Audrey Groves – BEM


Essex Thayer, Sports Editor

Audrey Groves, an upcoming graduate, was nominated by the Business School to be featured for the business and enterprise management (BEM) major. She is a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and the chaplain for the Episcopal Student Fellowship (ESF).

For Groves, the ESF has played a special role in her Wake Forest experience.

“[ESF] was an amazing community where, even when I was super stressed out about computer science and business and all the classes that come along with that, I could just go for an hour or so during the week and just laugh and enjoy college a little bit,” she said.

Groves came to Wake Forest not knowing what kind of degree she wanted to pursue. Initially, she was enrolled in several computer science courses, but, she eventually decided that wasn’t the path for her.

“I realized that I didn’t really want to be a software engineer,” Groves said. “I wanted to understand the tech piece, but also be on the opposite side of that [on] the human side. So, I thought the business school would be the perfect route to do that.”

By taking courses in the Business School, Groves was able to identify opportunities in which she could merge her computer science knowledge and business knowledge to pursue a career in a managerial or entrepreneurial role. A class with Professor Roger Beam was particularly impactful in igniting that desire.

“My marketing class with Roger Beam was probably one of my favorite [classes],” Groves said. “It was [about] marketing and new product development. [As] an entrepreneurship minor that really helped earn my entrepreneurship concentration,”

Another class in the Business School also helped fuel Groves’ passion for entrepreneurship: Design Thinking with Professor Chris Mumford.

“I loved my design thinking class with Professor Mumford,” Groves said. “That [class] was a lot more about being agile and creating new products. All of my entrepreneurship classes were really, really awesome.”

Outside of the classroom, adviser Sharon Payne helped Groves in her career pursuits. When COVID-19 took away her planned study-abroad opportunity, Payne worked to help her find an internship.

“It was very last minute, but she helped me find [an internship],” Groves explained. “I worked for XPO Logistics, which was really cool because I hadn’t known anything about logistics. I got to work on the strategy team, and it was just great. I got real business experience, [which] I really, really enjoyed.”

The following summer, Groves interned remotely with the Ernst & Young office in Charlotte. She is excited to be working there full time beginning in the fall.

For the underclassmen in her major, Groves suggests taking advantage of Wake Forest’s vast and valuable alumni network when searching for job opportunities.

“The alumni network, especially within the Business School, is an incredible resource,” Groves said. “I was able to find my internships and my job through it.”

That alumni network has also proved helpful as she planned her upcoming move to Charlotte.

“Going into a new job, I already know so many people that live in Charlotte that will be doing similar things to me and they’ve given me such good advice,” Groves said.

As graduation approaches, Groves has spent much time reflecting on those who were by her side during her undergraduate years. She is grateful for teachers, friends and her pastor.

“I am grateful for my two best friends, Kelli Frangoulis and Elizabeth Mabry,” Groves said. “They’ve been my support system the past four years and I don’t know where I’d be without them. Sharon Payne at the business school … she’s worked so hard, and she’s retiring this year. I don’t even think she knows how much of an impact she’s had on my life. Lastly, my pastor, James Franklin [has] been a friend [I’m grateful for because] he’s made me laugh so much.”

The proximity of graduation later this month has also had Groves feeling nostalgic about her four years at Wake Forest.

“I hadn’t really thought about it until yesterday when we had our final ESF meeting and all the seniors were honored,” she said. “After that, it really hit me. I was walking around campus after that, looking at all the buildings and being flooded with so many memories. I have so many memories attached with every single spot on campus, and it was kind of overwhelming.”

“I feel so grateful to have such great memories,” Groves continued. “I’m not really great with goodbyes, and I don’t really like endings, but I’m really excited to go out into the world and apply all this knowledge that I’ve gathered from my studies here.”