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  • Typical Day of a UCLA MBA Student - Recording of Webinar with UCLA Adcom and Student

     December 14, 2018

     December 14, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Carolyn and Brett - nicely explained what is the typical day of a UCLA student. I am posting below recording of the webinar for those who could't attend this session.
  • Why Do YOU Need an MBA?

     December 14, 2018

     December 14, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Download Why MBA and learn how to determine your MBA goals and weave them into a compelling essay!

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Admissions and Related blogs

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Using Family Governance to Increase Open, Transparent Communication  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2018, 09:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Using Family Governance to Increase Open, Transparent Communication
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Open and transparent communication in the family is key to the long-term success of a family enterprise, as it strongly predicts the presence of a shared vision for the business and makes it more likely that next generation leaders will be effective. (See Professor Steve Miller’s research.)

If open, transparent communication is so important, how does a busy family cultivate it?
The Family Enterprise Center’s 4th Annual Family Business Forum: The Family Governance Journey was designed to help families answer this question.

Three generations of the Kelly family (KELLY, Sparks, MD) shared their family’s governance journey which began when two members of the 3rd generation, Frankie and Stephen Kelly, took the Family Enterprise Center’s family business courses.  With candor and humor, the Kelly family shared stories from their first family meeting that included all members of G1, G2, and G3.  While their first meeting was not perfect, it opened a dialogue and gave them an opportunity to celebrate their shared family values.

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Forum participants discussed lessons learned from the Kelly family and then had an opportunity to assess their own family’s communication, envision their desired future state, and determine necessary steps to work toward their goal of open, transparent communication.

Many reasons that participants cited for their lack of open, transparent communication, such as shortage of time or lack of focus, could be addressed with a family governance plan outlining regular opportunities for information sharing, open discussion, and fun.  Such a plan helps families facilitate important dialogue, provide clarity, and create trust.

At the Forum, each family created specific governance plans that were appropriate for their circumstances and established timelines for improving their family’s communication.  Most families’ primary goal was to host their first family meeting within the six months following the Forum.  During the final session of the day, families shared their goals with the group and committed to reporting back to one another at next year’s Forum.

Using Family Governance as a Tool to Increase Open, Transparent Communication:
  • Know when to seek professional support. Some reasons for lack of communication, such as long-standing family disagreements or certain dysfunctional behaviors stemming from mental illness or substance abuse, will need focused attention by experienced professionals before attempts to improve communication can be successful.
  • Determine what governance structures and practices are most useful for your family’s size, stage of development, and temperament. Giving all family members a voice, learning how to work together, and building trust are more important than the governance structures or policies themselves.  Each family has to determine what path works best for them – and be open to making changes as the family grows.
  • Recognize that family governance is an on-going journey. Family governance will not happen overnight – nor should it. Select a few elements to address first and proceed at a pace that allows for adjustments and family input along the way.  The active involvement of each family member is more important than rushing to put a plan in place.
  • Begin by celebrating the ties that bind your family together. Many families choose to begin the family governance journey with a focus on family values. Talking about values is a great reminder of a family’s shared heritage.  It can provide opportunities to talk about previous generations and the sacrifices they made.  Senior generations may want to share family lore and talk about the origin of the family business.
  • Set realistic goals. A family embarking upon this journey should set realistic goals (maybe addressing 1-2 family policies per year) and start with easier, less emotional policies, such as a code of conduct.
  • Have FUN! Fun is key to building the relationships that will sustain the family over the years, and it will increase the chances that the family views family meetings as enjoyable and not just a burden to be endured.
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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On the fast track to success  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2018, 03:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: On the fast track to success
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A native of Switzerland, Stefan Mueller (MBA ’95) completed his undergraduate studies in Zurich but knew he wanted to continue his education with an MBA degree.

Deciding that the best value was to get a degree abroad, his challenge in the pre-internet era was to find the best business school for him.

“It was important to have a degree from a business school in the top 20,” says Mueller. “My wife and I had two small children at the time, and I didn’t want to go to a large city. Chapel Hill was the perfect setting for a family and to focus on studying without too many distractions.”

As Mueller settled into the full-time MBA Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler, he knew he had made the right choice: “It changed everything about my life. It was a completely different learning attitude.”

The School’s case-based approach, combined with the proximity to students and professors along with the group work made all the difference, he says. “I felt that UNC really wants you to succeed. It seemed different from my experience in Switzerland, where the university doesn’t care if you succeed or not. It was a different mindset.”

After completing the program, Mueller wanted to find a job back in Switzerland with a U.S. company, and his UNC Kenan-Flagler degree helped him tremendously. “U.S. companies there realize the value of an MBA degree back in the U.S. They wanted to have Swiss with a U.S. mindset – someone with a degree who knew how to focus and deliver.”

He wanted to go into consulting, ideally with a large organization that had a small presence in Switzerland. “Deloitte was a large company worldwide but virtually unknown in Switzerland at the time. I figured if I joined this company, the future was going to be bright, and it was.”

During his decade with Deloitte, from 1995-2005, the Switzerland office grew from five to more than 130 consultants. His roles as senior manager and deputy head of financial services took him to assignments in more than 30 countries.

But back in 1995, Mueller left Chapel Hill with more than a new MBA degree. He also had a new business idea that would serve him well.

“When I was studying at Carolina, I saw that the whole beer market was changing,” says Mueller. “We did a small group study during the MBA Program about the beer market, and I knew that the whole microbrewery trend would come to Europe at some point. That was a bet.”

In 1996, Mueller rented a small retail shop at the Zurich train station, and his company, Drinks of the World, was born.

Drinks of the World is a specialty retail store for beers, wines and liquors located in train stations. Since Mueller opened the first store in Zurich, the company has grown to include nine locations across the country and more than 100 employees. The stores offer a selection of 2,000 beverages, specialized in beer.

“We have the largest beer selection in Switzerland and people know us for that,” says Mueller. He says the company sells to an average of 1,000 people a day per store. On Saturdays, when many are traveling by train, they serve about 3,000 total.

“It is high volume and high traffic,” says Mueller. “The train station in Zurich is in the top five in Europe for volume of passengers, seeing close to 500,000 passengers per day. We have only nine stores in Switzerland, but I’d say about 80 percent of young people know us.”

After juggling this venture with his work at Deloitte for 10 years, Mueller came to a turning point. “I did the math and calculated that on my business, we could survive. At the beginning, we needed the salary from Deloitte to put into the business, but after opening the third location, we realized that wow, this works – this has scaled. It was then clear that I could make a living out of it.”

His advice to others dreaming of starting a business? Don’t wait until you are older. Test your model as soon as you can.

“If you want to be an entrepreneur, you feel it,” he says. “And if you have that feeling, do it early – don’t wait too long. If you look at most successful entrepreneurs, they started early in their 20’s. Sometimes it’s just that you have naive ideas and you are persistent and want to make it work, and that’s good.”

What Mueller enjoys most about his work is being in control of his own schedule. And he is grateful for his UNC Kenan-Flagler education and the time he and his family spent in Chapel Hill. He shows his appreciation by being a member of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Dean’s Circle, a giving society for those who give $1,000 or more annually to the School.

“UNC Kenan-Flagler definitely changed my life so much. Basically, I took the degree back to Switzerland, and it helped me get a job at Deloitte. So without UNC my life would be totally different. I realize that and feel very thankful and humbled. That’s the main reason why I want to give back every year.”

His message for others is along the same lines: “Think how much you gained from the School and how your life would be different without it. I think for most people, it made a big difference. It’s time to give back.”

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Leave your mark at UNC Kenan-Flagler  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 05:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Leave your mark at UNC Kenan-Flagler
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So far this academic year we’ve had incredible support from more than 6,500 generous alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends. Perhaps you’re one of the 6,500 – if so, thank you!

These donations came in all sizes and every one will make a tremendous difference here at our School.

From a $10 million gift from Steve Vetter (BSBA ’78) and Debbie Vetter (ABED ’78) – which named the Dean’s Fellows Program and will attract and nurture MBA student leaders for decades to come – to a $100 gift to the Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler from Laura Oslick (MBA ’12) – which helped us beat Duke on BlueVBlue and directly supports our areas of greatest need – our donors already have made fiscal year 2018 a very special one.

If you have not yet donated this year, time remains to leave your mark at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Between now and June 30 only, all alumni and members of the School community can reserve a personalized brick with a one-time donation of $300 or a recurring donation of at least $20 a month to the Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler (minimum 12 months).

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By making a brick gift you will stay connected to UNC Kenan-Flagler and leave your permanent presence as a part of the foundation of the School. Students will see these bricks every day as they walk to class, and know that you invested in their future.

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All donors who made a gift in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) can maintain their membership in the Ann Christian Goodno Loyalty Society by making a donation to the School by June 30.

In addition, all donors who set up recurring gifts to UNC Kenan-Flagler will automatically join the Goodno Society.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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In Memoriam: William F. Ezzell Jr.  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 07:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: In Memoriam: William F. Ezzell Jr.
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William F. Ezzell Jr. (BSBA ’73) died on April 28, 2018, in Arlington, Virginia.

He graduated from Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting and continued to stay involved with the Business School through the years. He received the Master of Accounting Alumni Merit Award from UNC Kenan-Flagler in 2008 and gave the commencement address for the Master of Accounting Program Class of 2015.

Born in Burlington, North Carolina, in 1949, he served in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War and received the Bronze Star, Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal for Valor. In 1970, he married Rebecca Burch, who predeceased him in 2013.

He began his career as a CPA for Haskins & Sells in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Ezzell and his family relocated to Arlington in 1986 where he went on to lead the legislative and regulatory activities for Deloitte LLP until he retired in 2012. He worked closely with the accounting profession and Congress on enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

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From 1998 through 2004, Ezzell was a member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and served as its chairman from 2002-2003. As chairman he focused on restoring credibility to the accounting profession and emphasizing the profession’s core values of objectivity, integrity and independence.

He served on the board of trustees of the AICPA Foundation and was its president from 2006-2009. Under his leadership the AICPA Foundation developed a program to support an incremental increase in the number candidates seeking PhDs in accounting and tax. In 2009 he received the AICPA’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to the Profession. During his retirement he continued to support the academic community.

Ezzell was a frequent speaker and panelist at corporate governance forums and accounting conferences discussing current and emerging issues of interest to audit committees, corporate management, auditors and other issues of interest to the profession.

Throughout his career, he was a fierce advocate for the CPA profession, especially for students on the pathway to becoming a CPA and the educators who teach them.  Read more about Ezzell in his obituary.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Connect at our Alumni Chapter Summer Welcome events  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 10:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Connect at our Alumni Chapter Summer Welcome events
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The tradition continues. UNC Kenan-Flagler Alumni Chapters are hosting a series of Summer Welcome events across the U.S.

These casual after-work gatherings connect students with alumni in the cities where they are interning and welcome our newest UNC Kenan-Flagler grads in fun and relaxed settings.

Be sure to update your contact information to ensure you receive email invitations to UNC Kenan-Flagler events in your area.

Join us at an upcoming Summer Welcome event near you:

Learn more about your local Alumni Chapter today, and register for your local Summer Welcome gathering and other alumni events in your area.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Plan now, retire later  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 04:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Plan now, retire later
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UNC Kenan-Flagler doesn’t just prepare students for careers after they graduate – it also supports alumni throughout their career journeys.

Elizabeth Wallencheck, associate director of career and leadership at UNC Kenan-Flagler, highlighted the significance of taking your first steps toward retirement at “What’s Next: Creating Your Vision of Retirement” at Alumni Weekend.

“The questions we ask in retirement are the same questions about life’s meaning that we’ve had all along, but they take on new poignancy because we have different views about mortality when we are older,” she says.  “Retirement is kind of an open slate where you have freedom to choose what you want to do.”

“Retirement is an opportunity to create a life that reflects more closely who you are,” she says, quoting Catherine Frank, an executive director at the Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville. “You just need to uncover your lifestyle priorities at this stage in your life.”

These priorities could include anything from intellectual stimulation to relationship aspirations to health and fitness to spirituality.

While thinking about retirement can bring a range of emotions, fear of the unknown is a common reaction.  It can be frightening to take your first steps toward retirement because it is new and forces you to place your identity in something besides your career. And while many people believe retirement can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing, Wallencheck disagrees, explaining these retirement myths are not grounded in scientific fact.

Retirement can be exciting since it gives you more flexibility to decide what you want to do based on what is important in your life.

These seemingly contradictory feelings are normal. “It’s natural for something scary to also be exciting,” says Wallencheck. Don’t avoid retirement simply because you don’t know what to expect.

After uncovering the significance and excitement of retirement, she emphasized the endless possibilities open to new retirees.

When exploring your retirement options, you might to think consider new ways to stay involved in what you loved about your work as well as things you have never had time to accomplish before.  The key to a successful retirement, is finding ways to stay mentally and physically engaged.  These opportunities can include writing, volunteering, mentoring, teaching or even working part-time.

Focus on retirement possibilities before you are ready to retire, says Wallencheck. Crucial questions to consider are:

  • What is one of your top priorities?
  • What would it look like to have this truly be a priority in your retirement?
  • What can you do in the next two weeks to begin to bring this priority to life?
By Grace Ketron (BA ’19)
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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The virtuous cycle  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 12:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: The virtuous cycle
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The year was 2000 (Geez! Seems so long ago) when I first set foot on the grounds of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Having received my earlier education in Nigeria and then the United Kingdom, Carolina was a whole new world to me. I had no idea what to expect other than I was about to be immersed in a world with some of the University’s brightest students. I was both nervous and excited to see what the halls of the McColl Building had to offer.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover how warm and welcoming my classmates were. They shared the same intellectual curiosity I had, but what stood out to me was just how collaborative they were.

I particularly experienced this sense of collaboration in my marketing class. During this class, I learned how to work with a team of individuals with strong personalities to reach a consensus. I also learned a very important business principle on how to price a product prior to market entry. We learned that in entering a new market you either penetrate it by offering a price lower than that of your competitors or alternatively you skim the market by introducing your product at a higher price. This might seem like a simple tenet, but it is so profound and I applied it to my current start-up later.

One of my fondest memories at UNC Kenan-Flagler was the volunteer opportunities. From the Adopt-A-Highway program to the annual food bank drive, I found myself actively involved in giving back to those in need. I am glad that this is a value that I still practice in both my personal and professional life.

In 2015 I took the lessons I learned on the importance of collaborating, pricing strategies and community service to launch a tech-enabled, fashion company with my wife and co-founder, Taffi, called Thando’s. Our inaugural product is a vegan, machine washable, foldable ballerina flat. (Yes, the first product was Taffi’s idea).

Our radical idea with Thando’s is that we can produce products that are:

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  • African inspired
  • Allow the customer to decide what we make
  • Gives back to communities in need.
How do we accomplish this? Well, I’m glad you asked.

We do it through what we like to call a “virtuous cycle” and this is how it works:

  • We identify a cause in Africa that means a lot to us.
  • We host print design competitions in Africa that are inspired by the cause identified in Step 1.
  • We have our community who we fondly refer to as #teamthandos, choose the best print design.
  • From every pair of shoes we sell using the print from Step 3, we give a royalty to the winning artist.
  • We make a quarterly contribution from our sales proceeds to a local African NGO that supports victims from the cause that inspired the competition in the first place.
We entered the U.S. market with a penetrating price strategy and have seen early success. Despite increasing our prices to a fair price, customers still have the willingness to pay because they feel like they are part of our journey and are getting a quality product.

You can find out more about our current collection and the cause behind it on Thandos.com.

So as you can see through our virtuous cycle model, everyone wins. We fundamentally believe that you can do good and do well at the same time.

I owe a great deal to how I think about business, teamwork and community to the time I spent at UNC Kenan-Flagler. The foundations I built there have been invaluable to my career as a former banker and now an entrepreneur. Through this foundation, I am now fortunate enough to build a company that creates products that our customers can feel good about literally and figuratively!

By J.G. Ayodele II (BSBA ’02)
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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MAC student perspectives: Meet the Firms recruiting events  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 06:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: MAC student perspectives: Meet the Firms recruiting events
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The recruiting process can definitely be overwhelming at times, but the MAC Program staff provided helpful tips that prepared us for the various recruiting events, including the summer Meet the Firms event. In addition to the MAC resources, I was involved in the Energy Club through the MBA Program at Kenan-Flagler. Because I wanted to work with Duke Energy, networking through both the MAC and MBA Programs was beneficial because they provided me with extra details about the company’s operations. This extra intel really impressed the recruiters and it was a major reason that I landed an internship with Duke Energy.

At the structured recruiting events, students meet with dozens of recruiters and partners from the top firms and corporations in order to figure out where they would like to apply for jobs. When you are in front of the firms, the best piece of advice I have is for you to simply be yourself. The recruiters really value full transparency, so it’s okay to be honest with recruiters about the work environment and industries that you aspire to work in. And, if you’re prepared with good questions about company operations and business practices, recruiters will get a good feel about the type of person you are.

Every student has a unique story about why they are in the MAC Program. Some students were fresh out of undergrad with little work experience and some, like myself, had worked in full-time jobs and were transitioning between careers. It is important to be upfront with recruiters and the MAC career services staff about your work background because it can be an important factor in your job search.

Before I started grad school, I actually lost my job so I know just how nerve-racking recruiting can be. However, when I told my story in interviews, the recruiters appreciated my honesty. Yes, a job search can be stressful but it is also a lot of fun and it was a very positive experience for me.

Later, when I spoke to my friends about why they decided to work for a specific firm, they all said the people they met at the office visits seemed very genuine. I loved my internship at Duke Energy because everyone in my division of the company was so willing to help mentor me.

by Connor Buker, MAC ’18

>> Learn more about the UNC MAC student experience
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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MAC student perspectives: Orientation and Leadership Immersion  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 06:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: MAC student perspectives: Orientation and Leadership Immersion
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The MAC Program begins with a four-day orientation to the program that includes a one-credit leadership course. The orientation enables new MAC students to learn the ins and outs of the program and to build connections with each other. There were presentations about the career services process, academics, time management, ethics, and other important topics.

At the immersion, students meet with the other members of their assigned learning teams, which are put together based on the DISC assessment we took before the program began. Teams draft a team charter and set expectations for the semester. These teams will be used for two courses in the first term, so you’ll be spending a lot of time with these people!

An entire day is dedicated to outdoor team building activities. Moving through stations in and around the business school, we worked with our learning teams and other classmates to complete various tasks…and survive the North Carolina heat!

The orientation and leadership immersion gives students a taste of what is to come in the MAC Program. Classes begin the following week, and then the real fun begins!

by Katie Tillotson, MAC ’18

>> Learn more about the UNC MAC student experience
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Switching careers? Why accounting might be just what you’re looking fo  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2018, 14:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Switching careers? Why accounting might be just what you’re looking for.
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Switching careers? Why accounting might be just what you’re looking for.

Whatever the reason, you’ve decided it’s time to switch to a new career. Something with better job prospects, more opportunities for advancement, and enough potential to keep you satisfied for decades.

>> Download our guide “The Career Switcher’s Checklist” for helpful tips and suggestions.

 

Accounting might be the new career you’re seeking.

And, here’s why…

There are a lot of accounting jobs.

Every organization — from government agencies and nonprofits to small businesses and multinational corporations — needs accountants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that the number of accountants will grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026. And, unemployment rates for accountants are significantly lower than the overall unemployment rates — there are plenty of jobs out there.

And it’s not just accounting jobs. An accounting degree is great preparation for jobs in finance, business forecasting, business analytics and more. That’s because accounting provides the financial, analytical, and problem-solving skills essential in the 21st century economy.

The business world needs accountants. Changing regulations and tax laws in the U.S. and around the world are creating a more complex economy. Accountants, and those with deep accounting skills and knowledge, are the professionals who can help organizations of all types successfully navigate this change and complexity.

 

The pay is great.

Along with higher demand comes strong compensation and benefits. The median pay for accountants is nearly $70,000 per year, according to the BLS, but more qualified accountants can make significantly more. For example, the average forensic accountant or accounting manager earns about $90,000 per year. Many accountants, especially those with CPAs and advanced degrees, can earn six-figure salaries, sometimes after just a few years of work experience.

 

You can choose your own career path.

Strong employment and high pay are great, but they’re not the best things about accounting careers.

If you think of accountants as people who spend their days bent over adding machines or manipulating spreadsheets, it’s time for an update. While crunching the numbers and analyzing financial data is an essential part of accounting, it also requires problem solving, creativity and strong communication skills.

Accountants help organizations make better decisions — and help society do better. Accountants provide fiscal insight, which, in turn, helps companies know when to launch new products, move into new markets, or avoid money-losing ventures. Accountants also are the guardians of financial accuracy across the economy. They help protect against fraud, measure the impact of corporate environmental initiatives and find ways to reduce wasteful spending.

An accounting degree prepares you for many career paths. Some accountants become top corporate executives, including chief financial officers and even CEOs. Others work in nonprofits or for government agencies, helping an organization fulfill an important societal mission.

 

You can work with purpose.

Many accountants find fulfilling careers doing auditing, tax or consulting work for public accounting firms, jobs that require plenty of teamwork and often bring opportunities for travel. And accountants with an entrepreneurial bent often find success starting their own firms or working in a start-up.

Maybe the best thing about switching from another career into accounting is that you still bring all of that experience with you into the new accounting role. If you were a teacher, for example, you’ll still have opportunities to explain accounting concepts to people you work with as an accountant. Or if you’ve spent a few years working the phone and meeting prospects in a sales role, an accounting degree could help you forecast sales for the entire company — and even set goals for your former colleagues. In fact, combining accounting knowledge with a background in another field can make you more qualified and competitive for some job opportunities.

 

How to prepare for an accounting career.

What does it take to switch to accounting? The right kind of education, of course. You probably don’t have an accounting degree, but that’s OK. In as little as one year, by going back to school, you can leap into a new career in accounting.

Most MAC programs are open to people with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees, from finance to English literature. And, online degrees allow students to continue to work while taking classes.

Once you’ve completed your degree, top MAC programs will also provide job placement support and access to a robust professional network with other alumni across the country. And MAC graduates are prepared for the CPA exam, which provides a unique, in-demand professional credential that boosts your earning potential.

 

Want some helpful career-switch advice from our experts?

Download our guide, “The Career Switcher’s Checklist”, for some great tips and suggestions.
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Opening doors to graduate school  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 09:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Opening doors to graduate school
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Freddy and Susan Robinson

UNC Kenan-Flagler’s growing Master of Accounting (MAC) Program has long been recognized as one of the nation’s top accounting programs, known for its 98 percent employment rate for graduates and powerful alumni network.

But despite strong employment outcomes, the national number of MAC enrollees is down 20 percent, largely due to rising tuition costs and a strong labor market for undergraduates.

Freddy Robinson (BSBA ’74) and Susan Robinson (BA ’73) decided to do something about that by creating the Freddy and Susan Robinson Scholarship in Accounting Fund – UNC Kenan-Flagler’s first need-based scholarship specifically for the MAC Program.

Freddy Robinson is a tax partner and has been with Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P.  (BRC)  for over 40 years. Founded by Robinson’s father, BRC is a CPA and advisory firm with offices in Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Dunn, North Carolina, that serves clients across North Carolina and throughout the Southeast.

“Susan and I met as students in Chapel Hill, and we both have a great deal of affection for the University,” says Robinson. “While working on our estate planning, Susan suggested that we make our large commitment to UNC now rather than posthumously so we could see the benefits of the gift. In recognition of my successful career in accounting, we decided to focus our gift on the MAC program.”

Opening doors to graduate school is incredibly important to the MAC Program and to business more broadly, says Amy Wittmayer, managing director of the MAC Program.

Historically, more of the School’s existing merit-based fellowships go to students who are not considered financially needy. However, in today’s competitive environment, increasing numbers of talented first-generation and low-income college students earn undergraduate degrees but don’t always have the means to pursue grad school.

“The Robinsons’ generous gift ensures that talented students are able to join the MAC Program, independent of their financial capacity to pay for it,” says Wittmayer.

The Robinsons are glad to hear that. “We know how challenging it can be for many students to pay for higher education and the restraints that can be created by student loans after graduation,” says Robinson. “We discussed the terms of our proposed scholarship with our children who unanimously suggested that it be need based.”

“This gift is intended to express our gratitude to UNC for our outstanding educations and life lessons learned while in Chapel Hill. We hope the scholarship will encourage students to pursue their career passion with a reduced financial burden.”

“The Robinsons are true leaders in establishing the first-ever need-based aid for the MAC Program,” says Wittmayer. “Recognizing that these students have overcome many obstacles just to be admitted into the MAC Program, this fellowship acknowledges students’ hard work and determination to attend and complete graduate school in an elite program.”
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A year of records  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 11:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: A year of records
In fiscal year 2018 YOU made a difference at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Watch our special student video to learn more about the very personal power of your support for our next generation of business leaders. Together we made a tremendous and lasting difference at the Business School.

Most donors in a fiscal year7,304 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the School helped us set a new record in fiscal year 2018 – that’s 503 more than the previous record.

The highest annual giving total in historyTogether we raised $4.1 million in unrestricted annual gifts to the School.

Record-setting student supportMajor gift donors created 15 new scholarships and fellowships for students across degree programs.

The greatest Giving Day in School historyWe raised $532,237 from 1,372 donors in just 24 hours – and we BEAT DUKE!

Class-based giving and parent giving successMilestone reunion classes participated at historic rates, as did parents of current students.

You paved the plazaMore than 500 donors left their permanent mark at the School with a brick donation.

That adds up to $48.7M

in cash and commitments!

Annual gifts made in fiscal year 2018 generated essential funding for our top priorities through the Fund of UNC Kenan-Flagler. They went directly to supporting the areas of greatest need at the Business School, allowing the continued success of our students and faculty.

Endowed gifts resulted in seven new MBA fellowships, five new Undergraduate Business scholarships, and three new MAC fellowships. New funds were created for Faculty Excellence, the Dean’s Fellows program and the Real Estate Center.

Thank you for making fiscal year 2018 a year of records at UNC Kenan-Flagler. We are so very grateful for your support.

MAKE A GIFT
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In memoriam: Calvin W. Atwood  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 07:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: In memoriam: Calvin W. Atwood
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Calvin Wayne “Cal” Atwood, a beloved former director of MBA admissions at UNC Kenan-Flagler, died on May 15, 2018, at the age of 94.

Atwood served as director of MBA admissions from 1973 to 1980 and made a lasting impact by being engaged in students’ lives and invested in their success.

Debbie Ellis (MBA ’75) was one of those students. “Cal was a great listener. He was a thoughtful communicator. He was the true essence of a mentor for countless students, but first and foremost he considered himself a Marine. We knew we had an advocate and a friend who would be with us through thick and thin,” says Ellis. “He was also an accomplished poet with an incredible appreciation of the arts.”

Memories of Atwood inspired Ellis to establish the Calvin Atwood MBA Fellowship in his honor. “Cal was so instrumental in helping me sort through my talents and decide on a career path.” says Ellis.

No one helped Bill Starling (BSBA ’75) more in his personal and career life than Atwood.

“Cal absolutely changed my life, and I could have never repaid him for what he did for me back in 1976 – paving the way for me to get to L.A. for business school,” says Starling. “He was a compassionate human being who loved to help young folks find themselves and was my father figure when I worked for him as a work-study student in 1974 and 1975. Cal touched so many lives, and I am so fortunate to have had him in my life.”

Committed to his career in education, he taught and worked in school administration at Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C., at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri and at Emory University in Atlanta.

Born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, in 1924, Atwood was raised in the heart of the Depression. At age 17 he enlisted in the Marines where he served as a parachutist-machine gunner in World War ll and was wounded in combat on Iwo Jima, where his company suffered 95 percent casualties. Returning from the war, he completed high school and earned degrees from Lawrence College and Columbia University, where he was a Baker Scholar.

To learn more about Atwood, read his full obituary.
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Industry to academia: Alumnus gives back by preparing healthcare leade  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 07:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Industry to academia: Alumnus gives back by preparing healthcare leaders
ImageMarkus Saba (MBA ’93) is passionate about three things: UNC, healthcare and giving back.

Saba already had an undergraduate degree and career in marketing but specifically chose UNC Kenan-Flagler because he wanted to focus on international opportunities. He thought earning an MBA would expedite his move into the global marketing industry.

“When I got to the Business School, the career center was awesome in helping me find an internship overseas,” says Saba. “It wasn’t common for students to get an international internship unless it was in their home country.”

The career team told Saba getting an overseas internship was nearly impossible, but they supported him, and he persisted.

They connected him with the alumni who were working overseas as well as a complete list of companies offering internships.

“Every week when a company came to Chapel Hill, I went to the company presentation and I would say, ‘That’s a great company, I’d love to work for them,’” Saba says. He would then review his list and contact the alumnus working for that company. His cold calling and determination paid off.

“When Eli Lilly came to the School to recruit, I interviewed with two alumni who were working for the company internationally, Rolf Hoffmann (MBA ’87) and Michael Ackermann (MBA ’90). Things progressed and I got an internship in Geneva, Switzerland which was the launch of a 25-year career with Lilly.”

One of the first things Saba noticed about the company was the culture and how similar it was to UNC Kenan-Flagler’s, which is captured in the core values. But at one point in his career, Saba almost lost sight of all that.

“My hardest job by far was when I was an expat in Japan. I didn’t know the first thing about the country,” Saba says.

It was Saba’s boss who suggested he take a step back to learn from his peers and team and value their strengths. Saba used that feedback and changed his approach to managing. He spent more time nurturing his employees.

“You learn from others and if you help others do well, you’ve done well in the same point in time,” says Saba.

Both UNC Kenan-Flagler and Eli Lilly emphasize that to excel people need to collaborate and appreciate the skills everyone brings to the table, says Saba. That mindset distinguishes Business School graduates, he adds, and is why so many companies value them.

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Students bring collaboration, teamwork and a sense of community,” he says. “That’s what I feel every time I’m on campus. Those emotions and feelings come blaring through.”

With that sense of pride, it’s no wonder why Saba has returned to UNC Kenan-Flagler — but this time to teach students about the business of health. He is a professor of practice of marketing, leading the MBA Healthcare Concentration and serving as executive director of the Center for the Business of Health.

“Everyone asks me how did you bridge from industry to academia? People who have been in their career for a while have a propensity to want to give back and they say academia is a rich and rewarding way to do that,” he says.

And although Saba isn’t new to teaching, his students still keep him on his toes – and they are coming to UNC Kenan-Flagler with stronger healthcare backgrounds. The Healthcare Club is one of the most active clubs in the Business School.

“It’s gotten to the point where I’m a little bit nervous walking into a classroom,” he says. “I have to really prepare myself more than ever before because these students know the healthcare industry.”

Saba is gratified by the positive response to the center and he’s enhancing the concentration. Companies, including pharma, hospital administrators and insurers, are eager to collaborate in the classroom, through scholarship and research. The engagement and responsiveness from alumni in the healthcare sector has been overwhelming.

UNC Kenan-Flagler’s differentiating factor is its ability to work with the other top schools on campus – Gillings School of Global Public Health, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine and Nursing, to name a few.

“Our aspiration is to be nationally recognized as the destination for the business of health. We’re going to achieve that together with these schools,” Saba says. The resources from each school gives the Center for the Business of Health a unique competitive advantage, the University’s location helps put it on the national stage.

“Research Triangle Park is one of the premier locations in the country for the life sciences,” he says. “With cutting-edge science, top-ranked medical institutions and hospitals, as well as companies and innovative startups, the Center for the Business of Health is in the perfect location to take full advantage of these resources.”

With so many opportunities in sight, Saba is excited for the future.
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MAC student perspectives: Meet the Firms  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 10:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: MAC student perspectives: Meet the Firms
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Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with multiple accounting firms and corporations. During the two-day event, we had the chance to hear from and personally interact with many knowledgeable individuals concerning their experiences in the field and specifically with their respective firm or company.

Firms were allotted 45-minute time slots to help us understand who they are and begin to understand where we will fit in best. Some firms chose to give a brief presentation while focusing the majority of their time on the personal networking experience. Other firms chose to play a quick game, like trivia, to help us learn a little about themselves and to break the ice. There were a variety of formats each of the firms could’ve used to help us all understand the them a little better. All firms allowed for some time to network with their associates, partners, and recruiters.

All in all, this event was extremely worthwhile. My classmates and I have all been continuously talking about how impressed we were with the presentation of the firms and their overall personable nature. The mere fact that the UNC MAC program allows us these kinds of opportunities is utterly invaluable.

by [b]Marcy McLamb, MAC ’19[/b]

 

Meet the Firms was an extraordinary event set up by the UNC MAC program to help me meet and network with a multitude of professionals. Everyone I met at this event was more than happy to take time to talk with me and informative about their experiences at their respective firms. I enjoyed the diversity that many of the firms had in regards to staff experiences, backgrounds, location, and personality which helped reinforce that accounting is not a one size fits all kind of career but instead, it is one that I can mold into what I want it to be.

Additionally, this event was well thought out and organized, allowing for me to relax and stress less about an event that was stressful in nature just due to the weight it holds in the recruiting process. To that point, however, due to organizational structure, I felt that I was able to focus more on meeting professionals and my performance was enhanced from what it could have been.

A final note about the Meet the Firms event that struck me is just how much the professionals at each firm want to see me (and everyone in the program) succeed. Typically, when you think of a job search, you think of it being the employer judging your every move. However, after this event, it feels more like the employers are trying to help me make the rights moves in order to secure a job. Meet the Firms was an amazing, informative and helpful event.

by [b]Jacob Wrenn, MAC ’19[/b]

 

>> Learn more about the UNC MAC student experience

 
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Making progress: The Campaign for Carolina  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2018, 05:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Making progress: The Campaign for Carolina
We are happy to report that UNC Kenan-Flagler is showing great progress toward our $400 million goal for the Campaign for Carolina.

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Through Sept. 2, we have raised $160.7 million, including a record $48.7 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The Campaign’s mission is to elevate our position in the top tier of business education and accomplish Dean Doug Shackelford’s goal for UNC Kenan-Flagler to be the very best business school of the 21st century.

We are raising funds for the Campaign in five priority areas:

More than 14,000 UNC Kenan-Flagler donors have contributed to the Campaign to date. Please consider joining them by making your gift to UNC Kenan-Flagler and helping us continue to progress toward our $400 million goal by the end of 2022.

Every gift is meaningful and every gift counts for the Campaign for Carolina.
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A passion for people  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2018, 10:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: A passion for people
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Mary Beth (Cheshire) Fee (BA ’00, MAC ’03) died in December 2017 after an 18-month battle with colon cancer. At just 39 years old, she left behind her husband, Frank, and their young sons Callin, 9, and Ryan, 8.

Fee was a beloved member of Ernst & Young’s Americas assurance talent team, where she made a significant contribution to EY’s culture.

According to her family and co-workers, Fee had the unique ability to connect and engage with everyone.  She had tremendous energy, empathy and a positive attitude that was infectious.

For these reasons, her family and EY Raleigh partners, principals and executive directors established The Mary Beth Fee MAC Legacy Fellowship at UNC Kenan-Flagler as a way to remember her and keep her legacy alive.

Originally from Hickory, North Carolina, she graduated in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in economics from UNC.  After working in Jackson, Wyoming, she returned to Chapel Hill and earned her MAC degree at UNC Kenan-Flagler.  She was a devoted Tar Heel and loved her University.

She started her EY career as an auditor in the Seattle office.  Transferring to the Raleigh office in 2005, she continued in the assurance practice serving clients in the Carolinas. In 2009, she joined the EY America’s assurance talent team and was instrumental in implementing EY People First initiatives and developing programs for assurance staff. One of her greatest accomplishments was working on the team that created the “Celebrating Seniors” program which remains a critical part of developing EY’s assurance personnel.

“Mary Beth touched so many people as an auditor and as a recruiter,” says Bob Thorburn, EY partner and former leader of the EY Americas assurance talent team. “She held her own and became a real star among the talent team because she was able to liaise with many and work well across different cultures.”

“Even when she was part of the national practice, one of her favorite things to do to was go back to recruit at the Business School and bring in more talent from UNC.  As a graduate with her talent for working with people and passion for interviewing, it just made a lot of sense.”

“Mary Beth represented the best of Ernst & Young and UNC Kenan-Flagler. We hope this fellowship will help the School attract global-minded students who emulate her values and those of EY so that we can build a better working world.”

Since the creation of the fellowship in May 2018, the initial goal of raising $50,000 was met, achieving the minimum funding needed to permanently endow the fellowship. Not stopping there, a new goal of $100,000 has been set. More than $64,400 has been raised so far, and the first fellowship will be awarded in 2019.

To make a contribution to The Mary Beth Fee MAC Legacy Fellowship, visit UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Make a Gift website.

Contributions can also be mailed directly to:  Office of University Development, UNC-Chapel Hill, PO Box 309, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0309.  Please mention Mary Beth Fee MAC Legacy Fellowship in the memo line of your check and include the fellowship designation number 173378.
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Eight great tips for finding internships  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 06:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Eight great tips for finding internships
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You are between the age of 18 and 20 years old. You’re a college student who works hard and looking forward to a business career one day. You have this thing called a resume, and it is pretty much blank. How do you fill it? Oh, of course, a summer internship! However, the real question is how do you land one?

To help undergraduate students answer that and other career questions, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School hosted its 34th annual Undergraduate Business Symposium on Sept. 7. At a panel about internships, UNC Kenan-Flagler students shared their experiences finding and securing summer internships after their freshman and sophomore years. Here are their top tips for landing an internship.

1. Don’t be afraid to use your connections. Finding an internship after your freshman or sophomore year is hard, often due to lack of experience. You are competing with many applicants who are older and have more job and in-class experiences. So, don’t be afraid to use your familial connections. If your mom’s best friend is the senior VP at a local company you’re interested in, reach out to her. Maybe it will lead to a job and the experience that will help you land the next job you apply to.

2. Get connected on campus. UNC has many different avenues to get involved and UNC Kenan-Flagler also has many clubs you can be a part of. Clubs have a listserv you can sign up for, and they send out job or networking opportunities. This is a great way to find jobs and ask older students questions about their experiences.

3. Be authentic. Don’t go into interviews and fill out applications pretending to be someone you are not. The panelists emphasized being yourself and allowing future employers to get to know you for who you are and not who you are trying to be. Employers are people, too, and want to get to know you on an individual level. They understand that you have concerns or do not know everything and they appreciate vulnerability and honesty.

4. Think of interviews as valuable practice. One of the panelists spoke about his internship quest as a source for interview practice. He applied to everything and took each interview as a practice opportunity. Interviews are a great way to develop confidence in your abilities and improve your quick-thinking skills. The more you do, the better you will be.

5. Try new things. You might not know what you want to do. That is okay! Reach out to companies even if you haven’t heard of them and apply for positions you might not have considered. This will increase your chance of finding a position. And who knows, you might end up loving something you’ve never heard of. There is no harm in trying.

6. Meet as many people as you can. This applies in all situations. Whether you are at a networking event, club meeting or even in class. You never know what kind of connection you will make. One panelist shared her story of how waiting tables for someone lead to an internship the next summer so, you never know who you will meet can lead to an opportunity!

7. Prepare for interviews. Although every interview is different, many of the same questions are asked. Employers want to know who you are and how you handle different situations. Think about yourself and do some self-reflection. Prepare yourself for questions like, “Tell me about yourself?” and practice your answers and delivery to those questions. You will feel more comfortable when the time comes for an actual interview.

8. Have fun. All of the panelists agreed that an undergraduate summer internship is not going to make or break your entire career. They encouraged students to go off the beaten path and find something fun to do for a summer internship. Whether it is working at a restaurant in a fun city or spending a summer at camp, those experiences can be valuable in your job search.

By Caroline Alessandro (BA ’20)
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Fellowship helps MBAs follow their entrepreneurial passions  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2018, 07:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Fellowship helps MBAs follow their entrepreneurial passions
FilterEasy, a Raleigh-based company offering a subscription-based service for air filters, benefited from the insights of summer operations intern Brian Dienes (MBA ’19). With his passion for entrepreneurship, Dienes was thrilled to work closely with the startup’s founders and hone his entrepreneurial skills.

The Raleigh-based startup offered a salary that was a far cry from Dienes’ earnings in his pre-MBA career in investment banking. Dienes’ choice to bypass a bigger summer salary was eased by the $5,000 grant he received from the Carolina Startup Fellowship. The fellowship, a project of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (EVC) Club based in the Entrepreneurship Center, helps MBA students commit to entrepreneurship and venture capital summer internships which typically pay less than opportunities in other fields.Image

“We have a lot of EVC members who want to launch their own startup, work in a management position at a startup or go into an entry-level position in venture capital,” says John Huang (MBA ‘19), EVC president. “Summer internships opportunities in those areas are often unpaid or low-paying. Having fellowship money so students are able to do what they are passionate about is meaningful and helps them explore these options without the fear of not making some ends meet.”

Fellowship funding comes from a stipend the EVC club receives for managing the course-pack process for the full-time MBA Program. “We facilitate the conversation between professors and the publishing company to coordinate the articles and cases for each class,” says Huang, who was a fellowship recipient. “We then work with the bookstore to get the materials onto a web-based platform so students can purchase it through the bookstore.”

Historically, six summer fellowships have been awarded annually. But this year, a record nine students received funding thanks to the quality of the applicant pool, the hard work of the EVC Club, and supplemental funding from the Entrepreneurship Center (Eship Center).

Huang says that the fellows are chosen based on their passion for entrepreneurship, involvement in and desire to give back to the local entrepreneurship community, and activity in the EVC club. Along with Huang and Dienes, this year’s fellowship recipients were Carrie Carson, Mike Griffin, Mary Margaret Milley, Artur Oliveira, Rachael Paolino, Brendan Smith and Alex Waters, all members of the Class of 2019?

Mary Margaret Milley and Rachael Paolino incorporated their company Viyb Health in January 2018. “We will make the process of seeking a mental health professional easier, simpler and more personalized,” says Paolino. “We’re doing that through a web platform that empowers the patient to make the best choice when selecting a therapist.”

Since neither Milley nor Paolino is taking a salary, they used their fellowship money to push their business forward. “The EVC funding helped us with logo design, development of our behind-the-scenes technology platform and travel to meet with potential partners,” says Paolino. “It helped position us for when we do our seed round funding with potential investors.”

More importantly, the funding has helped the founders focus on creating strategy, enthusiasm and excitement while focusing on the bigger picture of what they are building. “We hope to create not just a company but a brand,” says Paolino. “We want to reduce the stigma behind mental health and make sure that everyone can use our platform to find appropriate care when they need it.”

Huang spent his summer as a venture capital fellow with IDEA Fund Partners, continuing a placement he began last February through the Venture Capital/Angel Intern course taught by Randy Myer and Mitch Mumma at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “During the spring semester, I worked in the office part time and got a feel for the partners, their business, investments and philosophy, and what they look for in companies,” he says. “Over the summer, I dove in and got my hands on all different aspects of the venture capital world.”

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His responsibilities included taking a first look at and having an initial conversation with leaders of startups. “I also got to do due diligence, look into different markets and products, help with portfolio management of the fund, and be involved with strategic decisions,” he says. “Prior to business school, I worked in startups, I wanted to see this field from another standpoint. This experience and the support of the fellowship have let me jump into this without any risk and learn about the industry.”

“What I have learned over the summer, you can’t get from a classroom setting,” says Huang. “Working at a company that is meaningful to me is profound and lets me make an impact on things I care about.”

Dienes cares about creative decision making, flexibility and the ability to make an impact in the company he works for. He found all of those things during his summer internship at FilterEasy.

“FilterEasy is growing extremely fast, with triple digit growth,” he says. “I was able to help with a variety of projects including creating a model in Excel that optimizes the shipping box dimensions, resulting in cost savings.” Dienes also led a request-for-proposal process for the procurement of shipping boxes, helping the company improve gross margins.

The financial compensation provided by the fellowship helped level the playing field with his MBA friends who took summer jobs in large corporations, management consulting and investment banking. “Having this fellowship made the decision to do this internship much easier,” he says. “Working closely with the two founders of FilterEasy was a great way to learn from people who have built a company from scratch.”

Huang hopes the fellowship will excite more students about the entrepreneurial world. “While working during the summer in a big company might be a little more cushy, students who are interested in startups should just jump into one,” says Huang. “The summer between the two years of your MBA is a perfect time to take a risk and work on a passion project without having to commit to it full time upon graduation. Go work in a startup for a summer and learn what drives and motivates you.”
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Failing all in  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2018, 07:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Failing all in
It’s hard to put into words what we learned from our Global Entrepreneurs Lab Course in Denmark with Ted Zoller, that captures the highlight reel of inspirational moments.  As a class, we experienced business pitches from entrepreneurs, politicians and business incubators; lunches, dinners and late nights discussing our own professional and personal blunders fueled with Acquivit; and karaoke where we all sang our hearts out.  Image

However, what I will cherish the most came from those conversations on failure and our triumphant return. Four key lessons I will apply to my first venture include:

A mandatory failure loop – Accelerace founder Peter Torstensen told us as entrepreneurs we must learn from both the positive and negative customer meetings. This in theory seems like common sense, but Torstensen challenged us to follow up with customers we have failed and then actually listen to what they have to say. As an employee and human, I fail someone or something every day, but rarely do I go back and ask them for feedback on my failure. Who wants to relive their failure?  Well now I can say I’m forcing the loop into my every day personal and professional life so I can learn from my mistakes and succeed next time.

No excuses, fail anyways – Mai-Britt Zocca, CEO and founder of IO Biotech ApS, responded brilliantly when pressed on how she dealt with gender in a predominantly male field. The moment, while so simple, stuck with every woman in class. She mandated that we should never allow gender to be an excuse for not getting funding, a specific leadership role or a company off the ground. As entrepreneurs, we all know that for one reason or another, we will be told no many times over, but we can never use an excuse as a reason to accept failure.

Fail, pivot, fail, pivot – On day four, after an adventurous bike ride, during rush hour traffic where I certainly failed repeatedly to give the correct hand signal, we spent time with Donkey Republic CEO Erdem Ovacik. His firm had to pivot its business model several times until finding the model they eventually scaled to different cities and countries. While also another common-sense rule, I challenged my own way of thinking; I’ve been invested in seeing a business succeed from my own narrow viewpoint, being scared to fail and then pivot. However, fail and pivot I must.

Image

Failing all in – The biggest lesson I took away from the whole trip, both professionally and personally, was to go all in regardless of how scared I am to fail. I must fail all in if I ever stand a chance of succeeding. During every presentation and pitch we listened to over the week from serial entrepreneurs, we learned that we will face a high failure rate and the odds are not in our favor. Several entrepreneurs were on their second or third businesses but were unstopped by the naysayers, critics and their prior failures. They all continued to follow their passions and create a new venture. We, as entrepreneurs, will surely experience a variety of failures. But after each failure we must pick ourselves up, maybe go take a shot (or two or three) of Aquavit, sing a few songs at karaoke, then pivot to our next failure which will lead us to our ultimate success.

By Stacy Dobson (Executive MBA ‘18)
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Failing all in &nbs [#permalink] 28 Sep 2018, 07:00

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