Professor’s Corner with Dr. Julian Hayter

Julian Hayter

“What are you going to do with that major?”

It’s a question Leadership Studies majors have been asked dozens of times by parents and friends, and one they are prepared to answer eloquently in an interview, says Leadership Studies professor Julian Hayter.

While the unique field of study may be unfamiliar to some employers, the ability of students in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies to think and write critically and interrogate an idea sets them up for success on any career path, Hayter says.

In addition, the Jepson internship requirement and strong alumni network provide students the tools they need to achieve their post-graduate goals.

“The alumni (… ) give students an understanding of what students do with a leadership studies degree,” he says.

But to Hayter, all Richmond students, regardless of major, have several advantages, including intimate classroom settings and strong relationships with professors and advisors that put them above and beyond the competition in the job market.

“Students pick advisors that play up their interests,” he says, be it business, social justice or graduate school.

To his own advisees, Hayter likes to show some tough love.  When anxious seniors unsure of post-graduate plans come into his office, he says he tells them: “Welcome to adulthood.  It’s the first time you’re responsible essentially for your own life. [Anxious] is exactly how you should be feeling.”

In addition, he recognizes this generation is facing a more competitive job market than the last.

“You’re dealing with challenges that most people haven’t had to deal with: the stability of the economy, … [that] a college diploma is obligatory.”

But there’s a silver lining for Richmond grads. Hayter cites alumni connections, engaged professors and resources for internships as helping give Spiders an extra edge.

“We’re different from any other institution,” he says.

What are you going to do with that? Find out more about programs that aim to put Richmond students above and beyond the competition at


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