Stetson Starkey: 2016 Best and Brightest

Stetson Starkey North Carolina

Stetson Starkey

Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

High School: Northside Christian Academy

Major: Business Administration; Emphases in Consulting and International Business

Minor: Spanish for the Professions in Business

Favorite Business Courses: Consulting Skills and Frameworks, Strategic Management, and Leadership Communication

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles during College:

  1. Leadership:
    1. Head Supervisor of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Global Programs Specialists
    2. Executive Director of Undergraduate Business Ambassadors
    3. Trip Leader for Global Immersion Elective to China and Vietnam
    4. Director of External Relations for the International Business Club
  2. Activities:
    1. CIBER International Case Competition
    2. Wall Street Journal Challenge
    3. Student Library Advisory Board
    4. Summer Study Abroad in Santiago, Chile
    5. Volunteer for Camp of the Woods in Ontario, Canada
  3. Awards:
    1. William R. Ludwick Business Merit Scholarship
    2. Frank and Shelayne Sutton Excellence Fund
    3. Edmund B. Ross III Endowment
    4. BSBA Study Abroad Merit Scholarship

Where have you interned during your college career? Kenan Institute Asia (Thai-based NGO), Hanoi, Vietnam, Market Entry Consultant

Describe your dream job: My dream job is to follow in the footsteps of Jim Young Kim and become the President of the World Bank. I love solving complicated business problems and learning about innovation in developing economies.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I enjoy countless aspects of being involved in one of the most exciting and dynamic majors, but most of all I love the people. I thrive in environments where my peers share the same intellectual curiosity. And I find the people within my business school to be the type of leaders who are actively thinking about how to make tomorrow’s world better. The motivation from them is contagious, and I love being stimulated by their ideas.

Where would you like to work after graduation? (I would like to be a Consulting Analyst with Accenture. Fortunately, this is what I will actually be doing!

What are your long-term professional goals? Over the longer term, I want to make sure I make an impact in meaningful ways. I have never been satisfied with simply coasting along and being a cog in a machine. Rather, I want to take lead and drive change. Specifically, I have a huge interest in how disruptive technology will affect developing economies. One of my goals is to use my business knowledge in a place like Vietnam to ensure that technology will be used to encourage inclusive and sustainable growth. 

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I took Economics 101 during my first semester at Carolina. Although I had been considering some other majors at that time, I quickly realized that my analytical mindset would be a perfect fit in business. Also, I had never been so fascinated with anything else as I was with opportunity cost!” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a film composer. One of my favorite things in the world is to sit quietly and listen to beautiful soundtracks from movies. I thoroughly admire the creativity required to generate incredible music from nothing, and I wish that I could do it. Especially as I have matured in college, this interest has continued to grow.” 

What was the happiest moment of your life? My times with my family are always the best moments in my life. This summer we took our maiden voyage to the west, and the whole trip (especially Bryce Canyon Park) was incredible.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? My proudest academic achievement was becoming my high school Valedictorian, simply because it taught me the importance of perseverance and hard work.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A bald eagle because it perfectly symbolizes maturity and stability. Also, it has always been my personal favorite for as long as I can recall.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I have been incredibly blessed by many people in my life, but my grandmother comes to mind when I think of success. Despite all her accomplishments in an incredible life, her most poignant lesson to me has always been that people matter most. As I go about all my duties and ambitions, her lesson for me to keep people and relationships and the forefront of everything has continued to impact me in profound ways.

Fun fact about yourself: I used to work at a cemetery. People usually are very interested in hearing about my cemetery stories.

Favorite book: Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings trilogy

Favorite musical performer: Hans Zimmer

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere in South East Asia.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy UNC basketball, travelling, Korean culture, film scores, and soccer with friends.

What made Stetson such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“Stetson Starkey is a one-of-a-kind student who we affectionately refer to as “Mr. Undergraduate Business Program.” He earned this title not only because of his unbelievable extracurricular engagement, but also for his humanitarianism and excellence in the classroom. Along with various other leadership roles, Stetson serves on the leadership team for the Undergraduate Business Ambassadors. This organization is vital to our program as it is really an extension of our office. We use these students to greet prospective students and their families as well as welcome recruiters to our campus. As a model student with a gregarious personality, Stetson personifies the term ambassador. He has led groups of students through Asia, participated in consulting projects with master’s students, case competitions with fellow undergraduates, founded our International Business Club and volunteered in orphanages in Kenya.

His Sioux Indian heritage is clearly part of his make-up as the terms “friendship” and “ally” underlie the Sioux belief system. Stetson applies content that he’s learning in the classroom and applies it to real-world scenarios through his on-campus involvement. He takes this practice one step further by using what he’s learned in the classroom to better our Undergraduate Business Program. Upon graduation, Stetson is heading into a highly coveted consulting analyst position in Charlotte.”

Anna Millar
Co-Director of the Undergraduate Business Program
Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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