richmond, particularly at the Jepson School,” Wilson said. Not the least of these opportunities is the professional networking that contributed to the success of his internship.

“Before I started my internship, Associate Dean Kerstin Soderlund connected me with three Jepson alumnae at Capital One to set up Zoom meetings and phone calls. They all told me, ‘If you need anything, call me, text me.’ I did, and they responded.”

The support offered by these alumnae—managing vice president and customer operations executive Raegan Morris, HR consultant manager (at the time) Molly Cramer, and HR business partner Kristen Petrocelli—left a lasting impression on Wilson. “I want to be able to do this for others,” he said.  

Soon he will have the chance to do just that.