BYU professor’s passion leads him back to BYU
As a Brigham Young University undergrad, Chad Carlos changed his major after taking Norm Nemrow’s legendary accounting class. But a lifelong career at one of the Big Four didn’t interest Carlos. Instead, he’s taken a circuitous course, returning to what inspired him in the first place: teaching.
“I was always passionate about teaching,” Carlos says of his return to BYU as an assistant professor of entrepreneurship in 2012. “It doesn’t feel like a job.”
Carlos currently researches innovation and business strategy and teaches a course on basic entrepreneurial skills. He has seen the value that comes from students taking entrepreneurship courses, regardless of their major.
“We’re teaching people how to create value by solving problems,” he says. “Even if they don’t have an intention of starting a huge business, these principles can apply to other aspects of their lives.”
Carlos earned his MAcc from BYU in 2003 then moved to the Bay Area, working as a consultant with KPMG while his wife pursued her graphic design career.
In 2006 the professor’s career path pivoted again as he moved his family to New York to attend Cornell University. Carlos completed his MBA and PhD in business administration at the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, where his interest in research and entrepreneurship grew.
“It was fantastic,” Carlos says of his experiences at Cornell. “There’s a lot of uncertainty going into a PhD program, but I was lucky to have a really good mentor and adviser there.”
That mentor was entrepreneurship and personal enterprise professor Wes Sine, who also graduated from BYU.
“He identified talents in me and gave me opportunities to stretch myself,” Carlos says of Sine.
With Sine’s guidance, Carlos created new courses on entrepreneurship and traveled to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. He taught students as well as professionals about entrepreneurship, breaking down cultural barriers and adding experiences to his résumé.
Most recently, Carlos worked on the New York City Tech Campus, a part of Cornell University focused on innovation and entrepreneurship through an interdisciplinary approach.
Upon completion of his graduate studies at Cornell, Carlos made a full circle back to the Marriott School of Management.
“Once I completed all of the research requirements to finish my PhD, I interviewed around the country at different schools,” Carlos. “I was fortunate to have an opportunity to come back to Provo.”