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Following His Philosophy of Success

Challenor Robertson finds path at Vanderbilt to “the ins and outs of any business”

Challenor L. Robertson
Director of Operations, Alpha Investing

Vanderbilt MAcc Assurance 2017

Challenor Robertson followed a slightly unusual path in two different ways. First, he came to Vanderbilt from the small Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago. And, second, he came into the Vanderbilt MAcc as the program’s only philosophy major.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that he’s, well, philosophical about why he chose to complement his liberal arts education with a business degree. “Accounting,” he says, “provides a unique opportunity to learn the intricacies and operations of several  industries, all through the lens of financial reporting. It’s a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of any business.”

Remaining for another year at Vanderbilt, where Challenor earned his undergraduate degree, was an easy choice, and not just because of the quality of the program. He loved his four years in Nashville — especially, he says, its “amazing” food.

At Owen, in fact, food is one of the ties that bind students from all programs together. “We have many Closing Bell events themed after different countries that are home to students,” Challenor explains, “and these are a great way to learn about different cultures and (my favorite part) to try their food.”

Looking back as he neared graduation, Challenor found the program as challenging, and as rewarding, as he had expected. “Graduate school is tough,” he says, “and it takes a lot of work. The most important thing here is that it is a collaborative environment, and the key to success is to work together. The faculty are a fantastic support network, too. Many students find that, even if their professor is not in the building, another one is ready and willing to help out.”

Much to his delight, Challenor was able to stay in Nashville even longer — landing a job with EY. That will allow him, as he begins his professional career, to continue pursuing one of his favorite Nashville pastimes: trying out the numerous places that serve the hot chicken for which the city has become legend. “It’s a great way,” he says, “to see more of the city and bond with friends, even as you both suffer through the hottest flavors.”

Fun Fact: After his internship in the MAcc program, Challenor “fulfilled a childhood dream” and adopted a puppy named Diva.

"The faculty are a fantastic support network.”