Where are you from?
I was born in Belgium and raised right here in Charlotte.
What was your favorite class at UNC Charlotte and why?
Definitely Real Estate Finance with Dr. Dustin Read. I loved that class because he truly understood what real estate firms were looking for in an investment analyst coming out of an undergraduate experience. He made us take all of our exams in Microsoft Excel and he fully expected us to build a financial model from scratch. That helped me tremendously in my case study interviews with some of the top real estate investors in the world.
What major did you pursue and why?
I majored in finance because I really love looking under the hood of a successful investment or company. Having a firm understanding of the financial landscape gives you a competitive edge and aids your decision making in business.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte?
I chose the Belk College because of its prestige in the local business community. I knew that come time for me to seek employment and networking opportunities, the Belk College faculty and staff would help navigate that process.
What activities were you involved in when not working/studying?
I have a wife and a two-year-old, so when I was not studying I was spending time with my family.
What was the best part of your academic experience?
Without a doubt, the best part of my academic experience is when I studied abroad. I spent a semester studying Mandarin, International Finance and Globalization in Shanghai, China. That was hands down the best part of my time at UNC Charlotte.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone who is thinking about applying?
I would describe the Belk College as resourceful. They have so many different opportunities exclusive to the business school, including internships, study abroad, networking events, etc. The staff and advisers are always at your service and always stress their availability. I don't know where I'd be without them.
How did you obtain a job with Northwestern Mutual before graduation?
Ron Joelson, the Chief Investment Officer of Northwestern Mutual, spoke at a Belk College event in fall 2015. After the event, I approached him and shared with him my personal elevator pitch and expressed interest in a specific position within their corporate office. Mr. Joelson advised me to send him my resume and he would get it into the right hands. A few weeks later, I was invited to multiple rounds of interviews. I'm forever grateful for Dean Ott and the Belk College of Business. If it wasn't for that event, I doubt I would have received this opportunity.