Charles Reed ’11

Charles Reed '11

Charles Reed ’11

What was your major/minor and what year did you graduate?

I graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting.

Tell us about your current position. Can you describe a typical day?

I am currently employed as an Associate at KPMG’s Federal Advisory Practice providing assistance, support, and service to federal clients. I actively participate in devising business and financial strategies to drive growth and maintain productivity. A typical day for me consists of creating a ‘to-do’ list for the day, conducting client meetings, analyzing business models, performing research with the intent to evaluate, implement, and execute a strategic plan; and lastly planning for the following day. I am providing innovative ways to fulfill clients’ needs. At KPMG, I am given opportunities to acquire the career path that I envisioned. Since working for the firm I have learned more about the rewards of the business industry. It is truly a good feeling to thrive in a corporate culture that nourishes my potential.

How do you think your major/program prepared you for the job you have now?

The College of Business (COB) department was deeply committed to providing me with a well-rounded education. I learned a lot while working with faculty, staff, and administrators who took a genuine interest in me. My business administration degree provided me with numerous opportunities for learning and professional development. It focused on business fundamentals, ethics, critical thinking, and communication skills while incorporating new technology and an awareness of the global marketplace. Emphasis was placed on student participation and discussion. Classes were fun and exciting. Also, I was able to explore my leadership potential.

Learning business fundamentals has enabled me to make decisions and necessary changes when formulating business plans for my clients. It has also instilled a feeling of confidence when seated at the planning table. It is important for employees to be able to adapt to, interpret, and understand the world of business. I have been fortunate enough to apply my liberal arts and business education on my job every day in one form or another. Needless to say, my major prepared me to enter the workforce and start my career as a true businessman.

How did you become interested in your field?

I have always had a talent for math. The subject of math and its properties, from the simple to the complex have always been interesting to me; and it has always played a prominent role in my career. I enjoy working with numbers as well as people. My talent for being a management consultant was fostered in a supportive environment at UMW. Business can be complex, challenging, and competitive at times, but it allows you to connect with people and this is how ideas and possibilities are formed.

What’s the best career advice you have ever received?

Consistently find ways to challenge yourself personally and professionally. When you do this, it allows you the opportunity to venture outside of your “comfort zone” and achieve goals that you didn’t think were possible.

Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?

Faculty/student interactions were always a constant with professors at UMW. However, I found this especially true with Professors Ken Machande and Dan Hubbard. Professor Machande was my advisor. He always goes above and beyond the call of duty. I enjoyed being directly involved in various business projects with him connecting theory and research with practical solutions in business. I feel privileged to have had several classes with Professor Hubbard. I especially enjoyed his many classes based on real world experiences. Both of them were never too busy to devote their time and talent to UMW. They have had a tremendous impact on my education and contributed to my current success.

What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

As an undergraduate I was extensively involved in university-wide activities. However, most of my time was dedicated to my role as an advocate for student diversity. During my tenure at UMW I received numerous awards; however, I am most fond of my Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership because it demonstrated my commitment to advocating for diversity and inclusion on campus. As the award recipient, my responsibilities were to serve as a peer mentor to underrepresented students and a voice for underrepresented populations.

Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you would like to share?

At KPMG, I received ENCORE awards for my contributions and commitment to helping the firm be successful. My daily efforts were recognized for exemplifying the values that define KPMG’s high-performance culture. With my previous employer, I volunteered as a Financial Literary Coach with BUILD in the metropolitan DC area. BUILD is an innovative, college preparatory program whose mission is to use entrepreneurship to propel at-risk high school students to college and career success. As a financial literacy coach, my role was to support their learning and to provide feedback on their self-marketing, presentation, and other executive functioning skills. Students learn about the business world and are encouraged to explore their own interests. The BUILD program culminates with a business plan competition.

How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?

Ethical, Leader, Team Player, Intelligent, Analytical, Problem Solver, Loyal

What’s the single most important advice you’d like to give to current business students?

The business field is a rewarding career. Try to relate everything you learn in the classroom to what you may potentially do regarding your profession.