2017 Best & Brightest: Craig Amasya, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Craig Amasya

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“Hard-working. Alpha male. Jackhammer. Merciless. Insatiable.”

Fun fact about yourself: I will have traveled to seven countries through UNC Kenan-Flagler by the time I graduate: Chile, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, China, Vietnam and New Zealand.

Hometown: Cornelius, NC

High School: W. A. Hough High School

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Hispanic Studies

Favorite Business Courses: Professional Selling, Strategic Management, Symposium Core Committee, International Development

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During:


  • Finance Vice Chair, UNC-Chapel Hill Student Congress
  • Project Manager, Undergraduate Business Symposium


  • 1st Place & Top Presenter: International Case Competition at Maastricht University, The Netherlands (ICC@M 2016)
  • 1st Place: Deloitte Undergraduate Case Competition at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • 1st Place: Red Ventures Case Competition at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • 1st Place: National Supply Chain and Operations Case Competition at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Where have you interned during your college career? (

  • Public Consulting Group, Charlotte, N.C. – Summer Intern
  • Red Ventures, Charlotte, N.C. – Operations Analyst Intern
  • Undergraduate Business Program, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C. – Special Projects Manager

Describe your dream Job: My grandfather grew up in rural Turkey and never attended high school. He gave his life savings to allow his younger brother to go to college and become an engineer. My dream job is to work in higher education administration, continuing to create opportunities for those willing to work hard.

Who is your favorite professor? The professors I’ve had at UNC Kenan-Flagler have been some of the most remarkable individuals I’ve ever met, and yet Dr. Larry Chavis stands tall amongst them.  Dr. Chavis has been a standout professor for years. He is able to immediately connect with students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and his quick wit brings levity to the dreariest of days.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Elon Musk for his vision, dedication, and ability to bring the far-fetched to fruition

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I don’t like the word “impossible.” Very few projects actually fit that description, and with a little bit of work, people are bright enough to figure out a way to do almost anything. It’s also quite a bit of fun to beat expectations.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I’ve accepted a full-time role with Red Ventures as a Strategic Analyst.

What are your long-term professional goals? To continue learning, growing, and improving the organizations of which I am a part.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is not a narrow field by any stretch of the imagination. To actually succeed, you need to understand a little of everything and not just the functions of a business (i.e. marketing, finance, operations, etc.). I have a lot of interests – history, politics, language, travel, physics, computer science – and all of them have been relevant to parts of my business education. I encourage those studying any professional field to pursue a liberal arts education in parallel, even if it’s self-taught for one’s own edification.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I realized how many opportunities it would open up for me.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a computer science student.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…the winning lottery numbers.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? When my little sister Jill was born, and then again when my little sister Kayla was born. It’s all pretty much been downhill since then.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I was Project Manager of the Undergraduate Business Symposium for a year at UNC Kenan-Flagler. I had a team of 13 stellar individuals helping to organize one of nation’s oldest and largest student-run career development events, with 400 students, 50 companies and 130 company representatives participating in 24 unique programming sessions. This was our 30th annual event and we recreated every detail of Symposium from the ground up. We were even fortunate enough to secure Ric Elias, the CEO of Red Ventures, as our keynote speaker. We blew every metric out of the water and we were sure the event had reached its peak, but when I turned the management of the following year’s event over to my best friend, Chris, his team built even further on our outcomes. The President of ESPN – John Skipper – keynoted the 2016 event, and their revenue and attendance numbers showed substantial growth yet again. I was proud of my team, but I was even prouder that we created even more opportunities for those who followed us.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand?An owl, for its wisdom and majesty.  I’m choosing to view this question aspirationally.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mom is the most incredible person I’ve ever known, and I’ll be forever indebted to her for the person I’ve become. She taught me how to read, which allowed me to skip kindergarten and gain an entire extra year of earning potential.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “He could have done anything he set his mind to.”  Equally fine, “Who?”

Favorite book: Eragon

Favorite movie: Mary Poppins

Favorite musical performer: Nat King Cole

Favorite vacation spot: New Zealand

What are your hobbies? Board games, strategy games, card games, learning, reading, comedy, movies

What made Craig such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“You know you have a special student in your program when the entire team is not-so-secretly hoping that perhaps he won’t graduate, but instead stay on for another year like a red-shirted athlete. Craig is just that student. His impact has permeated every aspect of our Undergraduate Business Program from insightful and thoughtful in-class discussion, to leading our major career event, to successfully representing our Program in domestic and international case competitions – he has done it all.  He also served as an intern to our Undergraduate Business Program office, where he took on a large, high-profile, strategic project of great importance to the School.

We have witnessed first-hand his top-notch critical thinking, presentation and problem-solving skills. He is a tireless worker and always finds a way to fit in work we need completed despite all of the other demands on his time. Throughout this project, he has had exposure to the most senior levels of the Business School and the University and all have been impressed.

The qualities you would never see on his resume are what make Craig truly special – his love for his family, which he wears on his sleeve every day; his compassion for his classmates; and his desire to see everyone around him succeed. He will be sorely missed when he leaves our campus this spring, but I find comfort in knowing that he will forever be part of the UNC Kenan-Flagler family and an alum who will make us proud every day.”

Anna Millar
Director of the Undergraduate Business Program
UNC Kenan-Flagler