Neal Patel

Where are you from?
I am a Charlotte native.

In your opinion, what are the three best things about UNC Charlotte?
The three best things about UNC Charlotte are first and foremost, its location; second, the campus, and finally, the social life that it offers.

What clubs and/or organizations were you involved in?
I was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. I have been a part of this organization for four years and it has been a great experience. I have met many wonderful people who I am now proud to call my brothers. Sigma Tau Gamma has shaped me and molded me into the man I am today.

Tell me three random things about yourself.
I have worked in UNC Charlotte Athletics for three and a half years and I have been fortunate enough to have been offered an opportunity with Charlotte IMG.  Charlotte IMG is the Charlotte branch of IMG College, the nation’s largest collegiate sports marketing firm. I have my own website that I use to blog about sports and business and use as a marketing tool. Lastly, I am a first-generation American and my parents are from India.

Where was your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the Student Activities Center (SAC). The SAC provided me with wonderful opportunities throughout my college career. When I was a freshman, I walked into the media relations department with a referral from my cousin who had worked there during his time here at Charlotte and was offered a position with them. Fast forward three years later and I have worked for the Charlotte 49ers athletic department for three and a half years, and it has been a great experience. I have worked almost every basketball and football game during my time here. My favorite part about those three years was working the NCAA tournament last year when Charlotte hosted it. It was truly an experience I will never forget. The Student Activities Center is also home to my current job with Charlotte IMG. Without that first step in the door with the media relations department, I would not be where I am today. I will always be thankful to both the media relations department at UNC Charlotte Athletics as well as the IMG College branch at UNC Charlotte. They have really taught me a lot and are preparing me for the future and for that, I am grateful.

Neal Patel graduated in May 2016 with a major in marketing, looking forward to putting his experiences in sports marketing to work.
Why did you study marketing?

The reason I chose marketing was for the vast amount of career opportunities that it opens up for you. With a marketing degree you can get a job in anything from advertising and sales to digital marketing and marketing analytics.

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

I chose the Belk College of Business because of the unlimited networking possibilities it offers in the city of Charlotte. Being a Charlotte native, it was a no-brainer for me to choose UNC Charlotte because it is a great school, in a great city, with many potential post-grad opportunities.

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

In my free time, I always find something to keep me productive, from playing sports to just grabbing a book, relaxing and reading.

What was the best part of your academic experience?

The Belk College of Business has some of the greatest professors on UNC Charlotte’s campus. They are very knowledgeable about their specific fields and most of them have real-world experiences that make the classes more interesting.  Because the professors integrate their real-world experiences into the course material, the students come out of class better prepared to face a professional work environment.

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

The Belk College of Business is a great business school. It offers a wide variety of opportunities to its students during their undergraduate experiences and beyond.  The connections that the Belk College has with various companies also benefit students as they enter the workforce after graduation. Another great advantage of the school is its location. It is located only 10 minutes from uptown Charlotte, which is not only one of the United State’s biggest financial headquarters, but also is home to many Fortune 500 companies.

What plans are your pursuing now that you have graduated?

I plan to work for a major sports team or sports marketing firm. Being a Charlotte native, it would be a dream come true to work for the Carolina Panthers in their marketing/branding department.

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