Caroline Fowle

Where are you from?
Raleigh, N.C.

What high school did you attend?
Raleigh Charter High School

In your opinion, what are the 3 best things about UNC Charlotte?  
1. The city of Charlotte. I love the Queen City and have been honored to call it home for the past four years.

2. The spirit of innovation. 49ers are still hungry for great ideas and eager to make traditions. I believe that those of us on campus right now are a part of the generation that is defining what UNC Charlotte’s legacy will be.

3. Our history. Because Bonnie Cone was at the helm of the ship when Charlotte College blossomed into what it is today, I think diverse leadership is in our DNA. I love that great women make up a large part of UNC Charlotte’s story; I don’t think many other large, public universities can claim that.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
Storrs is the building for the School of Architecture and it has its own library on the second floor. Storrs itself is an inspiring place to be — the building is well designed and always bustling with hard working architecture students — but the library has great natural light and big tables. It’s my secret weapon during exam week when Atkins is flooded with stressed-out students.

What is your favorite Charlotte restaurant?
I go to Viva Chicken on Elizabeth any chance I get. Their green sauce is my favorite!

What was your favorite class that you have taken and why?
I loved Dr. Lin’s International Trade course. It was an Economics elective and one of the most challenging courses I’ve taken at UNC Charlotte. He structured the course by exploring only a few topics but delving into them at a very detailed level. Many undergraduate economics courses are designed to explore very broad theories, and I loved the opportunity to grapple with the math on a detailed level. I remember walking out of my final exam feeling unstoppable, as if anyone could ask me anything about Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory and I would have the answer.

Tell us 3 random things about yourself.
- I backpacked through Patagonia last semester and my tent broke the first night! Luckily, those “critical thinking skills” that economics teaches you came in handy and I somehow survived.

- I love languages! I am currently attending an 8 a.m. French 1 class just for fun. (When you’re a college senior, voluntarily taking an 8 a.m. is a real labor of love). My French classes are in addition to the Spanish and Mandarin courses I’m also taking. A good day for me is when I speak as little English as possible.  

- My family had a coffee shop in Raleigh when I was growing up. I learned a lot about hard work and great coffee (and may have swiped some homemade biscuits on my way to school every day!). I love supporting and recognizing Charlotte’s wonderful small businesses, but it’s difficult to convince me someone else makes a better cup of coffee than my dad.

Caroline Fowle was a Levine Scholar who graduated in May 2017 with a bachelor of science in Economics and a bachelor of arts in Spanish.
What majors did you pursue and why?

I graduated with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Spanish. When I was growing up, I wanted to be an engineer; I loved the process of solving problems and allowing my curiosity to drive me to a higher level of understanding of the world around me. However, at some point, I realized that I was much more drawn to the process of science than the actual content and my true interests lay in the social sciences. I would much rather discuss employment trends or international development than the structure of a eukaryotic cell. I was lucky to have discovered economics as a field that perfectly blends the structure and real-world application of a science with a fascinating and flexible theory that encourages my insatiable curiosity. My degree in Spanish was a happy surprise. I love foreign languages and took Spanish courses here without intending to earn a degree. After my semester abroad in Santiago, Chile, I was informed by an advisor that I had sufficient credits to graduate with a Spanish major and a Certificate in Business Spanish.

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

I am from Raleigh and my first time visiting Charlotte and UNC Charlotte was to interview for the Levine Scholars Program. I immediately fell in love with not only the campus and the city, but all the people that I met here. I remember the staff in the Student Union were upbeat and friendly, and each student that I spoke with was so excited and eager to help. It’s always my advice to seniors to visit a school because I think it’s the best way to judge if an environment is right for you.

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

As part of our scholarship, we have access to a grant to implement a civic engagement project of our choice in Mecklenburg County. I have been working with a fellow Levine Scholar in partnership with Discovery Place and the Durham-based startup Bee Downtown to bring more honey bees to the Queen City. We installed an observation bee hive at Discovery Place Nature this spring. It is a lot of fun and keeps us busy!

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

The Belk College of Business has something for everyone. Whether you want to work for either a large multi-national corporation or nonprofit or even start your own business, the skills that you learn here can transfer into any field. The Belk College of Business is a vibrant community and, in addition to developing my professional skills, many of my closest friendships began here.

What does professional development mean to you?

It’s an ongoing editing process, and I think it looks different at different times for everyone. When I was interning as a Finance MAP intern at Bank of America, it meant reading The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, reaching out to knowledgeable people whose careers seemed interesting to me, and attending seminars and trainings. As I’m currently transitioning to pursue a career in teaching after I graduate, professional development involves talking to veteran teachers, the wonderful faculty we have at UNC Charlotte, reading books (I check them out from Atkins Library!), and understanding current trends and needs within public education.  

How did the Levine Scholarship Program helped you pursue your educational and professional goals?

The Levine Scholars Program has positively impacted my life in so many ways. Before college began, I spent 25 days backpacking in Wyoming with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). That experience in the backcountry gave me the resilience, tenacity and confidence that I have been able to tap into during the many challenges that have followed — from starting a new internship to living in a foreign country. The LSP staff know when to hold your hand and when to give you a push. They have become close mentors and advisors to us all. I would not be where I am or who I am without them.

The Civic Engagement Grant Project has given me the tools to successfully apply for grants and see a project to fruition in the community. The practice of having that broader scope and owning a project from beginning to end is a unique experience that most underclassmen do not usually have.

A special note about the Levine Scholars Class of 2017 is that we are part of the original four cohorts of the scholarship. When we entered the program, the inaugural class was in their senior year. We still did not know exactly what this program would mean for us or for UNC Charlotte, but we were excited to make something of it. That energy of creating something from a mostly blank canvas has given me the momentum to push myself professionally. I have the confidence to reach out to more people and apply myself to projects that would normally be outside of my comfort zone. These skills and attitude have helped guide me through my academic and professional work in Charlotte these past four years.  

What was it like for you and your family when you found out you were accepted into the Levine Scholars program? What did it mean to you?

I remember getting my acceptance letter like a scene from a movie. It was the best burst of joy, relief and excitement. My acceptance to the Levine Scholars Program meant everything to me. It meant not having to worry about paying for college (or worrying about debt that would follow me after graduation). It meant being a part of this incredible community at UNC Charlotte. I am truly surrounded by the most passionate, caring, smart, and creative minds.

What were your plans post graduation?

I am moving to the Lone Star state and will be working for Teach for America.

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