Poole College Congratulates Class of 2023 Graduates
Undergraduate students across departments share their unique Poole journey.
On May 6, 892 undergraduate students will cross the stage in Reynolds Coliseum to officially become Poole College alumni and begin their professional careers.
Meet Our Graduates
Isaiah Akridge, Business Administration, Information Technology Concentration
Isaiah Akridge is wrapping up his time at Poole College proud of the fact that he excelled and took advantage of the opportunities presented to him. As president of Black Business Student Association for three years, Akridge was heavily involved in diversity efforts across Poole College and understands the value that diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging bring to the classroom. He is active across campus as a member of the Caldwell Fellows, a Trio Student Support Services scholar and a Global Diversity advocate.
During his semester abroad in Madrid, Spain, Akridge expanded his global network and increased his cultural competence. Living in a foreign country amongst individuals with different backgrounds opened him to a new situation, allowing him to learn adaptability and gain new perspectives.
“I recommend that each student, if they have the finances and resources, study abroad. It will change your scope of life and those around you,” said Akridge.
Akridge will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information technology. His academic excellence, leadership skills and ambition earned him the opportunity to intern with Cisco and IBM during his undergraduate career. Upon graduating, Akridge will move to New York City to pursue a career in technology with IBM.
Fei Lei, Economics
Fei Lei entered Poole College after internally transferring from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. During her time in Poole College, Lei was a part of Global Corps and served as a summer start mentor in 2021. In spring 2022, Lei studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea, at Seoul National University for six months.
“My favorite part about Poole College of Management is the opportunities, such as great networking events, student organizations for student involvement, great faculty members who care for their students in both academic and career-wise, and study abroad opportunities,” said Lei.
Lei will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in economics. Following graduation, Lei plans to take a gap year before going back to the classroom to begin her graduate studies.
Federica Lenti, Business Administration, Finance Concentration
Federica Lenti joined Poole College for the last two years of her undergraduate studies as an international business dual degree (IBDD) student on the Italian track after attending Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Piacenza, Italy.
I loved how the faculty is always ready to help and give you guidance for your future career. I found some valuable mentors and I can’t wait to keep in touch with them once I graduate!
“I love how this program allows you to explore two different countries with their different cultures, traditions and ways of learning together with obtaining two degrees in four years,” said Lenti.
During her two years in the college, Lenti has become a leader in the community by serving as a vice president of events operations for the American Marketing Association and as a student consultant for Creative Marketing Solutions (CMS) Consulting. She has also found valuable mentors and support from faculty and staff.
“I loved how the faculty is always ready to help and give you guidance for your future career. I found some valuable mentors and I can’t wait to keep in touch with them once I graduate,” said Lenti.
Lenti will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, concentrating in finance. After completing a successful internship with Amazon in California, she received a full-time offer to be an area manager and plans to move to Los Angeles to lead project management in operations for the company.
Devon Waterman, Business Administration, Human Resource Management Concentration
Devon Waterman joined Poole College as a first-year management student in 2019. He has become a valuable leader across campus, serving as Career Ambassador, Chancellor’s Aide, Student Conduct Board member and president of the Society for Human Resources Management at NC State.
My favorite part of the Poole College of Management is the community of folks I’ve had the fortune to interact with
“My favorite part of the Poole College of Management is the community of folks I’ve had the fortune to interact with, whether it’s with the Black Business Students Association, SHRM at NC State, the National Association of Black Accountants or building community in the DEI Hub,” said Waterman.
Waterman held several internships during his time with Poole College. His network on Linkedin has supported his professional goals by sharing opportunities that led him to work with Brady Services, Goldman Sachs, Toshiba, Capital One and Spectrum.
Waterman will cross the stage to receive a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in human resource management. Upon graduating, he will move to Washington, D.C., to begin work with Capital One at their McLean, Virginia, headquarters in their Human Resources Rotational Program.
Lily Grissom, Accounting, Analytics Concentration
Lilly Grissom, a Newton, North Carolina native, joined Poole College in her freshman year. She is an active member of the Wolfpack community as a writer for NC State’s online publication of HerCampus, a sister of Kappa Delta where she served as budget chair and a member of honor societies Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi.
Grissom’s professional experiences solidified her decision to pursue accounting. She interned with CommScope Holdings, Inc., as a corporate accounting intern. She also achieved her childhood dream of joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) when she became an FBI honors intern in summer 2022. In this position, she was able to do forensic accounting and other investigative work across several sectors such as international drug trafficking, white collar crime, human trafficking, public corruption and more.
This has truly been a life-changing experience to use what I have learned in Poole and in past jobs to make a greater impact on our world and those in it.
“Throughout my internship, I was also given the opportunity to work alongside the United States Attorney’s Office and attend Federal Court to watch the prosecution of the crimes I was working on,” said Grissom. “This has truly been a life-changing experience to use what I have learned in Poole and in past jobs to make a greater impact on our world and those in it.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in accounting with an analytics concentration, Grissom will intern this summer at Ernst & Young as a wealth and asset management audit intern before returning to Poole College to begin the Master of Accounting (MAC) Program in August as an Academic Fellow.
Dan Webb, Business Administration, Marketing Concentration
Dan Webb joined Poole College by way of the NC State Community College Collaboration (C3) transfer pathway. He is an entrepreneurship scholar at NC State Entrepreneurship, an American Marketing Association member, and team lead for NC State’s first International Case Competition Team.
Webb truly embodies the ‘Think and Do’ mindset. He co-founded a go-to-market consulting startup company with NC State professor Marshall Brain, and helped science and technology companies with marketing problems. He has helped to build marketing programs remotely with companies across the world such as Peter Huber Kältemaschinenbau, a German laboratory equipment company with a small office in Raleigh. Webb also worked at First Flight Venture Center in Research Triangle Park to help expand their rapid prototyping program with the addition of a $2.6 million grant from the EDA to offer virtual education courses on IoT technology, product development and customer discovery.
“I believe that Poole College helped me create a global mindset and gave me the ability to work confidently with global companies.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a marketing concentration, Webb is excited to join a startup company tackling climate change in his home county of Granville County. The company, Plantd, was founded by two former SpaceX engineers and a sustainability entrepreneur and is developing a new type of carbon-negative structural material to replace OSB (engineered wood) on residential and commercial construction projects.