CunninghamAttending the University of Michigan’s School of Law is next on the agenda for Stephanie Cunningham, 2011 Spring graduate.  She takes a moment after graduation for a brief interview that reveals why she chose UAB and business for her undergraduate study.

Why did you choose UAB?
I knew that UAB was a great academic institution, but the faculty, diversity opportunities and the University Honors Program set UAB apart. Specifically, I decided on the School of Business after attending an event at the Club. I remember meeting the dean at the time and discussing with him some of the concerns that my parents and I had about college. Within a short time, a letter arrived from the School of Business and the dean had written a personal note addressing the topics we had discussed. This act demonstrated the high level of effort faculty place into assisting students, which is something I desired and have received from my undergraduate institution.

Describe your experience at UAB in one word.

What drew you to the accounting major?
Accounting is the language of business. Understanding accounting opens the door to make informed decisions in a business setting because you understand the implications of the financial statements and can make projections about the future of a business.

Tell us about your most rewarding college experience.
There have been many rewarding experiences in my college career. This past spring semester I took Sports Management to broaden my level of knowledge. In this course, I completed a service learning project with a local YMCA. My assignment allowed me to plan and implement sports-related programs for children ages 5 - 8. Through this experience, I was humbled by the transparency and expectations from the children, which required me to use everything I have learned at UAB to implement the program well. It was rewarding to see how the concepts developed transform into skills applicable in any environment to make it successful, and ultimately, the children enjoyed themselves.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to complete a law degree at the University of Michigan, School of Law. Then, I will pursue a career in corporate law.

What interests you most about law?
Law plays an integral role in many parts of society. In many cases, it sets the moral floor in society by requiring conformance to a set of standards. I am most interested in the opportunities in law to explore my business interests and leave a positive impact in the world.

What will you miss most about Birmingham?
I will miss the people in Birmingham most. From learning from fellow students in different disciplines across campus to interaction with strangers in a bookstore, I have learned so much from the citizens of Birmingham. I will miss the daily lessons from others.

Stephanie is from  Monroeville, Alabama.  She delivered the undergraduate commencement address on May 7th, 2011. She graduated from the University Honors Program and was the recipient of several academic scholarships. She was vice president of the School of Business’s student leader organization and treasurer of the National Association of Black Accountants. Stephanie volunteered heavily throughout her college career and in 2009 was named the Wiregrass Hospice Administrative Volunteer of the Year. She received a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting with a minor in management. She plans to attend the University of Michigan’s School of Law in the fall and then pursue a career in corporate law.