WILMINGTON —Her signature blue hair may be the first thing you notice about Taylor Redman, but it certainly will not be the most memorable.
Redman grew up in the small town of Tarboro, NC. There were 29 people in her graduating class at Edgecombe Early College High School. Wanting to expand her circle, Redman headed off to college at UNC-Charlotte.
“I wanted to go to a big school in a big city,” she recalls. “However, when I got there, it was a bit of a culture shock. I was not prepared. I realized very quickly that sitting in a class with 300 students and a teacher, who didn’t even know I existed, was not what I needed.”
In her search for a smaller university closer to home, Redman found the University of Mount Olive. It was a much better fit. Redman immersed herself in the college experience. She was a Writing Coach, an English and Accounting Tutor, and a First Year Experience Peer Mentor. “I have always enjoyed helping people,” she said. “Mentoring the incoming freshmen and guiding them through their first year was very rewarding.”
Redman was also active in various UMO clubs and organizations including the Accounting Society, where she participated in a volunteer tax program called VITA. She was President of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, and participated in the Ethics Bowl.
Academically Redman started out as an English major. Having worked with her dad at his CPA firm, all throughout her high school years, Redman was adamant that she would never pursue a career in accounting. “I didn’t dislike the work,” she said. “I always understood it well enough, but I would see how much my dad worked and how much he traveled and I felt that was not what I wanted to do.”
After one semester, Redman started to realize that although she loved English, it would always be more of a pastime than a career for her. “I knew I wanted something more challenging that would constantly keep me moving,” she said.
She met with Accounting Professor Ryan Douglas, who likes to say that everyone’s major should be accounting. Afterward, Redman said, “I did what I always said I wouldn’t, I switched my major to accounting.”
Perhaps it was her early introduction to taxes and spreadsheets under the tutelage of her father or the rigorous UMO accounting coursework. Whatever it was, Redman exponentially excelled. Numbers became her calling. In the fall of her senior year, she attended a UMO Meet the Firms event where various accounting firms visited the University and met with majors. It was at this event, that Redman met Eric Bregman and Trish Loesher of Earney & Company. “I did not really expect anything to come from this event other than a networking experience,” she said. “However, a few days later I received a call requesting an interview.” One week later Redman not only had an internship for the next semester, but also a full-time job offer after she graduated.
From January to May of 2023, Redman commuted to Wilmington twice a week for her internship. After graduating from UMO in May with a 3.79 GPA, she began full-time employment with the firm in June as an audit staff member. “It has been such an amazing experience, and everyone has been so welcoming and patient with me as I have been learning and expanding my knowledge,” she said. “My UMO professors did an amazing job of providing me with the base knowledge and experiences I needed to survive in the real world.”
With introspection, Redman now sees her dad’s long hours and hard work from a different vantage point. “Having worked in the accounting field for several months now, I have come to realize that my dad chooses to work as much as he does because he truly loves it. I am starting to love it as well,” she said.
Redman credits both of her parents for their love and support. “Both of my parents have played a huge part in shaping who I am today. My dad has always been so passionate about his work, but still never failed to be there for his family. My mom is one of the strongest people I know. Over the past few years, she has battled cancer and has been such an inspiration to me. I know I can do anything I put my mind to because I have had both of them encouraging me and cheering me on my whole life.”
With a strong academic background, supportive parents, and a desire to excel, Redman says she is motivated to, “Surpass the expectations that, not only other people put on me, but that I put on myself. I always want to keep going and doing everything that I can to succeed.”
So, beyond the beautiful hues of blue, Taylor Redman’s most memorable qualities are those of a smart, accomplished young woman with big dreams and even bigger aspirations.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University was founded by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.
By Rhonda Jessup, UMO Director of Public Relations