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Poole College Advisory Board Spotlight: Mark Baxter

Since graduating from NC State with his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1996 and Master of Accounting degree in 1998, Mark Baxter has spent 22 years working in the Raleigh area – his first two years with KPMG and the last 20 with Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young. As the recruiting lead for NC State students at Ernst & Young, Baxter brings a wealth of knowledge about the local business community – and the type of talent they are seeking – to the Poole College Advisory Board.

“Each year, EY hires 15+ students out of Poole College and an additional 15+ from the College of Engineering, so we’re a big consumer. This gives me a lot of insight into what businesses, clients and industries are looking for, which allows me to help Poole faculty and students continue to lead,” Baxter says. 

Now a partner with EY’s assurance service line, Baxter explains that he first got involved with the Poole College Advisory Board at the encouragement of his mentor Mike Constantino, former Poole College board member and now-retired EY partner.

“Though Mike remains a significant friend of the school, I largely took over his involvement with the board,” Baxter shares. “And while he was the key springboard for my involvement, my background with NC State and the role of our firm in recruiting makes my involvement directly relevant.”

Additionally, Baxter stepped into Constantino’s role on the Jenkins MAC Advisory Board and the NC State Executive Execution Board, allowing him to share his wealth of knowledge about the local business community with various faculty at NC State. 

In his five years on the board at Poole, Baxter has participated in most meetings with faculty and in several breakout sessions, providing him the opportunity to contribute his perspective on a variety of relevant topics. “In the future, I plan to continue that engagement and participate on sub-committees or key actions items as well,” Baxter says. 

From his perspective, Poole’s engagement with various businesses and industries is what sets it apart from peer business schools.

“The engagement that both students and faculty have with the business community is the key differentiator. But Poole also has several other strengths setting it apart,” he says. “The school has expanded its commitment to business analytics and entrepreneurship, which will allow it to grow – all while maintaining its foundation of leadership development and an innovative mindset embedded in the core competencies. Poole also has a strong commitment to diversity, which will continue to serve it well.”

In addition to contributing his perspective in meetings with faculty, Baxter has also made it a point to actively invest in future leaders – both personally and financially. 

“I have a passion for counseling students and providing career guidance for them,” Baxter says. “And my wife and I have also set up an endowment for scholarship funding.”

For Baxter, the future of Poole College – and in turn, the state’s economy – is bright.

“With such vibrant business ecosystems in RTP, Charlotte and the Triad, Poole is already an important feeder school of candidates to these high-growth businesses – even though it’s a relatively young business school,” he explains. “As the college grows, and as the number of highly successful alumni leaders grows, Poole’s impact will only continue to multiply.”

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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