Andrew Fiorentino

Name: Andrew Fiorentino

Current employer: Ross Stores, Inc.

Position: International Logistics Intern

Graduation Year: December 2019 earning a B.S.B.A in International Business and a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Italian.

Favorite Place on Campus: My favorite place on campus is in front of the student union enjoying a cup of coffee with friends and taking in the view!

Favorite Restaurant in Charlotte: My favorite restaurant in Charlotte is Ely Tortilleria in the university area for their one-dollar taco Tuesday special. It is such a unique dining experience in a hole in the wall look to the place and shocks you in amazement once you take a bite of the selection of tacos they have demonstrating you can never judge a book by its cover.

Hometown: Apex, NC    

Dream Job: I would love to pursue working within the United Nations administrating policy or leading projects within an aerospace company. Both are fairly different, yet stimulating careers bringing people of all backgrounds together to unite towards a common goal on a planet we all call home.

International Business

What majors did you pursue and why?

Once I moved to the sprawling city of Charlotte I became fascinated in how we as citizens, businesses, and governments are affected by the global economy. With this in mind, I decided to pursue studying the comprehensive major of International Business because of my curiosity and passion of wanting to make an influence in creating opportunities for all as well as understanding the complexities of our globalized world to prepare me for a career in working cross culturally. 

After pursuing an internship at NASA Langley Research Center and studying abroad in Hong Kong witnessing students my age peacefully protesting by standing up for universal suffrage and fair democracy I felt compelled to declare a double major in Political Science. I wanted to challenge myself towards developing my critical thinking and research skills in order to prepare me for potentially working in the field of foreign policy.

Why did you choose the Belk College of Business/UNC Charlotte?

I chose the Belk College of Business for the endless supply of opportunities the college offers. UNC Charlotte’s modern campus, with the urban uptown area not far away on the Light Rail, along with the tremendous number of connections, attracted me the most about choosing UNC Charlotte. This may be biased, but I would say Charlotte has one of the most beautiful campuses in the Southeast, with a diverse population of students. 

What activities were you involved in when not working or studying?

When I was not working or studying for classes, you could find me preparing for the next Charlotte marathon or road cycling around uptown, hanging out with friends, or attempting to cook as if I’m the next chef on the show “Chef’s Table.” I thoroughly enjoy uplifting the community of Charlotte, and with this, I have recently been selected to the prestigious UN Millennium Fellowship as a part of the United Nations Academic Impact, representing UNC Charlotte. I will be implementing a ‘LIFE Skills Initiative’ (Lifestyle, Interpersonal, Financial, and Education) with other UNCC students during the fall semester at Title 1 high schools to aid them in hopefully breaking the poverty cycle. 

What was been the best part of your academic experience?

The best part of my academic experience was studying abroad for a semester in one of the most densely populated cities in the world at the University of Hong Kong. Traveling to seven countries and engaging with locals, all with their own distinct language, cultural and language barriers opened my perspective and mentality on life unlike any other experience as compared to what can be taught in a classroom. 

Challenging myself once I arrived on campus at UNC Charlotte to be the best example I could by joining organizations, inspiring other students to study abroad as a peer advisor with the Office of Education Abroad, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone have all been fruitful experiences I will always cherish.

How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone who is thinking about applying?

I would describe the Belk College of Business as tight-knight, interactive community of the vast community at UNC Charlotte. I felt as though the professors and students within the Belk College of Business have provided me with an unparalleled support system to lean on during rigorous times aiding in navigating the road to success in and outside of college.

Did you utilize any professional development from the Niblock Student Center?

Yes, I relied heavily on not only the academic advising, but personal career advise laid out by my own advisor, Paul Holiday-Millard. Before and during my semester exchange abroad I was nervous I would return to Charlotte after undergoing a surreal experience abroad to not having my classes transfer, but Mr. Paul and the Student Center for Professional Development were able to guide me in navigating what classes I should enroll in to carry out my goal in graduating in four years successfully. 

What does professional development mean to you?

Professional development to me signifies the approach to constantly learning and being comfortable in any professional environment one may find themselves in. No matter the discipline or years of experience, we are all humans and tend to make mistakes at times but learning from these roadblocks in a civil manner are how we will be defined. 

If you received a scholarship or financial aid, how did that help you? What scholarship did you receive?

I received two scholarships from the Belk College of Business for both of my experiences abroad, one being in Hong Kong and the other in Italy, and without these unexpected delights I would not have given thought to still pursuing the study abroad experiences. 

With the guidance from the faculty within the Belk College of Business and Dr. Daniela Cunico Dal Pra of the Italian Foreign Languages Department, I received an incredibly generous full scholarship to study at La Scuola Leonardo DaVinci in Milan and Florence, Italy for the summer of 2018. The warmth and guidance I have experienced within the Belk College and UNC Charlotte community has propelled me towards gaining the confidence that any moonshot is possible.

What high school did you attend?

I attended Apex High School which feels as though it was a millennium ago. While there I was keenly involved in the National Honor Society acting as the President of the organization as well as the Boy Scouts of America, where I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. I was also active in band, art and technical honor societies, and track/XC. 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I hope to be awarded the U.S. State Department Fulbright grant I have recently applied for. If awarded, I will be pursuing research and attending classes at universities in Singapore studying urban planning and sustainable development. I plan on applying for jobs in the field of public policy, tech corporations or startups post-graduation, culminating in returning to school to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. 

In your opinion, what are the 3 best things about UNC Charlotte?  

Endless opportunities

Growing, young location

The People.

What was your favorite class and why?

Weirdly enough, my favorite class was Cantonese for Foreign Students while I was pursuing a semester exchange at the University of Hong Kong. The professor was one of the kindest, welcoming teachers I have ever met who intrinsically challenged us to develop our confidence to grasp the 11-tone language spoken in southern China and locally in Hong Kong. Although I was one of the rare Westerners in the class, it allowed me to develop a love of Hong Kong. During the course we went on periodic trips to dim sum restaurants to practice our conversation, reenacted a scene from Cinderella in Cantonese, and introspectively taught me that if I set my mind on a goal whether it be studying for a class, connecting with an audience, achieving the professional career I would like, anything is possible. 

On UNC Charlotte’s grounds my favorite class so far has been either POLS Senior Seminar: Money and Public Policy or International Economics because they both combine my passion for learning how we as a single citizen fit into the global economy. 

Tell us 3 random things about yourself.

I worked for the on-campus Starbucks for a year throughout my sophomore and junior years and happened to spill a whole gallon of frozen milk my first week training! Thankfully, with the critical thinking and interpersonal skills taught in economics and business communications courses, I was able to meet many of my close mentors to this day through that experience!

I once lived (accidentally) in a home stay for a night on the outskirts of Beijing, waking up the next morning to run the full Great Wall of China Marathon.

I love languages! I’m technically attending 7 classes at the moment, one being a non-credit bearing Intermediate Mandarin course, where I’ve been teaching myself for the past year. I also spent a summer in Florence, Italy, living in a home stay listening to a jovial, older Fiorentina lady tell stories each night!

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