Watch Professor Brian Turner walk across campus, and you’ll wonder if he’s on the faculty or a student-athlete.
Actually, he’s an athletic professor — tall, young and focused. Really focused — on preparing his business students for life after Averett: “Whether they want to enter the world of work or go to graduate school, we want to prepare them for that next step. Preparation is crucial.”
A large part of the prep, he says, is establishing your goals: “You have to know where you’re going to decide how to get there.” Part of his mission, then, is to help his students discover their own goals and then develop a plan to accomplish them. This approach is a result of Turner’s own life experiences.
Turner feels that many large schools emphasize only the academic credentials of their faculty members, whereas Averett goes a step farther: “We make sure that each area of the Business Department features at least one professor who can bring real-life, nonacademic experiences to the students.”
Turner himself went to a community college in Danville after high school, and then he did blue-collar work. He learned, pretty quickly, a very important lesson. We’ll call it his Life Lesson #1: He’d prefer to have a white-collar job.
So he made a detailed plan of action, transferred to Averett and finished his degree with a 4.0 grade point average.
In fact, a paid internship he had while at Averett turned into a full-time position after graduation. And it led to an even better position in North Carolina. Which gave him his Life Lesson #2: Becoming a partner in a tax firm is wonderful, but it meant more time at a desk than he could tolerate.
“I realized that spending a whole day, and every day, working at a desk … well, it was not for me. Teaching, now, that was an exciting and fulfilling prospect.”
He returned to Danville, joining both a rugby team (a sport not known for rosters of accountant players) and the faculty at Averett. To top it all off, he still works part-time as a Certified Public Accountant, primarily during tax season … keeping a foot in that world to better inform his students.
Master of Science, Taxation, Old Dominion University
Bachelor of Science, Business, concentration in Accounting, Averett College
Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public AccountantsCPA Licensure in Virginia and North Carolina