Natalia Barriga

Where are you from?

I was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at the age of four. I have lived in Charlotte ever since.

When do you plan to graduate?

I received my undergraduate degree in accounting from UNC Charlotte, and I hope to graduate from the UNC Charlotte master's of accountancy program in December 2017.

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

In my opinion, the three best things at UNC Charlotte are Greek Life, our growing school spirit, and the resources for students such the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the area around Jerry Richardson Stadium. It reminds me of how much this university has changed me as well as how much this campus has grown in the past four years that I have been here. I have had the honor of being on the cheerleading team during the inaugural football season. I feel as though the school spirit really began to show with the addition of a football program.  One of my favorite memories was our first football game and finishing off with a victory.

Natalia Barriga graduated with an undergraduate degree in accounting and is currently in the Master of Accountancy program. She is excited for the employment opporunities in the Charlotte region her MACC will afford her, and appreciates the direct connection between the Belk College and the Charlotte business community.

What was your undergraduate major and why?

I pursued a bachelor of science degree in accounting. Early in my college career, I had the opportunity to take two introductory accounting courses that really sparked my interest in the subject. The equation "assets = liability + stockholder's equity" appealed to me as a puzzle that could be solved by following the rules and exceptions of accounting. Through this class and others, such as my managerial accounting course taught by dedicated and passionate professors, my love of accounting grew. When the time came for me to choose a major, I extensively researched my options and spoke to several people who worked in the accounting profession. I came to realize how important public accountants are. These professionals work tirelessly to verify the integrity of corporate finances. Without this service, our nation's economy would suffer significantly. The Enron corruption scandal revealed the necessity for skilled and ethical auditors; our free market system cannot function correctly without proper auditing of corporate disclosures and financial statements. It is my goal to become an auditor and ensure that financial statements are trustworthy, transparent and informative - which will allow the public to have confidence that their investment is being utilized appropriately. 

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

I decided to attend UNC Charlotte because it was simply the best fit for me. The prestigious reputation of UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business is what motivated me to choose this university for my undergraduate and graduate education. As a high school senior, I knew business was the field for me; I was drawn to the diverse opportunities I would have to apply my degree. Charlotte is expanding so quickly and I feel that companies will be right at the center of the city’s growth.

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

I am involved in a number of student organizations and extracurricular activities at UNC Charlotte. I am a Resident Advisor in Greek Village, a founding member of Belk College Women in Business Ambassadors Board, Treasurer for the honor society Order of Omega, member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, cheerleader for the UNC Charlotte Cheerleading squad and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi where I have served as President and Finance Vice President. I had a summer internship with the public accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in the assurance department.

What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?

The best part of my academic experience has been knowing my hard work paid off in the classroom by seeing my name on the Chancellor’s or Dean’s list every semester.

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

It is one of the best decisions a student could make! The Belk College of Business is phenomenal with giving students endless opportunities to gain connections with alumni and business professionals. The Belk College professors are really dedicated to providing students with the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully enter the workforce. The college as a whole does an incredible job of introducing students to key players in the industry, which sets us up for a successful career in business. If a prospective student is looking for a program that will work hard to ensure they succeed, they do not need to look further than the Belk College of Business!

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

I have received scholarships all throughout my undergraduate career. It is a tremendous relief not having to work full time while pursuing my degree. Due to scholarships and financial aid, I will be able to graduate debt free.