Student Profile: Chuck Harr

Charlotte Working Professionals MBA
Summer 2016

Despite his successful military and medical careers, practicing surgeon and retired Rear Admiral Chuck Harr knew he had more to learn. His dilemma: How to attend school without disrupting his hospital’s weekend call schedule. His solution: Wake Forest’s Charlotte Working Professionals MBA Program.

Although an established professional with many achievements under his belt, Harr said he was intimidated by the complexity of the coursework. “My mentors assured me my motivation and the strength of the team I would join would enable me to successfully complete the program. They were right.”

WFU Charlotte MBA head shots. 8/22/14He worked hard, but what struck him the most was the fact that his teammates worked just as hard to ensure his success as well as their own. Without a doubt, Harr said, this was the most vital lesson of his MBA. “I have learned I am much stronger when I function in a team. This was a new experience for someone trained to rely on individual strengths in both the military and in medicine.”

Extracurriculars also played a major role in his renaissance. From the local lunch-and-learns with regional business owners, to the international courses with small business owners in Nicaragua, Harr maximized his opportunities at Wake Forest. His team placed second in the annual Biotechnology Case Competition, and he hosted a panel discussion about the future of healthcare with the Surgeon General of the US Navy, the former Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy, and the Dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He also wrote an essay about a School of Business trip to meet Warren Buffett, which was published in The Charlotte Observer.

Harr recently accepted a new position as the executive medical director of WakeMed Raleigh Hospital, and he credits his MBA for helping him achieve his career goals.

“My MBA training is solid and pertinent. I am grateful to have the tools I need to function effectively in this environment.”

This fall, he will also become president of the Medical Alumni Association of the Wake Forest School of Medicine, a role he is ready to embrace on behalf of all students. “Alumni are part of the heart and soul of Wake Forest University,” he said. “I look forward to participating in the Alumni Associations of both the Business and Medical Schools as we promote lifelong learning for all members of our community.”