Bryce Parrish, a first-year MBA student and the Kenan Institute Leadership Fellow aligned to the Sport Entrepreneurship domain, is this year's Basketball Analytics Summit Student Director. Given his involvement with both the Summit and many other sport initiatives throughout the entire university, we thought it would be great to interview Bryce to give each of you a better understanding of his background, personality, and career aspirations.
Could you tell us about your life before coming to Kenan-Flagler to get your MBA?
I grew up in Chesapeake, VA, with my parents and older brother. Throughout my youth, sports played a prominent role in my day-to-day endeavors and as I reflect back on this time, sports was influential in shaping my character, personality, and perspective on life. Despite having been involved in a multitude of sports, I decided to focus my efforts on tennis where I was fortunate enough to pursue this further at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) – a top-10 small-college tennis program and academic institution.
Upon graduating from UMW, I went on to work for one of the largest investment management firms in the world, The Vanguard Group, within their corporate strategy department. This was an unbelievable opportunity for me as it enabled me to better understand how to holistically and objectively ideate, evaluate, and implement company-wide strategic growth initiatives. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Vanguard, I always had the intentions to pursue the college of my dreams, UNC, for my masters.
Why Kenan-Flagler and what are some of the things for which you are involved with at school?
As I tell people all the time, choosing Kenan-Flagler was the easiest big decision for which I will probably ever have to make. With my parents growing up in Raleigh and having attended UNC – I won't say the year my parents attended school in hopes that they still invite me over for some home cooked meals! – I was essentially born a Tarheel fan.
But outside of having grown up a Tarheel fan, the existence of the Sports Entrepreneurship domain was another additive for which made the decision to choose Kenan-Flagler that much easier. The fact that there is a top-tier sport entrepreneurship program has provided me the platform for getting meaningful, hands-on experience with various local and national sport initiatives.
At Kenan-Flagler, I am involved in several things for which I am truly passionate about: marketing, sports business and analytics, and leadership/mentorship programs, including:
- Kenan Institute Leadership Fellows – Sports Entrepreneurship Domain
- President of the Sports & Entertainment Club
- Marketing Club Leadership Team
- Student mentor for undergraduate Kenan-Flagler business school students
What do you hope to do post-graduating from Kenan-Flagler?
Post-graduation I hope to pursue my dreams as a strategic marketer within the sports industry or for a globally renown and influential brand. Having come to school for the purposes of building out my marketing skill set to complement my experience as a strategy consultant and my past sales experience, I hope to leave Kenan-Flagler better-rounded and more equipped to make a significant impact within my next career.
Who do you admire and why?
Not to get all sappy and emotional on everyone, but I truly admire my parents. There are few people that you know throughout your lifetime for which are willing to give up everything just to see you succeed. I am forever grateful for them not only for being my parents, but also for being my best friends. They have been with me in the best of times and more importantly, the worst of times. They have helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel when I felt lost and down. Lastly, they gave me the inspiration and motivation to truly believe that with hard work, dedication, and persistence, I could realize and achieve the aspirational goals for which I set.
Favorite sport team or athlete that you follow regularly? Why?
Favorite sport team would have to be all UNC collegiate teams, particularly men's basketball and football. There were two reasons for why words could not describe how excited I was when I heard of my acceptance into Kenan-Flagler:
- I could now truly justify having a UNC sticker on the back of my car.
- I now was able to ask for an abundance of UNC gear for all my future birthdays and Christmas.