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September 29, 2021

Man of Substance


Undistracted by the hollow allurements of some college football recruiters, defensive end Brooks Stemple ’22 chose Guilford College because of its academic qualities and nurturing atmosphere.

“[During my visit] they were talking about things that were going to sustain me, like employment opportunities. Very little was talked about the football part from the coaches, so I thought it was a good sign."

Brooks Stemple '22
Double major in Economics and Accounting

“I wanted to play college football, and I knew it would be at the Division III level. After some visits to Guilford, I fell in love with the place, just with the people,” he says. “It’s funny. A lot of colleges try to get athletes by saying, ‘Oh look at our uniforms. Look at what we’re building.’ That type of thing.”

Guilford was different.

“They were talking about things that were going to sustain me like employment opportunities. Very little was talked about the football part from the coaches, so I thought it was a good sign,” explains Brooks, a double major in Economics and Accounting.

[Read more about Guilford's new Analytics major in the Economics Department.]

Great Expectations Fulfilled

As it turns out, the College lived up to its promises — and to the expectations of the Honors Program student from Kernersville, N.C. For the summer of 2021, Brooks landed an internship with JP Morgan Chase in Plano, Texas, near Dallas. He worked in the wholesale credit risk departments within the corporate and investment bank within the real-estate group.

“I’ve never dealt with real estate so I didn't know much going in. After the internship and networking within the bank I’ve realized that real estate touches every part of the economy. That’s my angle. In the internship I was doing financial-statement analysis,” he says.

Brooks learned a lot and impressed the people at JP Morgan enough to earn a full-time job offer. In June 2022, Brooks will be move to Texas to begin his career.

A Difference Made

The news of his job offer was greeted with excitement when Brooks returned to Guilford after his internship, particularly by Economics Professor Natalya Shelkova.

“She’s the first person I got to know at Guilford,” he says. “I had my first-year seminar with her, and she was talking about jobs, about internships, before I even thought about them. To come back from the summer and be able to tell her, ‘Hey I got a full-time offer with JP Morgan,’ that was definitely a surreal moment because she saw my growth.”

Brooks also notes John K. Voehringer Jr. Professor of Economics Robert Williams for getting him interested in financial risk. And he notes his econometrics class with Professor Bob Williams, a course that’s well known for its difficulty. Brooks said that course, specifically, helped him immensely when solving problems during his JP Morgan internship.

“If there’s a ratio or some measurement I don’t know,” he says, “I rely on the skills that I learned in that class.” 

Brooks also serves on the advisory board of Market Minds, a Guilford club that works to improve financial literacy of students at Guilford, a liberal arts college. 

His advice for new students? “You only have four years here with a lot of really smart professors who have gone and done really cool and interesting things. Plug into that and ask them questions. There’s not going to be another time in your life where you’re going to have the resources and support you have right now, so take advantage of it.”

Are you interested in a career in finance or real estate? Apply to Guilford College and become an Economics, Business, or Accounting major to learn from some of the best faculty in higher education. Schedule your personalized visit to campus to learn more.