This summer, Katya Mayer ’24 has drawn on every lesson she’s learned in her business classes at Longwood.

She’s had to. Interns at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond don’t do the typical intern tasks that feature a lot of grunt work. Instead, they are put to work immediately on projects led by senior Fed officials.

Mayer’s experience culminated last week when she—as an intern—led a crisis tabletop training session with full-time staff of the Fed’s Strategy, Talent and Operations team to test their preparedness in a recession. Mayer and other interns designed and facilitated the conversation to test for opportunities for growth.

Because all of my marketing classes at Longwood I’ve felt like I’m able to not only understand the conversations that I’m a part of, but able to contribute to them.

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“We started with a typical tabletop scenario, then threw some curveballs at them,” said Mayer, a business administration major from Falls Church who will graduate with a concentration in marketing and a supply chain endorsement. “One major question was how do you manage making sure your staff is mentally healthy even when they are overwhelmed by the pressures of dealing with a long-term crisis like a recession? What if a key staff member is not present for an extended period of time? We’ve been working on this project as an internship team since the beginning of the summer, and having the trust and freedom to facilitate it ourselves was very rewarding.”

Mayer is part of an eight-person internship team that includes students from the College of William & Mary, Northwestern University, University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, Hampton University, Howard University, West Virginia University, and the University of Richmond.

“This entire experience has been incredible,” said Mayer. “I can’t thank Professor Patti Carey for introducing me to the opportunity, and the rest of my professors for preparing me so well. Because all of my marketing classes at Longwood I’ve felt like I’m able to not only understand the conversations that I’m a part of, but able to contribute to them.”

This is the third year in a row a Longwood student has landed a coveted internship at the Richmond Fed. Last year’s intern, Charlotte Austin ’23, now works in the downtown Richmond office.

“It’s been so helpful to have Charlotte to talk to about how to make the most of this experience,” said Mayer. “She’s really helped me navigate the ins and outs of the Fed. I’ve been blown away by how many Lancers are here at the Richmond Fed—you just don’t know when you are going to bump into another one! But they are all willing to reach out and help me develop professionally, which is really nice. You feel like everyone has your back.”

One of those Lancers at the Fed is Chris Tunstall ’88, a senior manager for talent management and a member of the Longwood Alumni Board.

“Katya is a natural leader and one of the most impressive summer interns we’ve had at the Fed,” he said. “Our team leaders and employees can’t say enough good things about her and her level of preparedness. It’s a point of pride for me as an alum to see that Longwood students are showing up as leaders early in their careers. This university is producing top talent.”

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