Lea Marich

Where are you from?
I was born in Cetinje, Montenegro. I grew up in Pasadena, California.

In your opinion, what are the 3 best things about UNC Charlotte?
1.    The professors
2.    Walking to Business Honors Program meetings with my best friends
3.    The Starbucks on campus (coffee enthusiast)

What was your favorite place on campus?
The library. I fell in love with it when I was originally touring the school, and I visited it every day since I started my freshman school year. I associate it with coffee-infused nights, studying with friends, and crucial “light bulb” moments of finally understanding material I’ve spent four hours studying.

What is your favorite Charlotte restaurant?
My favorite Charlotte restaurant is Intermezzo, a restaurant and pizzeria on Central that interlaces traditional Serbian foods and modern palates in its menu.

What was your favorite class at UNC Charlotte and why?
During my sophomore year, I took a Principles of Macroeconomics course that was particularly rewarding. While sitting in Friday Building for the 9:30 am class one morning, I finally realized that I had found a field of study that was such a natural extension of my organic thought process. I didn’t have to forcefeed myself the material.

Tell me a random fact about yourself.
I am related to Albert Einstein’s first wife, Mileva Maric, through my maternal grandfather (whose surname is respectively Maric).

Lea Marich graduated in May 2016 with double majors in economics and finance. She was a member of the Business Honors Program in the Belk College of Business. She has accepted a position with the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

Why did you choose the Belk College of Business/UNC Charlotte?
When choosing a college, three things were at the forefront of my mind: my family, my major and stepping into myself. Commuting to UNC Charlotte presented me with the financially feasible opportunity of staying close to my family. As I studied the design of business programs at various universities, I was particularly impressed by the amount of opportunity within the Belk College. Other competitive schools didn’t offer as many majors or minors. Finally, my acceptance into the Business Honors Program ultimately solidified my sense of belonging at UNC Charlotte.

What activities were you involved in when not working/studying?
When I was not working or studying, I enjoyed volunteering, doing yoga, translating Serbian works, reading, baking with my grandmother, and catching up on sleep.

What was the best part of your academic experience?
I had the opportunity to be a TRIALS scholar. TRIALS, the Training and Recruitment Initiative for Admission to Leading Law Schools, is a partnership between NYU and Harvard law schools and the Advantage Testing Foundation. The objective of the program is to provide underrepresented minorities in the legal field with a “bridge” LSAT prep program that elevates their chances to be accepted to Ivy League law schools. It was a summer of many firsts: my first time in New York, my first time on a subway, my first time watching a Broadway show (live!), my first time in New Jersey, my first time visiting an Ivy League campus, my first time in Massachusetts … I had the opportunity to visit the campuses of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, while living in one of the law dorms at NYU Law School. Accomplished guest speakers, such as Martha Minow, the Dean of Harvard Law School, visited us. It was an unforgettable experience that has shaped my professional goals and challenged my understanding of the world.

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 being filled with opportunities to create the version of yourself that you always dreamt of. I have overcome all of my high school anxieties and achieved so much more because of the confidence that the Belk College has equipped me with. Since my high school graduation, I have interned abroad, worked with the Swiss and American ambassadors to Serbia and Montenegro, studied for the LSAT at Harvard and NYU, traveled extensively, and taken rigorous courses of interest. I have nothing but sincere gratitude for the Belk College for helping me discover myself.

If you have received a scholarship or financial aid, how has that helped you?
I received the Dennis N. Bunker III Scholarship in Economics, which was such an unexpected delight. I paid for college with the help of my single mother, and my plans to go to law school aren’t exactly alleviating my financial situation. My brother and I shared a car while going to two different schools, and my books amounted to a grotesque amount. The impact that such a generous alumnus has had on my life is deeply humbling and truly honorable. Dr. Daryl Kerr of the Belk College wrote me personally to tell me that I had made him proud. Within the Business Honors Program, Dr. Ted Amato has been a crucial mentor that has helped me with many of my life choices, as well as instrumental in my acceptance to TRIALS. The warmth and support that I have experienced in the Belk College community has given me the confidence that even my wildest dreams are within reach.