The Kenan-Flagler Way: Q&A with UNC Kenan-Flagler grads

Not too long ago, UNC Kenan-Flagler ran a video competition called MTV@UNC. We asked full-time MBA students participating in a leadership immersion to create music videos that best represented their time at the school.

We posted final videos on our Facebook page, where our fans could vote for their favorites. After a week of voting, the video titled “The Kenan-Flagler Way” won the competition.

We caught up with three team members for a Q&A Julie Hocker, Chris Ray and Naequan Jones told us about their inspiration for the video and also shared their post-MBA career plans. (John Fiscella was unable to join us.)

1. What was the inspiration for the video?

Julie: We wanted to highlight the different programs at UNC Kenan-Flagler while telling the larger story of the school's core values. While those values are obvious to us, they aren't necessarily so to others outside of the school, so we really wanted to emphasize them. We also wanted an anchor for the video, which is why we used the Old Well from the UNC Chapel Hill campus.

Naequan: [On choosing the music] We wanted­ to use a song that would coincide with our message and help us hone in on what Kenan-Flagler is all about. Ultimately, we wanted to embody UNC Kenan-Flagler.

2. Of the values that were emphasized, which one(s) mean the most to you?

Chris: Teamwork. Being able to collaborate in study groups and getting to know people was a big part of my time at Kenan-Flagler.

Naequan: Community. I really enjoyed the friendships I made and the collaborative culture that is so special to the school. UNC Kenan-Flagler is well known for that collaborative culture and that really played out for me.

Julie: Integrity. Integrity is probably the hardest one to get at because everyone has a different view of what it is. It reaches across all of the values because you don't have integrity just some of the time. This is one of the values that is always prevalent whether you are by yourself or working in a community.

3. How important was teamwork during your time at UNC Kenan-Flagler?

Naequan: Very important. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but working in teams showed you that you never have to be afraid to ask for help. Everyone was willing to lend a helping hand.

Chris: Teamwork was especially important during my time at the school. To me, it's actually a differentiator of Kenan-Flagler. Most MBA programs are seen as cutthroat, but Kenan-Flagler establishes a culture of teamwork and community that I was able to see from day one.

Julie: Here, teamwork is expected.

Chris: To add to it, the teamwork is genuine. People remain good friends moving forward and relationships will develop out of team projects.

4. In three words, what advice would you give to a student just starting at Kenan-Flagler?

Julie: Keep moving forward.

Naequan: Don't give up.

Chris: Make a difference.

5. What's next for you and how did UNC Kenan-Flagler factor into that? 

Naequan: I'll be moving to New York City to work with American Express in a global project management role. My classmates and UNC Kenan-Flagler's career services really helped me find this role through introductions, and I was able to leverage the support of my classmates to secure the position. I'm really happy to be at American Express where their culture is very similar to UNC Kenan-Flagler's.

Julie: I will be working with the Vanguard Group for the next six months in their financial advisory services in Pennsylvania and then moving on to work with them in Charlotte. I used to work in the public sector and the big jump from public to private wouldn't have been possible without UNC Kenan-Flagler. They helped me transition by allowing me to learn about the private sector while continuing to volunteer. I didn't have to abandon my roots to make the switch.

Chris: I will be going back to Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta to work in strategy and operations. Before I even decided to come to UNC, I understood and saw the power of networks and the network that was at Kenan-Flagler. And the UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni network at Deloitte was very impactful to me. The school is much more than books and learning, it is about the people. At UNC Kenan-Flagler, I've learned skills and built relationships that I will be able to use moving forward. Now I can go back out there and be an ambassador for UNC Kenan-Flagler at Deloitte.