MBA From Queens Unlocks a World of Opportunity for One Alum
The road to higher education was not always easy for James L. Carrothers, DBA, but it has always been important. Growing up, Carrothers had the watchful eyes of his mother looking after him. As salutatorian of her high school, Ellen Elizabeth Carrothers graduated from college in 1955 and went on to become a teacher.
“Education was always the way toward paving a positive future, and I always relied on her to set the example,” said Carrothers.
In 1982, he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from North Carolina A&T State University. He knew his ultimate goal was to earn a doctoral degree but to get there, he’d need to earn a master’s degree. Although he started his graduate school journey in Omaha, Neb., he realized that he preferred the mild temperature of North Carolina over harsh midwestern winters and promptly returned home to Charlotte.
After some time, Carrothers resumed his master’s degree and enrolled in Queens College (now Queens University of Charlotte).
“When I was accepted into Queens, I knew it would be a great experience. With its connection to the city along with the professionalism of the program, I knew it would be advantageous for my career,” said Carrothers.
He went on to earn his Master of Business Administration in 1992. “My Queens MBA allowed me to go from an industrial engineer to a corporate buyer for a major international company,” he said. From there, I was able to couple my MBA degree with new technology and entered into consulting with local companies which ultimately inspired me to start my own small IT firm. I don’t think any of that would have happened if I had not gone to Queens.”
Nearly 30 years later, Carrothers resumed his educational journey, and in 2021, he earned his Doctor of Business Administration from UNC Charlotte, where he is currently a professor.
Carrothers reminisces, “My Queens MBA immediately distinguished me in the business world both from the knowledge I obtained, and the recognition of the program nationally. Working for PWC and Deloitte and working with Accenture and IBM are all the result of having an advanced business degree from a great school.”
Carrothers, along with his wife Valerie Richard Carrothers, have continued the tradition of passing on the value of education to their children. His daughter Jasmine completed her Ph.D. in chemistry from New York University in May 2023 and her twin sister JaNey, is an environmental safety specialist with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iwakuni, Japan. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2017.
Beyond his family, Carrothers passes on his passion for education to his students at UNC Charlotte.
“Now as a professor, I encourage all of my students to think about continuing their education for personal growth and professional development,” he said. “In many cases, a bachelor’s degree won’t get you in the door anymore, especially at the new Big 4. My family and I have benefited greatly from my experience at Queens, and now I try to pay it forward when I can.”