2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Fiona Basewitz

Fiona Basewitz is one member of this year’s 100 Best & Brightest Business Majors from Poets&Quants. Now in its ninth year, the Best & Brightest honors seniors whose infectious energy and unrelenting commitment to personal growth represent the best of their cohorts. To compile this list, P&Q invited each of the Top 50 undergraduate business programs to nominate two seniors. As a whole, women account for 60 members of this year’s Best & Brightest class, including seven students from outside the United States.

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business chose Matthew Hovelsrud and Fiona Basewitz to represent William & Mary.

Fiona Basewitz – Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Best & Brightest Business Major

“I am a friendly, enthusiastic, and ambitious woman who loves to learn!”

Fun fact about yourself: I can hold a handstand for over a minute!

Hometown: Collingswood, New Jersey

High School: Collingswood High School

Major: Business Analytics Data Science

Favorite Business Course: Marketing Research

Extracurricular Activities:

William & Mary Varsity Track and Field – Pole Vault

William & Mary Athletic Policy Advisory Committee

First-Time In College Orientation Aid

Alpha Kappa Psi


Beta Gamma Sigma

College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team

Provost Award (All Semesters)

Dean’s List (All Semesters)

Where have you interned during your college career?

This past summer I interned at Holman: Global Automotive Services & Management Solutions as a Business and Operations Intern. I supported both the Licensing & Compliance and Supply Chain departments. Additionally, I researched competitors’ ESG reports to provide recommendations to improve Holman’s sustainability progress. This upcoming summer I will be interning at Comcast Headquarters as an Analytics Intern.

Where will you be working after graduation?

After completing my undergraduate degree in three years, I will be returning to William & Mary to complete my Master of Science in Business Analytics for my fourth year. I am open to positions after that!

Who is your favorite business professor?

I definitely cannot pick just one favorite professor. Every professor I have had at William & Mary has been truly passionate and informative!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?

The biggest lesson I learned was the importance of building diverse teams to tackle projects. Having people with different skill sets allows you to learn and grow from the other members and also improves the final work product. I benefited from the wide variety of applied group projects I participated in throughout my time at William & Mary. I was able to apply these skills and comfort with collaboration to group projects throughout my internship as well.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?

Start networking early! It can be hard to put yourself out there at the beginning, but the more people you talk to, the easier it gets and the more you get to learn about! A few of my favorite opportunities took place at the Women’s Stock Pitch, the William & Mary Track & Field Alumni Reunion, and a breakfast with the Mason School of Business Foundation Board. At each event, I got to talk with other inspiring leaders about their work paths and current roles. In addition, I recommend doing informational interviews with employees at companies you are interested in to get a full understanding of the company culture.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business?

It was interesting to see the connections between my non-business classes and the content I learned in my business classes. For example, in my Modern Hinduism class, I saw overlap with what we were learning in marketing. As marketing discussed targeting goods to meet consumer desires, the Hinduism class discussed shifts in practices and priorities to meet follower’s desires. While the connections I discovered were unexpected, they showed how applicable the skills learned in business are to every major and field.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?

Absolutely nothing, I love the experience I have had at William & Mary.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being a member of the William & Mary Track and Field Team. This involvement is not a light undertaking: it includes lengthy practices and lifts, along with travel and multi-day competitions. It is an honor to represent the school as a pole vaulter, and even more special that I am able to do this alongside the best teammates.

Which classmate do you most admire?

My sophomore year I took Financial Management, a required class that has the reputation of being the most challenging in the Business School. While the content was challenging, I had the incredible asset of help from one of our class’s teaching assistants, Erica Heist. Any time I found a concept confusing, Erica was always there to go above and beyond in helping me and other students. I really appreciated all of her hard work and hope to follow in her footsteps by becoming a Teaching Assistant this upcoming year.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?

I would like to thank my mom for all of her guidance throughout my life. She has been such an involved and supportive parent who helped instill my love for learning. From reading The Kissing Hand on repeat when I requested it as a child, to going on endless walks with me when I am visiting, there is no one I would rather have by my side. I hope to keep making her proud!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

I would like to find a job with a company that has similar values to mine and a supportive but challenging culture. Eventually, I hope to be in a position where I can help develop others early in their careers.

Professor Insights: What made Fiona such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Fiona is an outstanding student who topped both sections of my Financial Management course last year among 100+ students, showcasing her exceptional academic competency. Her respectful demeanor toward instructors has earned her the admiration of each of her professors. As a dedicated student-athlete, Fiona actively contributes to the university committee that we both serve on and continues to shine as she demonstrates her commitment to academic and physical excellence through her time and avid participation.

Recently inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, Fiona’s achievements were celebrated by her proud parents. Now a senior, Fiona’s decision to pursue the MSBA program at Mason reflects her ongoing commitment to academic growth. Her continued presence for another year will undoubtedly enrich our academic community, making her an invaluable asset to the university and the Class of 2024.”

-Professor Osman Nal

“Fiona’s academic acumen shines brightly, especially in her Business Analytics major courses, where she continuously excels. Fiona assumed a leadership role in Market Research, showcasing her commitment to project success. Her eagerness to tackle challenges and genuine enthusiasm for thoroughly understanding the subject matter was evident, complemented by a consistently positive attitude. Fiona’s academic excellence and proactive and positive approach make her a standout student in her field and the Class of 2024.”

-Professor John Manuli

This story was written by Jeff Schmitt and originally appeared in Poets & Quants on March 28, 2024.