Recent Graduate Contributes Advice and Humor about his Time at UM-Flint: November’s aMAIZEing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On November 5, 2019 1:10 pm

Casey Lester, BBA ’19 in General Business

Alumnus, Casey Lester, received his BBA in General Business in April 2019 from UM-Flint’s School of Management. During his time at UM-Flint, Casey worked full-time at Huntington National Bank and gave back to his community by serving on the board of Flint Community School Board of Education during the Flint Water Crisis. As our featured Alumnus, Casey answers questions on his favorite experiences from UM-Flint, accomplishments, and advice about pursuing a career in business.

Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been working there?

I work for Huntington National Bank and I am a Treasury Management Advisor.  I have been there for 3 years.

Why did you choose UM-Flint for your BBA?

I live in Flint and have a strong passion for my city.  My wife went to U of M for her undergrad and her graduate degree.  She was very insistent that it was the best school around. Also, I don’t know if you know this but there isn’t nearly as many delicious options as there are for food in the pavilion.

What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?

I met some amazing people during my time at the university.  Faculty and students were all amazing and created an incredible and remarkable experience.  Also, Dr. Simon had this event and there was free pizza…it was one of the most rewarding things I received in my adult life.

Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?

Initially, I fell into it.  I had worked at a restaurant that went out of business and needed a new direction, I started working at Chase and got some really good experience then transitioned into a position with a better fit organization.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?

The cliche and truthful answer is going to be my son, he is hands down the coolest person I have ever met.  Outside of that, I would say I am most proud of being able to have given a little bit back to the city I live in. I volunteered during the water crisis and serve on the Flint Community School Board of Education. Being able to give back is an amazing feeling and something people should experience.

What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in Management or Business?

Understand that you are going to be terrible at it for the first few years.  You will annoy people and you will make their job harder and you will be the reason someone goes home and drinks.  THAT IS OK. Every great manager or business owner or influencer absolutely sucked at it when they first tried, the trick is not giving up while you are still trying to figure it out.

What would you like to see happen to UM-Flint/Flint within the next five years?

I would like to see UM-Flint eliminate third party websites/programs being required for classes.  My degree was a 70k investment that I am comfortable paying to the school, but the idea that we allow things like MYACCOUNTINGLAB.COM profit from the education of our future is extremely disturbing and all of our classes should stand alone without adding additional cost onto the student.

Fun Facts! Other random advice?

I learned more about how to act in business settings playing Dungeons and Dragons and video games than I would like to admit.  I still think about how much of my success is a direct result of how I reacted to a dice roll.

Talk to everyone, and remember them.  Learn how to associate people and one random fact about them, people are usually impressed when someone has not only listened to what they are saying but paid attention to it as well.