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Real Humans of JP Morgan: Charlie Burnett, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA ’19, Private Banker

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Transitioning from military service to the business world can be difficult, but not for today’s Real Humans: Alumni Charlie Burnett, who credits the experiential learning and collaborative community at UNC Kenan-Flagler with preparing her for her career in banking at an elite firm, JP Morgan.

Charlie Burnett, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA ’19, Private Banker at JP Morgan

Age: 32
Hometown: Apex, North Carolina
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Wake Forest University, Political Science
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): University Kenan-Flagler Business School, ‘19
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 Years, U.S. Army
Post-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 Years, Finance

Why did you choose to attend business school?
Business school was the perfect way for me to transition out of the Army. At the time, I was not completely sure what industry and role would be the best fit. I knew that business school would expose me to several different career paths and give me the tools to be successful.

Why UNC Kenan-Flagler? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Culture and people! We are a role-up-your-sleeves school, and for me, that was important. I also wanted to have classmates that shared similar values, and when I toured the different business schools, I connected most with UNC Kenan-Flagler students and alumni. Ultimately it was the best decision – I made lifelong friends and leverage my Carolina network all the time!

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
At UNC Kenan-Flagler, there is a focus on experiential learning, and for me, this was incredibly helpful as I navigated my summer internship and full-time role. I had so many relevant and real-life experiences that I could lean on as I learned my new role.

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
JP Morgan Private Bank internship – it was an incredible experience and I went back full-time.  I am still here today. 

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
Like UNC, JP Morgan’s culture is why I picked it and why I am still here.  The people I work with are smart, kind, and collegial – truly the perfect place to learn and grow.

How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans?
In some ways, it created challenges, but in many ways I think it made me realize how important that the people you work with know your “whole self.”  During COVID you realize that you spend the majority of your time with your colleagues and it’s so important that the people you work with are ones you can trust and enjoy being with. 

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Explore everything – I never thought I would land in the role I did and that’s because I cast a wide net. You might surprise yourself with what companies you end up liking!

–One thing you would change or do differently?
No stress over the job search – everything works out!

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
I thought that there was the “front” that a company puts up when you recruit and then the “real” company. After four years everything I joined the company for turned out to be true.

–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Every job and role has a learning curve – embrace it!  If you don’t make mistakes you probably aren’t learning. 

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.