PQU Campus Correspondent: Michael Walker (Kenan-Flagler)

Michael Walker

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler)

Hometown: Mocksville, North Carolina

Year: Sophomore

Major: Business Administration (emphasis area still to be decided)

Minor: Information Systems through UNC’s School of Information and Library Science

25 Questions with Campus Correspondent Michael Walker

When did you know you wanted to go to business school?

During junior year of high school when I saw all of the amazing opportunities my sister had received thanks to her degree in business.

When you found out you were accepted into Kenan-Flagler, what was your reaction?

I honestly was far more excited than when I found out I was accepted into UNC. It pretty much made my entire week.

What other schools did you apply to?

I knew I wanted to stay close to home so the only other schools I applied to were Wake Forest and Duke (sorry about that one).

Why should students preparing to enter college consider going into business school?

To me the biggest asset of a business degree is the flexibility it allows. I feel as if the skills I’m acquiring at Kenan-Flagler will enable me to be successful across a wide range of industries and positions.

What has been the most surprising thing about B-school?

How close the school is. It has been very refreshing to transition from massive gen eds (general education courses) freshman year to smaller classes where I feel like I have the opportunity to develop more personal relationships with both the faculty and other students.

How many internships have you done and with what companies?

After my freshman year I interned with an IT service company named Macro Integration Services, and I’m hoping to gain experience at another company this coming summer.

Have you studied abroad?

No, but I just applied to.

When, where, and what was the experience?

I’m hoping to study at the London School of Economics, and with any luck I’ll get back to you on the experience in a few months.

If you had to choose one: an internship or studying abroad?

I’m trying to do both this summer, but if I had to choose I would probably lean towards studying abroad. Everyone I’ve talked to about studying abroad claims it is a must and changed their life. I know that next summer I’ll definitely need to do an internship, and I don’t want to miss any semesters at UNC, so I feel like it makes a lot of sense to go abroad this summer.

What has been your most memorable moment in B-school?

Probably our Business Symposium this past fall.

Why should students apply to Kenan-Flagler?

Well if you’re an in-state student considering business the value for Kenan-Flagler is hard to say no to. Otherwise, I think it’s the faculty and environment at both UNC and Kenan-Flagler that separates the school. At Kenan-Flagler you’re able to receive a top 10 undergrad business education while also attending a school located in a town typically ranked as one of the best college towns.

What are your goals after graduation?

For the time being, I am interested in pursuing a career within the consulting industry upon graduation. I hope to gain as much professional experience as possible when beginning my career, and to figure out which facets of business best fit my abilities.

When you’re not studying, where on campus can we most likely find you?

Likely just at either mine or one of my friend’s places hanging out, but preferably at the Dean Dome watching a Carolina victory.

What are you most excited about for the new semester?

I’ve been really excited just to begin the program at Kenan-Flagler, and to get to know my professors and classmates.

What are your hobbies outside of B-school?

Sports, cars, music, reading, and tech.

What advice would you offer your freshman self?

I touch on this a little later when I talk about Jeff Jones, but mainly just to stress a little less.

What is one thing that could improve your business school to make it an even better experience?

My only real wish for Kenan-Flagler would be for it to have a greater focus on the technology industry. It sometimes feels as if all the focus is on jobs in accounting, finance, and consulting, but with our proximity to the RTP (North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park) I feel like we have the opportunity to have a real strength in tech as well.

What is the one class or who is the one professor every B-school student should take?

I can’t speak too much about the course as I haven’t taken it yet, but BUSI 520: Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling for Business is pretty commonly referred to as the most beneficial course to take.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5 years I’ll be 25 and hopefully working at a job I love. Ideally, I would like to stay close to home and work within the Southeast.

What is one life changing moment you’ve experienced as a business school student?

One moment that sticks out to me was hearing Jeff Jones speak as the keynote at our Business Symposium this past fall. When asked about what advice he would give to his college self, Jones responded that he would merely tell himself to relax and know it would all work out. As someone who often stresses too much over uncertainty in the future, Jones’ words have stuck with me.

What one word would you use to describe the professors at Kenan-Flagler?

Invested.

What word to describe the students?

Passionate.

What is the culture like there?

The culture is unique in that it is both very collaborative and competitive.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

In my brief time in the business program Ovul Sezer has quickly become my favorite professor. Not only is Professor Sezer incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about Organizational Behavior, but she is also consistently entertaining and engaging.

When you graduate what do you think you’ll miss most about business school?

For sure the people. During my limited time in the business school I’ve already felt as if I belong to a real community that cares about fostering the success of one another.