2019 Best & Brightest: Dylan Brooks, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Dylan Brooks

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

An outgoing introvert with a passion for adventure and learning.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’m an avid freestyle rapper.

Hometown: Pembroke, North Carolina

High School: Purnell Swett High School

Major: Business

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Consulting Skills and Frameworks

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Admissions Ambassador for UNC
  • Starting Right Back on the Men’s Club Handball Team
  • Teaching Assistant for Masters of Accounting (MAC) 777
  • Substitute Teacher for the Public Schools of Robeson County
  • Student Ambassador for ALDI
  • Business Development Subcommittee of the Undergraduate Business Symposium
  • Scholar in the Carolina Millennial Scholars Program
  • Native Service Scholar with the UNC American Indian Center
  • Recipient of the Fred Clark Scholar Award
  • Three-time recipient of the Renwick Academic Achievement Award
  • Seven-time member of the Dean’s list

Where have you interned during your college career? ALDI – District Manager Intern in Charlotte, North Carolina

Where will you be working after graduation? ALDI – District Manager in the Salisbury division

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I enjoyed UNC Kenan-Flagler’s dedication to the development of the well-rounded business student. They are dedicated to ensuring students have the academic foundation necessary to succeed in the business world, but also ensure that students have the necessary communication and leadership skills to effectively implement the great ideas that they’ll develop. I received high-quality in-class academic training, learned how to give great presentations, work in teams, and became a better leader.

UNC Kenan-Flagler also emphasizes the importance of studying abroad and developing cross-cultural communication skills. As such, I had the opportunity to study business in China, Vietnam, and Denmark. These international experiences played a pivotal role in my personal and professional development. They helped me see first-hand how important being an effective cross-cultural communicator is and how many opportunities exist across the globe for business professionals willing to take risks and expand their companies. These experiences caused me to learn more about myself, as I was forced to adapt to life in totally different environments. I’m extremely grateful for these life-changing experiences.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The ability to problem-solve is the most important skill that you can develop. Efficient and effective problem-solving is a deliberate process that an individual can continuously refine and develop. If you can become an expert problem solver, you will have a profound and valued impact on any business or organization. Studying business has inspired me to continuously work on refining my problem-solving abilities.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would advise the student to seek out challenging opportunities in areas of business that he or she finds most exciting or interesting. I have found that individuals tend to be the most successful when they are pursuing academic and professional experiences that they are truly passionate about. It is important to not fall into the trap of picking an area of business based upon its higher salary or prestige.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…History. Learning how the world we live in today came into existence is extremely fascinating and important to know. Often times, having a good understanding of how certain structures, systems, and cultures have evolved greatly aids in truly understanding many of the issues we face in society today.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My uncle most influenced my decision to pursue business in college. He pursued a career in international business and this allowed him to work in a wide variety of countries throughout his career. I was always fascinated by the experiences he had working all over the globe and this inspired me to pursue a business degree.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of serving as a teaching assistant for Master of Accounting (MAC) 777. The class is the capstone course of the MAC mentorship program at UNC and offers students the opportunity to develop their problem solving, teamwork, and presentational skills. I took this course early on in my collegiate career here at UNC and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As such, it was an honor to be able to serve as a teaching assistant for the course during my senior year. I enjoyed having the opportunity to aid my peers in their academic and professional development by teaching them many of the lessons I learned throughout my time at UNC.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate Pedro Duarte. Pedro has great analytical abilities and is always willing to accept challenges. He has a talent for finding the underlying strengths and weaknesses of firms and proposed strategies. I often ask him for advice on a wide variety of ideas and strategies because I know that he will quickly find any strengths and weaknesses that I have failed to identify.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I most want to thank my parents for my success. They have always been extremely supportive and encouraging in all of my academic, athletic, and personal endeavors. Their constant support and unconditional love have given me the strength and motivation I need to work at achieving my goals.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I would love to travel to all seven continents and obtain my pilot’s license.

What are your hobbies?

  • Playing basketball
  • Playing tennis
  • Playing team handball
  • Watching Disney movies
  • Freestyle rapping

What made Dylan Brooks such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“It’s a bit clichéd, but I would describe Dylan Brooks as a rock star. While he certainly shines bright like many of the other stellar students we have in our Undergraduate Business Program, my emphasis would be on the term “rock.” Dylan is a humble leader that makes other students around him feel valued and part of the team.  He’s provides a real foundation for any group of which he is a part. I spent two weeks in Asia with Dylan as part of a Global Immersion and worked with him for nine months as part of a small class that organizes our school’s main recruiting event, the Undergraduate Business Symposium. Each of those projects could be tiring and stressful in their own ways. Dylan was always steady, optimistic and ready to help.

I have many great memories of Dylan’s time at UNC Kenan-Flagler.  We walked the Great Wall together. He wrote an in-depth reflection piece on our travels to Asia and how the trends he saw could impact economic growth. He graciously spent more than a day of his time recruiting for ALDI at our career networking event, sharing his stories and trying to help other students along.

I also have engaged with Dylan in my role as the interim director of the UNC American Indian Center. He has been a great campus ambassador for our community. He was one of two students to receive the inaugural Carolina Native Service Scholars Award for his leadership and service. Many Native students bring with them the hopes and dreams of their communities and Dylan is not only excelling for himself but shining his star for future Native students to follow.

My favorite memory, however, is when our committee of student advisors interviewed Dylan for a position on the Undergraduate Business Symposium Core Committee. This is a very competitive position and fewer than half the applicants are accepted. Dylan had listed “freestyle rapper” on his resume and a student asked him about it at the end of the interview. Always cool under pressure and willing to stand behind his resume, Dylan laid down a few lines. He was already “in” at that point, but his willingness to go out on a limb made everyone happy along the way. Rap star probably would also be an appropriate descriptor for Dylan.”

Larry Chavis
Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

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