Big Dreams, Big Data

Posted On January 20, 2017 by Sonya Collins
Carl McCray is pictured with Brittany Boulware, a 2013 alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Carl McCray is pictured with Brittany Boulware, a 2013 alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Carl McCray (B.B.A. ’15) remembers the career-altering meeting with his adviser.

The youngest of 22 grandchildren, McCray was the first of them to get a college degree. At his high school in the tiny south Georgia town of Fitzgerald (pop. 9,032), “we got it drilled into our heads that the medical field was one of the best to go into because of the job security,” he says.

Without giving much thought to whether he was actually interested in a career in health care, McCray went to Georgia State to major in nursing. “I started taking the sciences, chemistry, biology, and they were killing me. I was going to tutoring sessions every day, staying up all night studying, just to scrape by,” he recalls. Then he began getting emails from his adviser. And when he was truly miserable, he broke down and finally paid her a visit.

“I told her I pretty much hated it,” he says. A heart-to-heart talk about McCray’s interests led his adviser to suggest he consider a transfer to the business school, where he ultimately declared a major in managerial sciences.

“My adviser had explained all the things I could do with that major, and it really stood out to me,” McCray says. McCray’s meeting with his adviser gave him a new lease on life.

“Sitting in chemistry every day,” he says, “I was on the brink of being done with school, and now I had a new burst of enthusiasm.”

Because his coursework at the Robinson College of Business came more naturally to him, McCray had time to take advantage of other opportunities, such as joining Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity, which he says opened many doors for him. He landed an internship at Koch Industries, and upon graduation last May he had competing offers from Koch and GEICO.

But McCray is focusing his attention on starting his own business with a fellow business school grad, and he’s considering coming back to Georgia State for his MBA.

This piece originally appeared in Georgia State Magazine »