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Nov 8, 2023

Frontiering into the Professional World

By Harrison Dixon

As a business and economics double major, I spend most of my time learning about the theories and formulas that make up our economy. As a student, it is rare to see what you are studying in action. The Frontiers of Business Conference was two days full of business leaders coming together to discuss some of the biggest hurdles affecting our economy.

At first, standing in a room surrounded by some of the great business and economic leaders from across the country was intimidating. But the Luther Hodges Scholars staff was instrumental in helping me identify individuals who matched my interests and introducing me to them. This sparked plenty of informative and fun conversations in addition to hearing from the phenomenal speakers.

For example, hearing from Shawnice Meador, Senior Director of Global Talent Management at  Wolfspeed, was especially interesting to me. As a Chatham County, North Carolina native, my neighbors are some of the ones who will be most affected by the development of Wolfspeed’s new silicon carbide plant in Siler City. I have been aware of the development of this plant but opposed it in the past due to the local environmental and cost-of-living impact. Getting to hear directly from those leading the project provided broader insight into how it is projected to help my community. This re-emphasized the importance of understanding multiple sides of every issue faced in the business world.

The conference was closed out by a panel led by our new dean of the business school, Dr. Mary Margaret Frank. Hearing from her was exciting, particularly as she has research interests in cross-sector collaboration. I am looking forward to seeing how she will shape Kenan-Flagler for the better in the years to come. Finally, I hear that planning is already underway for next year’s Grand Challenge and Frontiers of Business Conference, which will again be hosted in Chapel Hill. When you attend (because you definitely should), look for me! Hopefully I will be there, navigating the networking sessions with ease.

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