Here at A/B, we have a lot of love for the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils. That being said, we know UNC’s Experience Weekend is coming up, and our own fearless leader, Caitlin Shelby, is a proud alum of the Kenan-Flagler Business School. So we sat her down and picked her brain on the best places for students to check out while in town. We also asked her why Alta Blu is such a great place for grad students to call home when they move to Chapel Hill.
Our convo turned up some interesting gems! Read on to find out the best place to grab a nice drink near campus and what her favorite A/B amenities are.
AB: So tell us a bit about yourself.
CS: My name is Caitlin, and I’m the Raleigh/Durham Managing Director for Wood Partners, proud builder of Alta Blu. I’m also a 2012 grad from the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA program.
I have a lot of love for UNC. The program brought me to Chapel Hill from NYC and introduced me to my husband (also a North Carolina native). Our careers took us elsewhere after graduation, but a few years ago we had the opportunity to come back and live in Chapel Hill. We jumped at the chance--we love it here!
AB: As a Kenan-Flagler alum, do you have any advice for prospective students?
CS: First off, congratulations on getting accepted! I know a lot of work goes into getting to this point, so give yourself a pat on back.
This isn’t quite advice, but I know a big reason why I chose to attend KF was because of the people I met during Experience Weekend. I loved that certain “Carolina Way.” People here are kind to one another, and there was a strong community feel within the program. You work really hard, but everyone is supportive and supported, which is really unique to business school.
I’ve gone on to work with many other KF alums, and it’s always been a great experience. In fact, A/B’s financial partner also graduated from the program, and we’ve made sure that the Carolina Way is a big part of the culture at Alta Blu.
AB: Why is A/B a great fit for future UNC students?
CS: When I was in school, I lived in an apartment, and I remember being amazed at how much space and amenities we had compared to where I lived in NYC (seriously, my NC room felt palatial). It was a pretty big change! So when we had the opportunity to build a brand-new community in Chapel Hill, one of my goals was to be sure we delivered on those jaw-dropping amenities. We optimized A/B with what grad students want and need to juggle their hectic schedules.
In particular, I’m a fan of our awesome outdoor area. We’ve got a pool, grills, outdoor tvs, activity lawn, fire pit, pond, walking trails...Whether you’re looking to chill out or be social, all you have to do is step outside to take a much-needed break from school stress.
When you do need to buckle down, we have state-of-the-art working spaces complete with wifi and complimentary printing. But instead of creating something that felt like a business center, we gave it a cafe appeal. No need to lug your books to campus or a coffee shop to find a nice place to work--it’s right here at the Club.
Finally, we understand that people are coming to school from all different types of living situations. How can we accommodate that? We thought through every high-end finish, maximized access to natural light, and added ample storage and closet space so that no matter where you’re coming from, you can feel comfortable here.
Oh, and we’re an easy 10-minute drive from campus, which makes carpooling a breeze!
AB: When you’re at A/B, where’s your favorite spot to hang?
CS: I really enjoy the work-from-home area in the Clubhouse. It feels like you’re enjoying a nice cafe without leaving home.
AB: And when you’re in town, where do you go to unwind?
CS: Franklin Street is always a blast. I also like to hang out at the Carolina Inn and grab a cocktail. And check out Root Cellar for coffee!
AB: Give us three words to describe Alta Blu.
CS: I’d say welcoming, sophisticated and fun. Really, your comfort is our top priority, which allows us to bring in a great mix of high-end features with laid-back appeal.
AB: If someone is interested in moving into Blu or has any questions, what’s the best way to reach out?
CS: We’ll be on campus during Experience Weekend, so look for us there! Or you can give us a call at 833-786-8523 or--best yet--just come by when you’re in town! Our team will be here to answer any questions you have and show you around.
Thanks for the tips, Caitlin. And another congrats to all you prospective students, from the entire A/B Team!