Texas Tech University

Graduate Reflects on How Rawls College Helped Develop Her Confidence

Jacob Gordon

December 14, 2020

Arianna  Webb

Arianna Webb, a management graduate, reflects on her time at Rawls College and how she became a more confident and secure person as she prepares to apply for law school.

On Saturday, December 19, Arianna Webb, a management major, will represent the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business as an undergraduate student speaker during Texas Tech University's virtual fall commencement ceremony.

Born in Lubbock and raised in Andrews, Texas, Webb is a fourth-generation Red Raider. Webb knew she wanted to be a business major during a college tour her senior year of high school.

"I always wanted to be a leader," she said. "I don't want to be a boss, but I want to lead people. I thought that management would be the perfect way to lead people, to understand an organization as a whole, and to help everything run smoothly."

While management may have been Webb's entry point into the business world, it was in a business law course with Russell McInturff, assistant professor of practice in energy commerce, that Webb found her calling.

"I opened the textbook on the first day, and I thought it was all interesting. We went on and did a case brief, and it was so fun. That's how it went the whole semester."

Webb sat in on a few other law courses, and her excitement continued to build. What really stood out to her was seeing two different arguments being made for a single case. Webb knew then that she'd apply for law school after graduation. Webb jokes that her family always knew this was her path.

"I've always been told I would be a good lawyer because I'm very argumentative," said Webb, chuckling. "I'm not sure why my family told me I should be one; they don't even like lawyers."

Arianna Webb
Arianna Webb

In June of 2020, Webb obtained an internship with the United States Attorney's Office. Though Webb was originally intended to work with assistants filing paperwork, she soon moved on to more advanced projects.

"In one project, I was given 3,000 pages of reports and 17 hours of video. I had to go through all of them and redact information that couldn't be made public. I did all of that work in just three weeks."

When her summer internship ended, Webb did something a little unconventional: she asked to continue volunteering part time throughout the fall semester.

"It was really fun, and I still wanted to help. They loved the idea, and since I was unpaid it was no problem!"

Webb also earned a certificate in international business while completing her management degree.

"I wanted [the certificate] because I had traveled before and I loved international cultures."

Webb was able to study abroad in Florence, Italy and enjoyed the process of adapting to a new classroom culture.

"I really enjoyed my class. It's very different how they teach there. Instead of multiple-choice exams, they had timed writing exams. You had to write three one-page essays in an hour. It was intense, but it taught me a lot, for sure."

Webb was an active member of the Women in Business student organization, serving as the executive vice president and president of recruitment. During her time in Women in Business, she found two key role models from the area of management: Feruzan Irani Williams, associate professor of practice, and Claudia Cogliser, professor and area coordinator.

Webb TTU Seal
Webb proudly stands in front of the Texas Tech seal in her regalia.

"They helped me grow as a woman and stand up for myself," she said. "They helped me gain the confidence that a lot of women lack. One specific thing I remember Dr. Feruzan Williams said: you fake it until you become it. That was so accurate. I came in feeling very unsure of myself. I didn't know what I wanted to do and just wanted to see what happens."

Webb was also enrolled in Cogliser's negotiation course during Fall 2020.

"She has been a true delight in class," said Cogliser. "I have observed her each week participate in a negotiation simulation for which she is planful and open to varying her negotiation strategies."

Cogliser, much like Webb's family, sees a bright future for Webb's law career.

"I wasn't surprised when Arianna told me that she was pursuing law as a career because she has demonstrated intellectual curiosity, diligence, excellent communication skills, grit and resilience."

As Webb reflects on her time as a Red Raider, she appreciates how the Rawls College faculty were interested in her as a student, as a soon-to-be professional and as a person.

"They encourage you to do what you can do and to not short yourself. The Rawls professors are focused on you and on you fulfilling your professional goals. That's definitely affected who I've become. I've become a confident and secure person."

Webb has some advice for soon-to-be Red Raiders, like her two step brothers, to ensure they get the most out of their time at Texas Tech University.

"The opportunities are endless. A lot of people come into college and think 'This major is the only option for me.' Don't limit yourself with what you think you're going to do."