Joe Hanel, CPA, is managing director and owner of Sherpa, LLC, a Charlotte firm providing staffing, recruiting and consulting in accounting and finance, technology and project management. Hanel graduated from the Belk College in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
What opportunities did you have at UNC Charlotte?
I worked in construction year-round and went to school part-time for most of my time at UNC Charlotte. I was the business manager of the 49er Times (former name of the school paper) and was involved in Chi Rho, the Catholic student organization.
Why did you choose UNC Charlotte?
I transferred to UNC Charlotte after meeting the former Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs and Provost, Leo Ells, at church. When I told him where I was in school and majoring in accounting he told me in no uncertain terms that I was wasting my time. Then he told me about his accounting background and trumpeted the reputation of the accounting program at UNC Charlotte. I was able to confirm the quality of the accounting program and then learned how inexpensive it was to attend UNC Charlotte and made the move.
What was the best part of your Belk College experience?
I met my wife of 29 years, Wanda, in Dr. Guinn’s Intermediate Accounting class.
What was your first job after graduation?
Auditor at Ernst & Young.
What did you learn in the Belk College that has best prepared you for your career?
I learned how hard I had to work to compete with my fellow accounting students. The resulting work ethic and personal accountability have served me well in business.
What advice do you have for current Belk College students?
Develop your communication and political skills. Your work won’t “speak for itself” forever. When you graduate you get to start at the bottom all over again, and you will have to earn every opportunity to advance. And don’t forget where you came from.
Anything else you’d like to say about UNC Charlotte or the Belk College of Business?
Be a proud alumnus. It is up to each and every one of us to advance the reputation of UNC Charlotte and the Belk College of Business. Go Niners!