University of Southern Indiana

Meet Grant Pemberton, recipient of Romain College's Distinguished Graduate award

GrantGrant Pemberton '20, finance and accounting, was named the USI Romain College of Business 2020 Distinguished Graduate. He also received The Outstanding Achievement Award in Accounting. Grant has been involved in a number of organizations and activities during his time at USI, including:

  • Honors Program
  • Student Government Association
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • I am Second
  • Student Ambassador Organization
  • Above Average Joes Intramural team

We asked Grant to reflect on his time at USI and at Romain College.

What does it mean to you to be the recipient of Romain College’s Distinguished Graduate award?
I am thrilled to accept the Romain College of Business’ Distinguished Graduate award. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Romain College of Business because of the dedicated faculty, hands-on courses, and the opportunity to work with engaged students. Receiving this award is a highlight of my career at USI, and to even be considered along with the other outstanding candidates, many of whom are close friends, is a true honor.

What attributes make a student successful in college?
It is crucial for students to have the confidence to accept a challenge, and the flexibility to ask for help when needed. USI students are blessed with faculty that want to see you succeed and taking the opportunity to connect with USI faculty will get you far.

What made you choose USI and Romain College, and why should prospective students choose it?
The Romain College of Business is highly respected for the quality of professionals that it produces, and it is AACSB accredited, meaning you will receive a quality education. Additionally, USI is a tight-knit community with great values and is easy to call home. When I was making my college decision, the connection I felt to the faculty and students I encountered gave me confidence that I could grow at USI.

Do you remember what your first day was like at USI?
I was so nervous for the transition to college life but living on the Honors LLC equipped me with study buddies that turned into lifelong friends. When the first day of classes arrived, I already felt comfortable because of the connections I made during Welcome Week. I did not know what to expect from a college class but being surrounded by great people both in and out of the classroom truly got me off to a great start.

What has been your favorite class at Romain College? Which has been the toughest?
My favorite class was Entrepreneurial Finance with Dr. Elkhal. In the class, I had the opportunity to create and pitch a business plan with my best friend. This was also my toughest class, because of the number of hours we put into our business plan to make it as comprehensive and realistic as possible. Dr. Elkhal was able to make an intimidating class into one of my most rewarding and enjoyable classes through real-life examples, being accessible to the students, and his kindness.

Looking back, what do you wish you would have known as an incoming freshman and what advice do you have for the next class of students coming to USI this fall?
I would encourage students to get as involved as possible and be open to internship experiences that may be out of your comfort zone. Your experiences both in and out of the classroom will help you hone your soft skills and will allow you to make the most out of your time in college.

What goals do you have for yourself after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to pursue a career as a financial analyst and eventually take on a management role because of my passion to lead others and a team to success. To help me get there, I will be completing an MBA in the next few years. I also hope to stay connected to USI and give back to the university and Romain College of Business students.

Published May 8, 2020

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