Zachary T. Propes, '09
Zachary Propes graduated from University of North Georgia in May 2009 with a degree in Accounting. During his time at UNG, he participated in an internship supported through the College of Business which ultimately led to a full-time position at Bates, Carter and Company, LLP in Gainesville upon his graduation. Propes spent six years in public accounting with Bates Carter specializing in governmental and non-profit accounting. Additionally, he received a Master’s in Business Administration in July 2012 from Georgia Southern University. In 2010, Propes married Katie Hudgins Propes, a graduate of UNG with a degree in Early Childhood Education.
How did UNG benefit you in your Career?
UNG and the Mike Cottrell College of Business have served as a solid foundation for my professional career, preparing me both with technical proficiency and leadership skills that have proved invaluable. And while the quality education I received at UNG has proved to be invaluable, it was the university’s emphasis on leadership opportunities that have had the most impact on my own self-worth and my personal drive to succeed. I served on the Student Government Association as the Academic-Judiciary Chair and was highly involved in the Recreation Department as an official for multiple intramural sports. Both experiences taught me the importance of time management and effective communication. I also learned how to effectively have an opinion. It’s one thing to disagree or state your opinion for the sake of it, it’s another, however, to disagree or state your opinion and then provide a persuasive argument for a legitimate/beneficial conclusion. I pride myself in the ability to work with others to solve an issue or move forward on a project and these attributes are a direct result of my time at UNG and the well-rounded education provided there.
There is another distinct advantage to attending UNG that I feel is important to discuss. Although UNG is a much larger university now than it was when I attended, it’s still small enough for intentional value to be place on each student’s education. Whether I was in the classroom or walking across campus, I always felt like I was more than a “number” to the university. I knew many of the professors and staff, in addition to the numerous friendships I had with peers. UNG provided a true community for personal and educational growth that I am confident I would have not been the beneficiary of had I attended most other institutions. I found value in being engaged throughout the UNG community and feel like I have reaped the benefits tenfold since graduation.
How do you stay involved as an Alumnus?
I am a strong advocate for giving back, whether that be through one’s time, gifts, and/or service. This is an important aspect for any community of people to ensure its stability, potential for future growth and development and to provide for more opportunities and continued success for younger generations. Specifically, my wife and I have been joint members of the alumni association for five years. I have been to many UNG functions, primarily Accounting Career Fairs and Beta Alpha Si events. I want to support both the University as a whole, but also the specific career path I chose. I am a proud product of UNG and feel strongly that I would not have been granted the opportunities in my professional life without its influence.