Austin Beebe | 49er Graduate | UNC Charlotte | Charlotte, NC

What degree(s) are you earning? What do you plan on doing after graduation? 

I earned a dual degree in finance and political science and I've since accepted a job at AXA-equitable, here in Charlotte, NC. I'm working directly under the head of U.S. GAAP operations where I work amongst high-ranking financial officers within the company.

What organizations were you involved in? 

I was involved in quite a few organizations over the course of my four years at UNC-Charlotte. I was a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, the Business Learning Community, Programs In Leadership and Organization Training, Residents Student Association, National Society of Leadership and Success, American Marketing Association, and I had been an Orientation Counselor summer of 2015.

Favorite spot on campus and why? 

My favorite spot on campus was probably Prospector because it was close to all of my classes, and some of the food spots were so delicious. I urge everyone to check out Fiesty's (the hotdog place)!

What has been your favorite memory at UNC Charlotte?

My favorite memory at UNC-Charlotte was being selected to be an Orientation Counselor my sophomore year. At that time I was doubting myself and considering transferring back to my home state of New York; however, I decided to stick around and see if I liked it. Through the experience I gained a handful of life-long friends, overcame my fear of public speaking by getting up on stage in front of 500+ people on a daily basis, and opened the door to a plethora of new collegiate experiences following my newfound confidence in my leadership ability.

Most valuable lesson learned during your college career? 

I have a few pieces of advice for students currently in college: network, don't stress yourself out, and be involved. Growing up, I always heard the advice "it's not about what you know, it's who you know" and that couldn't have been more true. In my final year at UNC-Charlotte when I was beginning to enter the job market, I realized that my superficial knowledge of bonds and mortgages wasn't going to help me land the job. Instead, it was the connections that I'd built through follow-up thank you notes, company treks, and luncheons hosted by these companies. Ironically enough, I got my well-paying job through networking and taking the Chief Accounting Officer's daughter to gymnastics every week. The "don't stress yourself out" advice may seem pretty preposterous in a collegiate setting considering tests, homework, work, and clubs are constantly being thrown at you -- but in the long run, it doesn't matter. Staying up to the early morning stressing over whether you'll do well on an exam won't affect you years down the road. Facing rejection from employers because you're not 'qualified enough,' won't matter when you land that job you worked so hard for. In the end, everything will work itself out and stressing over something will only give you gray hairs and acne! My final piece of advice is get engaged in your collegiate experience. I have been a part of numerous hiring teams for companies I've worked at in the past and if I see that students are simply going to class and going back to their rooms -- not being involved in clubs and organizations and not trying to land themselves a part time job -- I see that they're not able to effectively deal with time management and they don't have the experience to talk about when it comes to interviews. These times are supposed to be the area which you're able to sell yourself to an employer and simply finishing a project in your psychology 101 class isn't going to do you justice. Get out, get involved, and join organizations that challenge your beliefs and allow you to diversify yourself!

Ushvani Jagdeo