Stephen Conrad

Stephen Conrad

When did you graduate and what was your major?
I graduated in May 2014 with an MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics.

What led you to earn a graduate degree at UNC Charlotte?
I knew that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. My undergraduate degree in engineering was very technical so I decided to apply to MBA programs to have a more rounded education. When looking at the programs offered in Charlotte, UNC Charlotte offered the best value to me. I loved the brand new uptown campus, highly ranked professors from all industries, and a schedule that allowed me to work full time. The ability to choose electives to customize the MBA degree for a specific concentration was also a big selling point for me.

What was the best part of your Belk College experience?
For me, the relationships I developed were one of the best parts of the program. I still communicate with both former professors and former classmates, and I was able to expand my professional network.

What was your first job after graduation?
I accepted a job at Belk as a Digital Project Manager in June 2014.

What opportunities did your new degree provide?
I found my current job through some connections I made during a class project. Our Advanced Business Analytics course participated in a real world project and partnered up with Belk to do an analysis on actual store data. That’s where I learned a lot more about Belk as a company and the way they’re innovating to get ahead in the world of technology.

What did you learn in the Belk College that has best prepared you for your career?
The best preparation for my career was being able to participate in class discussions or debates with classmates from many backgrounds/careers. Coming from a small office of engineers to a $4 billion retail company was a big adjustment, but I truly believe that the team projects and class discussions at UNC Charlotte helped with my career transition.

What advice do you have for current Belk College students?
Have an open mind, and be willing and ready to learn. You will get as much out of the program as you put into it. You can choose to either do the minimum required to pass, or you can work hard to develop relationships, do additional research on topics of interest, and take on outside reading that may strike up class discussions or answer your open questions.

Anything else to share?
UNC Charlotte does a great job helping its students in every way they can. Take advantage of all they offer! From career advice and professional development to arranged coffee meetings with former classmates working in industries you may be interested in, UNCC is there to help you succeed. Also, just have fun learning from professors and each other; I promise it makes each semester fly by.