Joshua Shoulders

Where are you from?

I live in Charlotte, so attending UNC Charlotte enabled me to stay close to the friends and places I know while also introducing me to many new people and new places.

When did you graduate?

I graduated in May 2017. I transferred credit hours from Mitchell Community College when I began attending UNC Charlotte, so I was an undergraduate student for a total of three years. UNC Charlotte's partnership with the community college system made that easy for me to do.

In your opinion, what are the 3 best things about UNC Charlotte?

The faculty are at the top of my list. I've already discussed the Belk College faculty. I have found what I appreciate about them to be pervasive throughout UNC Charlotte’s faculty.

Secondly, I love the diversity. I was a homeschooler until college, so UNC Charlotte has exposed me to people, groups, beliefs, cultures, values and other things that I would not have had a chance to experience otherwise.

Thirdly, the opportunities. UNC Charlotte, especially the Belk College, is constantly pursuing excellence. Companies and graduate schools take note of that. I have had the opportunity to lead a student organization as president - something I never thought possible before attending UNC Charlotte. In addition, I've had exposure to numerous accounting firms - including the Big 4 - and have joined a prestigious program at KPMG. That opportunity would not have happened at just any university or college of business.

What was your favorite class that you have taken at UNC Charlotte and why?

Principles of Accounting I. I fell in love with the course during the spring of  2015 and I haven't truly left it since. I was a Supplemental Instruction Leader for this course, so I stayed constantly involved with the material even after completing the course. Dr. Roland was, and has continued to be, a fantastic professor and resource. I have continued to seek her knowledge and input even though I am no longer in her class.

Tell me three random things about yourself.

Not only was I a full-time student, but I also worked 30 hours a week and led Beta Alpha Psi. I worked for a small business in Cornelius, N.C. that does accessibility and mobility products. I worked as the bookkeeper at the company for several months. The education I received while attending the Belk College and UNC Charlotte has already provided a job for me. Here is a free piece of advice: Don't wait until you graduate to start getting a return on your academic investment.

I am trained to trim horse hooves to the natural model. I have a passion for horses and learning something that would keep them away from horseshoes is something I am proud of.

I LOVE teaching accounting. I have taken every opportunity that has come my way to lead study groups, do private tutoring, discuss it with students in the hallway, and work for the University Center for Academic Excellence.

What clubs and/or organizations were you involved in?

I was involved in Beta Alpha Psi. I served as president for the last year, during which we identified and pursued three values that we wanted to pursue as a chapter. I was honored with the "Outstanding Student Leader" award at the Excellence Awards banquet near the end of Spring 2017. Being a member of BAP has been one of the greatest parts of my undergraduate experience. Unofficially, I led an Intermediate Accounting I & II study group while I was in the course. As a student in the course, I had the opportunity to work with my peers to ensure that we were all understanding the material and were prepared for exams. I also worked for the University Center for Academic Excellence. I was able to work with business students as they worked through their first accounting course. I enjoyed being a part of the learning process for the student body at UNC Charlotte in any way I can.

Joshua Shoulders graduated in May 2017, majoring in accounting. Not only was he a full-time student, but he also worked 30 hours a week. He is passionate about accounting and student success.

What was your major and why? 

I was an accounting major, graduating in May 2017. I chose accounting by luck, but have ended up loving every second of the coursework. The accounting faculty have helped make this major an excellent choice.

Why did you choose the Belk College of Business/UNC Charlotte?

I chose the Belk College and UNC Charlotte because I had intended to build a business in the local equine community. However, that plan changed and I quickly found the Belk College to be my newfound home. The Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development and accounting faculty have helped me pursue my new plans to the fullest extent.

What activities were you involved in when not working/studying?

I made great friends on UNC Charlotte's campus. When I have time, I invite friends over to my apartment and we make dinner and enjoy each other's company. I served as president of Beta Alpha Psi during my senior year, so nearly all of my time that hasn't been devoted to work, academics, or friends has been devoted to BAP. I have spent hours tucked away in the BAP office planning, answering e-mails, meeting with members, and working to revitalize the chapter. In addition, I am very involved with my local church. I run camera for Sunday services.

What was the best part of your academic experience?

The faculty in the Turner School of Accountancy, by far. Every member of the faculty with whom I have had the pleasure of interacting has added to my collegiate experience. I spent many hours on the second floor of Friday discussing everything from course material, to internships, to our personal lives. In particular, Professor Robert Monaghan has been a phenomenal mentor over the last year. He has helped guide me through career decisions, BAP leadership challenges, and many other conversations. 

How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone who is thinking about applying?

I would describe the Belk College of Business as a place that seeks to help you find the career you want to pursue and helps you attain that goal. The faculty are constantly wanting to assist you in your academic and professional career. I don't know where else you can find that to the extent that the Belk College offers. I would also say that the Belk College is somewhere you can get involved in something that will not only be helpful for your career, but can also be incredibly meaningful to you personally. From Enactus to the American Marketing Association to Gamma Iota Sigma to Alpha Kappi Psi to Beta Alpha Psi, there is something for every student in the Belk College if he or she chooses to pursue it and pour into it. 

If you have received a scholarship or financial aid, how has that helped you ?

I work (quite a bit) and pay most of my own expenses. Financial aid has lightened that load and enabled me to focus more on my academics and career without the stress of student debt.

What are your plans after graduation?

I had a summer audit internship with KPMG. After that, I will attend graduate school at Ohio State as a member of KPMG's Master's of Accounting with Data and Analytics program. That program will take me to Boston for an internship in spring of 2018 and a full-time job in data and analytics audit in KPMG's Boston office in fall of 2018. I am so excited and grateful for the opportunities I've been afforded!