Alexis Friesz is a marketing major and pyschology minor. She has her own business while in school and is an active fundraiser in the community. A member of the Business Honors Program, she received an award for her undergraduate research presentation through the Charlotte Research Scholars Program.
What major are you pursuing and why?
I am currently majoring in marketing and pursuing a minor in psychology. I chose marketing because I hope to work as an event coordinator for a nonprofit after graduation. Most of the events I will be planning will be promotional, so knowing how to market my company is an essential skill to have.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business/UNC Charlotte?
Because I grew up in Charlotte, founded my own music school here, and simply love the area, I knew I wanted to remain local for college. I also joined the Belk College largely for the Business Honors Program, which gave me the opportunity to set myself apart from other business students.The Business Honors Program allows me to engage in smaller class environments that other state universities cannot offer.
Tell us more about your music school!
I founded my music school out of my home during my junior year of high school. I started teaching my neighbors how to play piano and I loved it so much that I decided to turn it into a part-time job. Currently, I teach 25 students every week, each at various ages (5-40 years old) and skill levels. I also run a beginner piano camp on Saturdays in the summer!
What activities are you involved in when not working/studying?
In my free time, I love to engage the campus in giving back to our community! Because planning events is right up my alley, you can often find me around campus running a fundraiser for Charlotte Dance Marathon or coordinating the UNC Charlotte Relay for Life annual fashion show. Off campus, I love to take my dog on hiking trips or try new restaurants with friends.
What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?
My freshman year, I decided to get involved with Charlotte Dance Marathon (CDM). This organization hosts fundraisers year-round for the Levine Children’s Hospital, then celebrates all of their efforts with a 12-hour dance-a-thon each November. My freshmen year was the first year of CDM on campus, and I joined their ranks as the entertainment committee chair. Both my freshman and sophomore years, I headed a committee responsible for planning all the entertainment acts for our 12-hour marathons. This year, I am co-chairing the fundraising committee and am responsible for coordinating all of our fundraising events. CDM has given me huge opportunities to grow as both a leader and a servant. Being a part of the Charlotte Dance Marathon has by far been the best decision I’ve made in my college career thus far!
You received an award as part of the Charlotte Research Scholars Program. Congrats! Tell us more.
The Charlotte Research Scholars Program is a summer program at UNC Charlotte that allows 40-60 undergraduate students to conduct 10 weeks of funded research. Each student chooses from a list of predetermined topics and mentors. I was honored to spend the summer working alongside Dr. Kim Buch from the Psychology Department. Our project assessed hunger and food insecurity among college students across the United States. I conducted an exhaustive literature review and found that while most studies indicate high levels of hunger among college students, each study defined "hunger" differently. So I reached the conclusion that, moving forward, we should partner with a local organization called Campus Compact to help us facilitate a statewide, uniform study of food insecurity on college campuses across North Carolina to help us get a better overall picture of the issue. At the end of the summer, I was able to present my research at the annual Summer Research Symposium and I won the award for best presentation in the social sciences category.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone who is thinking about applying?
The Belk College of Business is the perfect environment for business students looking for chances to grow. The college hosts multiple networking events each year, and advisors are always willing to assist those searching for internships, scholarships or study abroad opportunities. Thanks to programs like the Business Learning Community and Business Honors Program, students are able to personalize their class experience.
If you have received a scholarship or financial aid, how has that helped you?
The past two years, I received the John Fraley, Sr. Scholarship through the Belk College as well as UNC Charlotte’s Alumni Scholarship. Both of these scholarships are helping me meet my goal of graduating college entirely debt-free!
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to live in Charlotte and work as an event coordinator for an international nonprofit organization. My hope is that my job will enable me to travel and experience different cultures, while giving back to various deserving communities. Long term, I would love to “settle down” by opening my own event planning firm here in Charlotte.