Meet the MBA Class of 2024: David Monroe, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

David Monroe

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“A resilient servant-leader committed to a life of light, love and uplift.”

Hometown: Walterboro, South Carolina

Fun Fact About Yourself: I applied to grad school through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which allows prospects to apply to up to six top MBA programs for one application fee. Even though I was advised to maximize my odds and apply to multiple programs, I followed my gut and only applied to UNC Kenan-Flagler. Thankfully, it all worked out, and I was even named the Wallace L. Jones Fellowship recipient for UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Undergraduate School and Major: Clemson University, construction science and management major

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: DPR Construction, Supplier Diversity Lead/Project Engineer

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Kenan-Flagler’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? UNC Kenan-Flagler’s “Real-World Real Estate” program played a huge part in my decision. I was always confident that the holistic and collaborative approach would best fit my preferred learning style and simply yield a great outcome.

What has been your first impression of the Kenan-Flagler MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Kenan-Flagler story so far. I have had wonderful impressions of the students and alumni thus far. You would immediately discover that the community is special!

My best story so far took place this past spring at the UNC Real Estate Conference. I was initially invited to the conference by an alum upon hearing of my acceptance. Following the conference, I met Jim Spaeth, executive director of the Wood Center, at a networking event. He took me under his wings for the evening and proceeded to introduce me to more faculty/staff, students, alumni and partners. I saw first-hand the sense of pride, support, and inclusion from all parties. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be and was even more excited to be joining a world-class community!

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Kenan-Flagler? I am most excited about being a Vetter Dean’s Fellow. It is a premier leadership-scholar program that allows students to further develop as leaders, have early career coaching opportunities, and give back to the UNC Kenan-Flagler and Chapel Hill community through service. The program also sponsors a global immersion experience that I am thrilled about.  On top of those benefits, I am excited about being able to act as a direct liaison between the study body and stakeholders.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I believe my greatest accomplishment has been the efforts through a non-profit organization I founded in 2018. Since, I have been using the platform to impact youth ranging from ages 7 to 25. Using my gifts, talents and resources to give back to youth who are majority from under-resourced communities such as myself, is something I am most proud of.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I have recently read Hearts Touched with Fire by David Gergen. I would recommend this book to prospective MBAs because the author addressed how great leaders are made. What resonated most with me was the importance of knowing your “true north.” This is important for all impactful leaders and is accomplished first by self-awareness. Self-awareness is a component of emotional intelligence, which more and more organizations are promoting and desiring. I believe future leaders pursuing an MBA must first be aware of how their background, experiences, and motivations are empowering their journey of authenticity and purpose.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience successful? Looking ahead, my MBA experience would be successful knowing that I took advantage of the resources and opportunities available. I am confident that I will learn from and build long-lasting meaningful relationships with my peers, faculty, staff, and alumni. Additionally, challenging myself in areas where I know I can improve would make the experience successful for me.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program? My advice to potential applicants is simple: authenticity. I believe the admissions team seeks and values applicants who exhibits emotional intelligence. As I stated earlier, self-awareness is a main component. Even if you struggled in the past with presenting your true, authentic self (which I am guilty of), your application should reflect you in a genuine manner. Know that the admissions team views your application holistically, so just be sure to be authentic.


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