Since arriving at UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics in Aug. 2022, Cale Cates ’24 has made every bit of his time count. A transfer student from Alamance Community College, Cale entered the Bryan School’s accounting program and its finance program prepared to utilize every opportunity for growth and professional development given to him. His hard work paid off, and Cale landed his first internship with Bernard Robinson & Company as a tax and audit intern in May 2023. From his passion for the future of accounting to his off-campus community involvement, Cale embodies what it means to be a true “Spartan Superstar.”
Why did you pick the Bryan School and what do you love most about your major/area of study?
I picked the Bryan School because my major was offered, and it is close to my hometown. While going through the college selection process, I did not realize how great the Bryan School really was. With a student-first approach, there are many opportunities for students to connect with faculty, employers, and peers. What I love most about going into Accounting and Finance is the many opportunities I can pursue with these degrees. I’m looking forward to the future when I can help companies grow and maximize their profits!
What’s exciting about the future of your industry (and/or position within that industry if applicable)?
The exciting part about accounting is seeing how technology will continue to evolve and how that will affect the everyday accountant and the type of jobs they perform. With new AI technology continuing to come out that has the potential to do the work of an accountant, accountants will have to adapt. I see the future of accounting adapting in such a way where a greater priority is placed on problem-solving and client relations, something AI may struggle with.
What do you personally find most challenging as a student and/or professional?
Before coming to the Bryan School, networking with peers and professionals is something that I would want to avoid. I have become more confident in my ability to network with others because of the Bryan School’s networking events and opportunities to meet other people in the business world. I am still growing in this area and I am thankful for all the opportunities that I have to do so.
What should high school or transfer students interested in your area of study know?
Realize that grades are not the most important thing in college. There have been times in college where I have overwhelmed myself with grades and had my priorities out of line. One grade will not determine your future whether that be a job or a career. Instead, focus on giving your best to studying but place a greater emphasis on learning in contrast to studying to get the “grade.” Be compassionate, make connections with faculty, build relationships with employers, and learn different skills- these are the types of things that really matter to your future.
What is something outside of the class you’re glad you’ve done since arriving at the Bryan School?
Outside of the classroom, I have been able to get connected with a Christian group on campus. Being able to be around other people who have a similar beliefs has been a great help to me. I also recently picked up racquetball as a new sport! I am enjoying getting to know other talented students and making relationships with faculty.
What additional training, certifications, professional organization memberships, etc. have helped you professionally and what else would you like to accomplish before graduating?
Since arriving at the Bryan School the greatest help to my professional development has been my professional development class. This class has taught me some of the basics from resume building, cover letter, interviewing, time management, and business formal wear. I do want to gain my excel certification within the next semester or two before graduating.
What resources – books, blogs, websites, podcasts, etc. – would you recommend for someone interested in your area of study?
I would recommend anything written, or recorded by Ramsey Solutions. Dave Ramsey, the founder and CEO of Ramsey Solutions, has been someone that I have listened to for years. Any business student (and people in general) need to consider his ideas about wealth building, saving money, and being willing to cash flow expenses. These ideas have helped me as a college student paying for college without having to get into student loan debt. Mr. Ramsey also has different personalities working for him that focus on things such as leadership, job satisfaction, and anything else in between!