Graduating at the beginning of a global pandemic wasn’t part of the plan for Cassidy Burel ‘20 (Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies).
“It was an interesting transition,” says Burel, who earned her bachelor’s degree in May 2020. “Because of COVID being so new, we were just trying to implement new infrastructure for dealing with things.”
But Burel never stopped. After a virtual commencement ceremony she did what she could to keep her career’s momentum moving forward, taking work at a local bridal shop performing alterations and customizations – just about anything she could get her hands on.
“CARS is great at teaching fundamentals on how to sew,” she made a point to note.
With a degree from the Bryan School in hand and more and more alterations under her belt, Burel began to dream bigger, of perhaps even setting out on her own. After a few custom jobs on the side, ranging from backpacks to bridal gowns, Burel noticed she was gaining some momentum when it came to the latter.
“Now I actually have taken a step into investing in myself and my business – CassB by Design,” says Burel.
Functioning out of a home studio, she sees this as a chance to choose what she wants to be known for – a seamstress, a designer, or wherever this road takes her. Burel released her first shoppable mini collection promoting sustainability in fashion earlier this year. You can find links to her work by searching cassbbydesign on Instagram.
Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies is great at teaching fundamentals.”
Seeing clients achieve the goals that we strategically planned for is very gratifying.”
Since earning his master’s in accounting, Justin Moore ‘10 MS has been named a Forbes Best in State Next-Gen Advisor, to the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list and the American Bankers Association Top 40 Under 40, and twice an America’s Top Next Generation Wealth Advisor.
Borderline hesitant to share those career accomplishments over the phone, however, it’s clear Moore isn’t in it for the accolades.
“You think about what’s most important to people – I would say the top three in any order would encompass health, money and some form of spirituality. And I think providing sound financial advice and guidance enhances the quality of one’s life,” Moore said. “Seeing clients achieve the goals that we strategically planned for is very gratifying. Coming from a community where financial literacy isn’t taught, these experiences prove that making informed financial decisions has a lifelong impact and sometimes generational implications. You either learn to manage money, or the lack of it will manage you.”
Though his client base has evolved through the years – his ideology has always stayed the same.
“Helping people make sound financial decisions, that’s always been the goal. Money aside, I thoroughly enjoy changing the outcomes of others’ lives,” he said.
When he’s not serving as a Senior Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor at Bank of America, Moore says he
enjoys traveling and cycling with his three kids. And he remains grateful for his time at the Bryan School.
“UNCG is a school where employers come looking for students,” he said.
As far as Priyanka Karpe ‘19 MS is concerned, the Bryan School was a great place to be an international student.
“In India we have so many festivals. I was able to celebrate the Festival of Light at UNCG and that was a good experience for me – the faculty and students organized it and I never felt away from home,” she said.
Karpe followed her husband to the U.S. when he took a job in the Raleigh area. After enrolling at the Bryan School, she says North Carolina began to feel more and more like a home away from home. Before long she was carving her own path, winning a coding challenge and landing an internship at IBM during her studies.
“One of the reasons I got my IBM internship was the mock interviews – it was really flexible and simple,” she said. “They used to say, ‘Just email or call us if you want to have one.’ We’d call and that helped a lot. The Bryan School was really able to prepare me with that feedback.”
After her internship, Karpe entered the workforce at Walmart’s headquarters in Arkansas. But Carolina stayed on her mind, and she eventually landed back at IBM, receiving a promotion this past year in her role as a software engineer.
“I’ve told my friends to apply at UNCG,” she says. “I tell them not to hesitate. There’s such a good faculty, they’re ready and always there for you, not just for coursework and exams but with extracurriculars and gatherings. Only studying is boring – you need to have some fun, too.”
The Bryan School was really able to prepare me.”
I love that in one day I have virtually traveled around the world and made an impact globally.”
“The thing I love most about my job is the people. I am lucky to get to work with some incredibly talented individuals and have the opportunity to learn from them every day. I am a fully remote employee and that can be lonely at some companies, but at Harvey Nash USA it’s the opposite,” says Brenna Barnett ‘15 (Marketing). “My day starts early with conversations with my European & Asian colleagues and ends with meetings with the west coast team. I love that in one day I have virtually traveled around the world and made an impact globally.”
One look at her resume and it feels like Barnett hasn’t wasted a single second since her time at the Bryan School. Currently a marketing manager with Harvey Nash USA, she says she’s motivated by diversity and representation efforts across industries – not just recruitment.
Alongside receiving the American Staffing Association’s Emerging Women in Leadership Recognition in 2019, Barnett is an active participant in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council at Nash Squared, TechService Alliance Marketing Roundtable and Women in Leadership Roundtable, Staffing Industry Analyst Diversity Roundtable, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber, as well as the Women in Energy Network.
“I recently had the opportunity to visit our Headquarters in London for the annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council meeting and – wow – what an exciting conversation to join,” she said. “It’s exciting, and humbling, to listen to individuals’ stories. While we are all humans, we have different struggles and backgrounds that make us unique.”
Barnett admits she’s grown a lot since her time at Bryan, recalling fondly how she began to build her confidence through real-world, hands-on marketing class projects as well as extracurricular activities with various organizations. Her advice to current students?
“Have no fear,” she says. “You are the future and have value to add. But also: it’s early in your career. So be a sponge, listen and learn, soak it all up!”
Probabilities of failure isn’t a topic you’ll see highlighted very often in an alumni magazine. That is, of course, unless a former PhD in Economics student writes a book on the subject.
Principal Investigators and R&D Failure: Probabilities of Failure” by Dr. Morgan Boyce ‘21 PhD is set for a 2022 release. Though Boyce says his journey to earning his PhD in 2021 almost never happened.
“When I started, my wife was pregnant with our first child so it wasn’t feasible to quit working to go back to school full time. It was a bit of a Hail Mary,” he says of his Bryan School application. “I was pleasantly surprised the Department of Economics was willing to work with me.”
Now a Lead Quantitative Analytic Specialist, Model Risk Audit for Wells Fargo, Boyce recalls fondly his experience with Bryan School researchers.
“It was a great experience and quite honestly my advisor and my dissertation committee – I was extremely satisfied and impressed and humbled by their accomplishments,” he said. “After my dissertation, I really can’t give enough credit to my advisor Dr. Al Link – he is off the charts the number of times he’s been cited.”
Link, the Virginia Batte Phillips Distinguished Professor in economics, took a special interest in Boyce’s paper, helping him share it with publishers and other leading researchers.
“I got more out of the program than I expected,” said Boyce. “It’s definitely helped my career prospects, it’s opened more doors.”
I got more out of the program than I expected. It’s definitely helped my career prospects, it’s opened many doors.”
I value building high performing work forces that shape industry best practices and produce exponential growth.”
Larrishia Stanley ‘06 (Business Administration) says her favorite Bryan School memory was hosting an on-campus event for General Motors to help build brand awareness to their target audience. Between that event and a marketing professor selecting her for a classroom leadership role to compete for an internship with General Motors, she says her time at the Bryan School had a major impact on her life.
She hasn’t dropped that leadership mindset, whether at the office or in her personal life. On top of volunteering with both Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the United Way, Stanley says she’s currently trying to close the gap in STEM careers in the biotech field.
“That means supporting hiring efforts to increase underrepresented minorities through passion and purpose,” said Stanley, who is finishing up her second year as Director – Head of Early Talent & University Relations with Gilead Sciences. “We recently hired the largest inaugural intern class that our organization has ever seen, organically reaching diversity goals and efforts.”
An experienced and certified HR professional, Stanley has more than 15 years of expertise leading a wide range of HR initiatives to drive employee retention, engagement, equity, and inclusion.
“I value building high performing work forces that shape industry best practices and produce exponential growth,” she says.
Welcome back! The past couple of years have been a rollercoaster, but it feels like we are finally seeing that bright light at the end of the tunnel. I am so excited to get back to seeing everyone in person for meetings, sporting events, and fundraisers.
I am honored to serve you as the 2022-23 Bryan School Alumni Association Board President. The Bryan School has had such an important impact on both my professional career and personal growth.
My path to becoming an alumnus began with a transfer. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew it was something in business. The professors at the Bryan School took time to discuss my passions and interests which led me to completing my degree and embarking on a 16-plus year career in finance.
During my time at UNC Greensboro I also met what would become lifelong friends. We continue a tradition that we started our senior year, which is playing in the annual Bryan School Alumni Association Golf Tournament. My passion for the tournament is what initially motivated me to join the board. In 2017, after 24 years, the tournament was canceled. In 2018, I went to the board and expressed what the tournament means to me and others who participate, not to mention the students who benefit from the endowment fund it supports. After much deliberation, the tournament was approved to return.
I share this because without the interest of professors, friendships, and traditions I would not be writing this letter. I hope if you are reading this the Bryan School has had the same meaningful and lasting impact on you. I hope we can continue to elevate this great school that continues to provide so much to so many of us.
I encourage you to follow the Bryan School on social media, and to visit our website at bryan.uncg.edu/alumni to learn more about how you can give back. Be sure to update your contact information so you can receive all of the latest updates from our school. For any detailed questions, contact your alumni representative, Madeleine Carey, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am truly honored to be serving as your president and hope to meet you at our upcoming events.
The professors at the Bryan School took time to discuss my passions and interests which led me to completing my degree and embarking on a 16-plus year career in finance.”