Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

At roughly 9 o’clock, my ears perked as I heard the sound of the garage bay opening, my father’s Ford Explorer cutting off, and the car door opening. Positioning myself at the other end of our hallway, I waited for any sign of movement at our front door. As the doorknob began to twist, I ran in a full sprint down the hallway to jump into my dad’s arms as soon as he entered our home, hoping to be greeted with a “hey bud!”

This scene played out nearly every day of my childhood, and while I am certainly too large to pull off this stunt now, I still feel that same level of excitement when I greet him. Seeing how hard he worked in those days taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, and I have longed for a time when we could finally combine our efforts for the benefit of our family. While he and I have always had a mutual understanding that this would one day be a reality, we have not had the chance to pursue it; at least, not until recently.

Within the last two years, the complexity of his business ventures has been tough for only one man to handle. Although I have had a successful career in the banking industry for the last five and a half years, I have made the decision to forgo that career and achieve my childhood dream of building a business with my father. The catch however, is that I have little experience in his field of endeavor, real estate.

The Kenan-Flagler MBA program at UNC Chapel-Hill offers a concentration in real estate with a focus in family business, which perfectly aligns with my goals. Although I could join him now without attending graduate school, my aim is not to simply follow my dad. My goal is to lead with him to continue building a legacy of determination and grit within our family. While the adult in me is eager to consume the material I will soon be faced with at Chapel Hill, the boy in me is giddy with excitement for his first day of work with his hero.

Landon from North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill