"I believe in positive thinking and the importance of learning to control a situation rather than allowing it to control me."

GET TO KNOW CHARLIE

TRaveler. Athlete. finANCE GUY.

I came to the United States when I was 14. I didn’t speak English at all, so my first months were very difficult. I’ve always had an interest in business – even at a young age. When I was 9 years old, I earned money by collecting cards and selling them to my friends. I started trading stocks when I was 18. Finance was always “my thing,” and I still enjoy learning new aspects of finance.

After attending Michigan State University, I worked at Valeo Inc. and Shiloh Industries in positions including staff accountant, financial analyst, operational financial analyst and senior FP&A analyst. While I was working on my master's in finance, I took a few classes with MBA students. I saw how earning MBAs could change their lives and decided I would do the same as soon as possible.

I like sports, especially basketball and swimming. I also enjoy traveling and watching Chinese reality TV with my wife.

YOUR LIFE + TEPPER SCHOOL

I chose the Tepper School because the faculty are world class and the technology resources are unmatched. I also appreciate how many international students are part of the school. I don’t think I have ever witnessed a community with so many intelligent people from so many countries. The Tepper community has been so welcoming.

In the broader CMU community, the culture is also very friendly. As you walk across campus, people will say “Hi” and smile at you. If you seem to be lost, people will ask if they can help you. I love the campus.

Within our part-time on-campus cohort, I was surprised by how quickly we became friends even though we are all part-time students. We didn’t know each other before Basecamp orientation, but we’ve now become lifelong friends. My classmates and I work well together and are eager to help one another.

The Tepper School is known as a quant-focused school. While I have a solid quantitative background, the classes continue to challenge me, and I have to work hard. I have seen significant improvements in my quantitative skills over the past year. I am sure that by the end of the program I will look back and be proud of what I have accomplished.

My leadership skills have also improved significantly. Advice from faculty and the Accelerate Leadership Center coaches have helped me improve how I communicate with colleagues. I have also learned a great deal through conversations with my classmates. Communicating with them allows me to learn new leadership skills and improve the skills I already have.

Professor Brandy Aven’s Managing Networks and Organization course is the class that has influenced me the most. For the class, I interviewed my CFO, which helped me build a better relationship with him. I also now have a better understanding of the importance of networking and organizational structure. 

TEPPER SCHOOL IMPACT AT WORK

What I have learned in management classes has improved my ability to present to our executives. I now have a much greater understanding of visual presentation best practices, and I speak with confidence. I have also gained communication skills that help me build better relationships with my colleagues. Balancing work and school has helped me practice better time management.