Alumni Spotlight

A look at distinguished alumnus of the Management and Organization department at The Pennsylvania State Smeal College of Business.

LaQuint Lockhart

Class of 2014

Five Questions with LaQuint Lockhart...


1. What was your academic rundown, and what are you doing now?
I graduated from Penn State, with a major in Management, in 2014. I also served as the Vice President of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) for several years; this was a highlight of my academic career. I am grateful to my amazing mentors, like Jamie Campbell, who really took me under their wings and helped mold me into the professional I am today. Currently, I am the Director of Operations for Berkadia’s Hotels & Hospitality team. We specialize in mortgage banking and investment sales, combining expertise and execution to ensure our clients have the best transaction experience with hospitality assets. I love the work I do and the team I work with. I had a very unique path through banking and commercial real estate accounting and operations to get to where I am today, and each opportunity prepared me for the next.

2. How did your Management coursework prepare you for your current position?
The Management coursework at Smeal provided a strong foundation for me to understand how thought leaders operate and inspire in their industries. I gained insights into how organizations grow, best practices with change management, and simply how to be an effective leader.

3. What have you learned about managing and leading since graduating from Penn State?
One of the biggest things I learned since graduating from Penn State is that information is only as valuable as your willingness to share it. Your knowledge and expertise are of great value to an organization, but if you are unwilling or unable to effectively teach others, it benefits no one. I encourage you to share the lessons you learn as you continue to grow in your career, and you will notice how much it strengthens your team.

4. It is the season for career fairs and networking events. What career advice do you have for students majoring in Management?
I would be remiss if I did not mention taking advantage of as many career fairs and networking events as possible. Putting yourself out there to meet and have meaningful connections with others is the key to success. Even when it feels uncomfortable or you believe you are in a room you do not belong in, strike up conversations and practice your elevator pitch. You never know where your network can take you. I also recommend taking the time now to really learn more about yourself as a professional. The key to being a leader on any team is to understand what your driving forces are, and how they relate to others. I've managed large teams both on a regional and national scale, and I am most successful when I have a strong connection to what is important to my team members: What are their values, what motivates them, what gets people out of bed in the morning and say I want to work for that person/team? What can I do personally to help that individual reach their goals both for our organization, as well as their own career growth? These are some of the questions I would ask you to answer for yourself personally, and then apply to your colleagues and others around you.

5. What is your favorite Penn State memory?
Every fond Penn State memory begins and ends with the close friends and family I made along the way. Through my involvement in Smeal, especially NABA, and serving as a Resident Assistant, I made my own community in a large university. My favorite memory is that so many of my favorite people lived so close to me, and the relationships we formed, still carry on. We Are, Penn State! No matter where we are in the world.


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