Parker James graduated in May 2017 with double majors in Finance and Operations and Supply Chain Management. When not studying or playing sports, he was active in the Business Honors Program and the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps.
What major(s) did you pursue and why?
I pursued a double major in Finance and Operations and Supply Chain Management. The reason why I chose these two majors is because I feel as if they go hand in hand and perfectly complement one another in the overall business environment. Finance was certainly my number one choice coming into college, because I’ve always had the desire to help others achieve financial wealth and stability through sound investments and financial vehicles. I believe that everyone has the right to be knowledgeable and self-aware of the opportunities for income — outside of their work income alone — and build a stable retirement. If I could ever influence anyone with finance, it would be to start young and build a portfolio that is aimed at an individual’s financial/retirement goal. This sounds cliché, but compound interest and building a budget are two of the most useful pieces of advice that anyone can use in their life. As for supply chain management, I decided to pursue this secondary major after my visit to SABIC Innovative Plastics. I was fascinated with how integral supply chain is in everyday goods and services. I thought that supply chain would enlighten my perception of how businesses operate, and how exactly a particular product makes its way from point A to point B in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business/UNC Charlotte?
I chose the Belk College of Business and UNC Charlotte due to the proximity in relation to the city of Charlotte — which happens to be the second largest banking city in the United States and third in the world. That little fact alone is enough to sell me on this fabulous institution. Currently, I am a part of the Business Honors Program here at UNC Charlotte, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities it has offered me thus far. I have been able to surround myself with other bright-minded, entrepreneurial students that will surely excel in any realm of business.
What activities were you involved in when not working or studying?
Whenever I get the chance to have some down time, which is rare, I enjoy spending time playing sports and working out, spending time with friends and family, and binge watching YouTube videos about cars. I have a huge obsession with automobiles — Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, etc., because I view them as eclectic masterpieces of art and the amount of complex physics and engineering incorporated into each is truly fascinating. Unfortunately, I cannot afford these vehicles as a broke college student, but I plan on acquiring these vehicles that I have dreamed of since I was a child with posters hanging on my wall.
What was the best part of your academic experience?
My favorite academic experience so far has been my overall engagement in extracurricular activities around campus. Every year, I at least play one or two intramural sports with friends because it helps relieve some stress from classes, and allows me an opportunity to spend time playing the sports that I have always enjoyed. Additionally, I decided to join the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) and it has been one of best decisions of my life. AROTC has afforded me the experience of a lifetime to commission into the Army Reserves upon graduation and pursue a secondary career as a military officer. There’s nothing that I am more proud of than being able to say that I will be a part of one tenth of one percent of Americans to serve this great nation and protect the freedom and liberties granted by the Constitution.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone who is thinking about applying?
I would tell someone that the Belk College of Business is an extraordinary option for a student who has the desire to become competitive in the business world upon graduation. No one knows what the workforce will be in the next five years, but I would tell any future UNC Charlotte 49er that the Belk College of Business gives you a competitive advantage to acquiring a job in a competitive world through its reputable faculty and professors. The Belk College is an enriching environment aimed to develop and produce the most the successful business alumni.
If you have received a scholarship or financial aid, how has that helped you?
I am currently receiving a scholarship through the Army and it has helped me tremendously with being able to afford school. Since I am paying for school myself, it really has helped soothe the pressure and ruthlessness of student loans. In return for the scholarship, I will serve a minimum of eight years in the Army — a tradeoff that I am proud to make.
What are your plans after graduation?
My goal is to become a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA). In addition to my civilian career, I will be a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve. As a matter of fact, I commissioned as an officer the morning of graduation.