2018 Best & Brightest: Caroline Ririe, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Caroline Ririe

University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Music-making, Spanish-speaking, education-impassioned, Tar Heel businesswoman driven to empower.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have played violin and fiddle for 19 years, and I have performed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards Festival, played music with Josh Kelley, Frankie Gavin, Jim Avett, Tony Williamson, Mike Mills, and opened for Moon Taxi, Echosmith, Better Than Ezra, The Gin Blossoms and Edwin McCain.

Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

High School: Mount Tabor High School

Major: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Minor: Music

Favorite Business Course: Estrategía Empresarial (Business Strategy) – I took Estrategía Empresarial in Madrid at ICADE through UNC Kenan-Flagler’s partnership with Comillas Pontifical University during the spring of my junior year. The content was fascinating, but the added complexity of being taught in Spanish with mostly European company case studies created a real challenge. My semester-long project group consisted of five final year Spaniards and me. Working with these students introduced me to European and Spanish approaches to business within many different contexts. These differing perspectives encouraged and challenged me to analyze business growth from new angles. In addition, I learned about their internships, the jobs they would begin after school and their individual lifestyles. This class inspired me to accept a career path in strategy as an associate consultant for Bain & Company starting in the fall of 2018.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular

  • “Below the Line” Band Violinist and Co-Founder (2012-Present)
  • Alpha Delta Pi PanHellenic Delegate (2016) and Music Chair (2015)
  • Undergraduate Consulting Club Director of Firm Relations (2016)
  • Symphony Orchestra Committee Secretary (2015)
  • Undergraduate Finance Society (2015-2017)
  • UNC Best Buddies Associate Buddy (2015)
  • Suzuki Violin Teacher (2011-Present)

Scholarships

  • The James K. McLean Scholarship – 2017
  • Scholarship in Memory of Hal Kearns Reynolds – 2016
  • PEO Star Scholar – 2014

Honors

  • Dean’s List 6/6 Semesters
  • Asked to be featured on Tony Williamson’s Heritage Album – 2018
  • Copenhagen Business School International Case Competition UNC-Kenan-Flagler representative – 2018
  • CSF Biltmore Final Case Competition Winner – 2016
  • Phi Beta Kappa Society – 2018

International Experience

  • Comillas Pontifical University, Catholic Institute of Business Administration | Madrid, Spain – Spring Semester 2017
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler “Global Immersion Elective: Business in Emerging Markets” | Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa – May 2016

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging Investment Banking Group Summer Analyst, New York, NY (2017)
  • Breakthrough Collaborative – Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano Teaching Fellow, Orange County, CA (2016)
  • Morgan Stanley – The Miller Group Wealth Management Intern, Winston-Salem, NC (2015)

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Bain & Company as an associate consultant in Atlanta, Georgia.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I enjoyed the team-centric culture. The teamwork focused nature of the classroom pervades the entire establishment and student body. I believe it is natural to become acquainted with the people in your own cohort, but in UNC Kenan-Flagler it goes much farther. The late nights spent in the study rooms of McColl Building over exciting client work to not-so-exciting tedious first-time financial modeling analysis not only taught me to be good team member, but allowed me to learn with and from my peers. Although I have had incredible professors, I have learned the most from the students I have worked with in the context of real-world team projects. My conversations with these students have continued far beyond our final presentations. They are my friends. We study together, carpool together and even play poker on Fridays. This network of incredible students will stay with me throughout my career and my life.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I learned the importance of utilizing resources. Starting out college, I often felt like a little fish in a big pond. There was so much I wanted to do but I didn’t know how nor did I know where to look to start. Upon acceptance into UNC Kenan-Flagler, the business school requires participation in a program called ENGAGE. The program requires participation in mock interviews and cultural intelligence seminars, gives examples of career paths and provides specific steps to succeed in each, and introduces the Undergraduate Business Program, Career Services, and area-specific staff. Furthermore, UNC Kenan-Flagler puts on endless career fairs, boot camps, and training programs. Studying business not only gave me access to limitless resources, but coached me to use them.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Studying business will set you up for whatever you want to do with your life. Whether it is to move to Nashville and try out a music career or go to medical school, studying business gives you the skill set necessary to understand the industry and succeed in any position. Business intersects with every aspect of the society in which we live and studying it prepares you to work efficiently in the system. I think every student should take some business classes.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying… music and math.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was most surprised by how little I knew about business, even after a financial advising internship.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I have been fascinated by the corporate world, particularly the markets, since I was a little girl. After countless medical issues growing up, though, I felt it was in part my duty to become a physician. I began taking chemistry classes, but kept finding myself surrounded by pre-business students. An older girl named Rally Tocheva recognized my unrelenting curiosity regarding business and the classes she was taking as a business major. She encouraged me to look into UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Undergraduate Business Program. After an internship in financial advising, I knew that business would be my path.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being in a position where I can help younger students figure out what they want to do and help them develop the skills they need. The only reason I have been able to do what I have done is because of the many people who went out of their way to help and mentor me. I feel proud and excited to have been able to help and continue to help younger students this year from editing business school applications to giving mock interviews for investment banking and consulting positions to connecting students with the right people to get them where they want to go.

Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire Madison (Maddie) Murphy. Her persistence in the face of hardship has stood as an example for me time-and-time again. Although we have been drawn to different business functions – she to sales and marketing and me to finance/consulting – we have helped and pushed each other to study harder, reach beyond our perceived limits, and support each other in all aspects of our lives. She also sets a phenomenal example of work-life balance. Although Maddie is an incredible student and devotes countless hours to ensure such, she recognizes the importance of setting aside time for friends, family and leisure. She is constantly going above and beyond for the people and things she cares about. I look forward to watching Maddie enter the workforce, because she is a force to be reckoned with and will make positive changes wherever she goes.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?  I want to thank the Undergraduate Business Program and Career Services Staff. Leticia DeCastro and David Vogel, in particular, have played a huge role in my own personal and professional development. Without them, I would not have had the confidence necessary to reach for the formidable goals I set for myself.

What would your theme song be? My theme song would be “Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band because it is my favorite song to perform, and I am moving down to Georgia after graduation!

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • The Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil
  • Become proficient in Portuguese

Favorite book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Favorite movie: 12 Angry Men and Mad Max: Fury Road

Favorite vacation spot: Porto Cristo, Mallorca

What are your hobbies? Playing music, reading, tennis, SCUBA diving, tutoring, trading, and spending quality time with friends

What made Caroline such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Caroline is a down-to-earth, multi-dimensional superstar. On a career trek to New York City to interact with 10 investment banks, Caroline immediately differentiated herself from the 25 other students on the trip in that she was extremely well prepared, asked intriguing and authentic questions to the bankers and was masterful at working the room during the networking components while exhibiting poise and sharing her sense of humor. She is an incredibly bright individual with the ability to adapt and learn at an unusual pace.

One example of this is how well she came up the learning curve in advance of her back-to-back consulting, investment banking and private equity interviews. Each requires unique preparation to elevate the chance for success – a mix that involves a command of case interviewing techniques, an understanding of corporate finance oriented technical questions and modeling as well as a material amount of research and informational interviewing. Caroline proved her ability to tackle these simultaneously presented challenges by obtaining full-time job offers from highly respected employers in consulting, investment banking and private equity.

Above all, Caroline frequently demonstrates her ability to establish rapport, build trust and work effectively in teams – traits that will serve both her and her teams well as she navigates her career and life.  These factors and many others led to selecting Caroline as one of four students who will represent UNC Kenan-Flagler in a high-stakes international strategy case competition in late February 2018. My only disappointment is that I have not yet heard Caroline perform as a violinist or a vocalist, which is something I hope to remedy before she graduates.”

David Vogel, Director
Career Development & Employer Relations
Undergraduate Business Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler

DON’T MISS: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST BUSINESS MAJORS OF 2018 — THE COMPLETE LIST