In April, NerdWallet, a San Francisco-based financial planning website, released a report of its findings on best places to start a business. Wilmington was ranked second on the list of 183 metropolitan areas analyzed. Three of the six metrics considered in this analysis focused on the success of the businesses in the area. Wilmington has certainly seen a good deal of success with its local startups in the last several years. For Cameron School of Business students, this is excellent news.
The startups that have found success in Wilmington in recent years have certainly benefitted Cameron graduates. Growing businesses bring jobs to the area, and CSB graduates are qualified and prepared to fill those openings. Mutually beneficial relationships are being established between businesses looking for exceptional employees locally and the university. Live Oak Bank and nCino are two such companies that have had significant growth, and many CSB graduates have found employment within these companies.
Live Oak Bank, established in May 2008, has grown from three employees to 300 employees today. The bank lends exclusively to small businesses and is currently the second-largest lender of SBA loans in the nation. Presently, 49 UNCW alums, primarily graduates of the Cameron School of Business, are working for Live Oak Bank.
Many CSB students also serve as interns at Live Oak. “We had 18 interns from UNCW this past academic year,” said Lauren Hamilton, HR generalist at Live Oak. “As our company continues to grow, we will likely be hiring even more UNCW interns. We have offered nine other students positions for the fall of 2015, and will have other students who have interned with us during their junior year stay on during their senior year.
“The interns we hire from the Cameron School of Business bring a lot of value to Live Oak,” Hamilton said. “They have the passion and drive we look for in all employees, as well as a broad skill set that we can apply to all of our functional departments. These students also come in willing to learn, which allows Live Oak to give them the hands-on experience all college students are looking for in an internship. We have been exceptionally pleased with the quality of the education the students have received while at the Cameron School of Business.”
Founded in January 2012, nCino has also seen dramatic growth in just a few short years and has become the leader in cloud-based operating solutions for the financial services industry. Today, nCino has more than 150 full-time employees and approximately 90 clients across the country ranging from $150 million in assets to their largest customer with nearly $200 billion in assets. Of its 150 employees, 66 are UNCW graduates. Many of those graduates come with business degrees in various concentrations, including information systems and management information systems.
Throughout the school year and over the summer months, nCino offers students numerous internship opportunities. Kathryn Cook is nCino’s director of public relations, and she says that “nCino provides internship opportunities for every department in our company, including summer and semester-long internships. As of July 2015, we had six UNCW students interning in the following departments: product development, marketing, information technology and human resources. We are proud to have had interns from UNCW every year since our founding in 2012. We have a great relationship with the university and the Cameron School of Business, and look forward to further strengthening that relationship in the future.”
The local business community has been very generous to Cameron. The partnerships that have developed with these area businesses and numerous others have influenced and enhanced the paths of CSB students, both during their time in school and post-graduation. Teresa Walker, Cameron’s director of work practice, sees the benefits to both the students and community.
“Regional businesses, such as Live Oak Bank and nCino, provide valuable internship opportunities throughout the academic year for CSB students,” Walker said. “In return, CSB students serve as a resource for continued economic growth.”
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 60 full-time faculty members and 20 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 200 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visithttp://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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