Robert Straughn is graduating in May 2017 with a double major in Finance and Accounting. He is a member of the Business Honors Program.
What major(s) are you pursuing and why?
I am majoring in Finance and Accounting. When I first started college, I knew that I wanted to do something in business. As I progressed in my classes, I fell in love with studying global markets specifically. After sitting down and diagnosing the 2008 market crash, I became especially interested in the rules and regulations that would have prevented this from happening, leading me to find my concentration in my major.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business/UNC Charlotte?
UNC Charlotte was not even on my radar until one of my best friends attended a year prior to me. He called me every other day asking if I decided on UNC Charlotte yet. Finally, after sitting down and weighing my options, I felt UNC Charlotte offered me great opportunities for success. The Business Honors Program seemed to be a perfect fit for me to help grow in the business field in and outside of the classroom.
What activities are you involved in when not working or studying?
While at UNC Charlotte, I have been involved not only on campus, but in the community. On campus, I started the Financial Management Association where I served as President for a year. Additionally, I served as the Alumni Chair and on the Judicial Board for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and was a mentor and member of the Business Honors Program. In the community, I was given the opportunity to visit low-income schools and teach about financial literacy, as well as volunteered at various philanthropic organizations in the greater Charlotte area.
What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?
By far the best part of my academic experience was the opportunity to meet and hear prominent business leaders through the CEO Speaker Series. I have had the opportunity to meet and hear the CEOs of BB&T, Lowe’s, Piedmont Natural Gas, and Premier.
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 endless in opportunities to make a difference in your community, as well as in the business world. I have been very fortunate to have great professors that have thoroughly prepared me as well as my colleagues for the real world.
Have you utilized any professional development from the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development?
The Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development is a great opportunity for all students at UNC Charlotte. I have used the center for advice about my resume, practice interviews, and for help about LinkedIn. I have also utilized the center to partner to offer workshops about common business topics to the Financial Management Association.
What does professional development mean to you?
Professional development is the ability to seize opportunities in the professional world when given the opportunity. It consists of everything from dressing properly, to having a well-put together resume. However, professional development doesn’t stop after graduation, it’s all about learning from every experience and using it to develop yourself throughout your career.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be interning for PwC before returning back to UNC Charlotte to pursue my Master’s of Accountancy.