Chris Myers found his place at Carolina by guiding others.
The business and Asian studies major began each school year leading backpacking expeditions known as Wilderness Adventures for First-Year Students. The program, developed by Carolina’s Outdoor Education Center, is offered to students as part of first-year orientation.
“I’d hardly even call it work,” Myers says. “It’s relaxing and enjoyable – hiking, and rock climbing and kayaking – and sharing it all with other people.”
But class work and the OEC aren’t his only jobs. Myers also works as a research and teaching assistant for Francesca Gino, assistant professor of organizational behavior, and doctoral student Tina Juillerat.
What brought the outdoorsman inside? A Kenan-Flagler Business School course on organizational behavior sparked his interest in human relationships and psychology. He quickly saw how well the research complemented his work at the OEC helping people and groups become more effective.
“You take a group, give them a map and a compass, then watch them learn about themselves and how to work together. But we’re not there to teach people to backpack. We’re there to prepare them to interact with people. Some have truly transformational experiences, and backpacking is the vehicle to make that happen.”
Instructor evaluations at the end of WAFFYS find Myers transformed as well.
“It’s helped me develop speech skills before a group, more compassion as people struggle with things, and to communicate effectively with people to help them succeed.”