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Alayna Francis '19

Alayna Francis.
Alayna Francis. Photo courtesy of Alayna Francis.

Alayna Francis

Class of '19
Rising 3L at Georgetown Law

After receiving my Bachelor of Science in industrial and systems engineering, I worked as a product manager in financial technology and became a co-inventor of a pending U.S. patent application. My interest in patents and law led me to Georgetown University Law Center. In the past two years, I've interned for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and worked for an intellectual property law firm. This upcoming summer, I'll be working at a large international law firm, and after graduating next May, I will clerk for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. My long-term goal is to become a patent litigator, combining my passions for law, technology, and science.

How did college equip you for the ‘real world’?
College taught me to study hard, think critically, and value friendship. The late nights studying differential equations prepared me to spend even longer hours reading legal casebooks. And the analytical frameworks required to solve lengthy probabilistic operations research problems led me to write well-structured legal memorandums and briefs. Most importantly, college taught me that people are the core of every wonderful experience. From professors to classmates, Virginia Tech's friendly and collegial environment made me realize that to succeed at anything, you'll need friends by your side.

Why is giving back to Virginia Tech important to you?
Virginia Tech gave me the best friends and memories. It also gave me supportive professors who encouraged me to pursue different career opportunities. For that reason, I love helping Hokies explore opportunities and navigate the transition to the “real world.”

My fondest memory from my time in college is…
I miss the late nights in Newman Library and the Math Emporium (a crazy admission, I know!). While I still spend much of my time in libraries, the moments with my best friends cramming for exams and running to Deet's for ice cream breaks cannot be topped.

What advice would you share with your college self?
Stay flexible. As a senior, I felt as if I needed a 10-year career plan mapped out. But life and opportunities happen, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Study hard, sing karaoke songs, and jump high to “Enter Sandman” — you'll miss these moments!

Being a Virginia Tech alumna means…
Serving others! You hear it every day for four years — Ut Prosim. And upon entering the real world, I realized that each day you get an opportunity to serve others and demonstrate the Hokie spirit.


B.S., Industrial & Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2019