Success Hits Close to Home

Steven Bean (B.S.B.A. ’85) is North Carolina born and bred, but his post-graduation ventures led him away from home. After the real estate services company he had helped build was sold, Steven took time for a family visit to his hometown of Robbins, North Carolina, before planning his next venture. Robbins was once a thriving factory town, but as its factories failed in a changing era, the town became ridden with poverty and unemployment. But Steven saw more than shuttered factories. The empty buildings, he realized, could easily and affordably be converted to commercial office space, and, with training, the community’s proven work ethic could provide a loyal and motivated workforce.

It was a challenging undertaking, but Steven credits his time at Carolina for instilling in him the fortitude to make it work.

“What makes UNC Kenan-Flagler students stand out — and I hear this from other people that hire them — is that they have grit,” he said. “They have a can-do attitude. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to achieve success. And they focus on making sure that the team is the center of that success.”

Today, what was once a sock factory is home to more than 100 employees who work for Situs, a global real estate advisory company. And the town of Robbins has a bright future again.


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