Category Archives: Academic

Tips For Graduate Student Registration

Graduate students will be allowed to register for Summer and Fall classes at 1:00PM on Friday, March 20th.  The COB’s Graduate Programs office strongly encourages you to register at that time.

Here are our tips for making registration easy:

  1. Check to see if you have any holds on your student account. You can do so in Self Service Banner by clicking on the Student tab and then selecting Student Records.  It is a good idea to check, even if you can’t think of any reason why you might have a hold.  Holds take at least 24 hours to be removed, so the earlier you check, the better.
  2. Seek out your advisor’s help! We are here to assist you with course selection.  MBA and MSA advisors are listed at the bottom of this post.  We can answer most registration questions via email.  If you would like to schedule an appointment with an MBA advisor, please call 252-328-6970.  MSA students should call their advisors directly at the numbers below.
  3. It is a good idea to avoid taking OMGT6613, FINA6604, and MGMT6722 (or any combination thereof) in the same semester. These 3 courses are offered every Fall and Spring (on campus and online).  OMGT6613 is offered as an online course in the 1st Summer Session.  FINA6604 and MGMT6722 are offered in the 11-week summer session as online courses.
  4. Detailed registration instructions and up to date schedules can be found on our website.
  5. Many students find that taking a mix of quantitative and qualitative courses in a semester makes for a more manageable semester.
  6. Check your holds AGAIN! We encourage you to check your holds a couple of days before registration begins.  If you have a hold on your account that prevents registration, the COB can’t remove it for you.
  7. If a course fills up before you are able to register for it, add yourself to the course’s waitlist. DON’T PANIC!  While there are no guarantees, most all waitlists resolve by the time the semester or summer session gets underway.
  8. You may have noticed the DegreeWorks feature in Banner. The information that you see there may not be accurate at this time.  Please do not use DegreeWorks information when deciding which courses to take.
  9. Registration day is always a busy day in our office. If you have trouble registering, please do NOT call our office or email your advisor directly.  Please send an email to gradreg@ecu.edu that includes your Name, Banner ID, the Courses/Sections you wish to register for, and any error messages that you receive from Banner.  Our staff will be monitoring these emails and will respond to you ASAP.
Program Advisee Primary advisor Email
MBA & MD/MBA Last name beginning A-B Ms. Tina Williams WILLIAMSTI@ECU.EDU
MBA & MD/MBA Last name beginning C-H Ms. Tendai Ndabvonga NDABVONGAT@ECU.EDU
MBA & MD/MBA Last name beginning I-P Mr. Paul Russell RUSSELLP@ECU.EDU
MBA & MD/MBA Last name beginning Q-Z Ms. Sarah Smith SMITHSA@ECU.EDU
MSA Last name beginning A-L Dr. John Reisch
252-737-1052
REISCHJ@ECU.EDU
MSA Last name beginning M-Z Dr. Joey Hagan
252-737-1051
HAGANJ@ECU.EDU

Alumni Highlight: Paul J. Alar (MKTG ’78)

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Paul Alar has led the way as a top investor for 30 years, focusing primarily on various alternative investment strategies. He founded his own Atlanta-based fund, West Mountain Partners LP, in 2002, which was soon recognized as the number one Emerging Manager Fund of Funds by InvestHedge magazine. By 2013, West Mountain Partners had become the best performing fund of funds in the world according to the Barclay Managed Funds Report.

Alar says the success he’s had as an investor is the immediate ability to “see through” a manager’s pitch and determine whether he or she truly understands a strategy or is simply reading from a script. He credits ECU with helping him to hone that skill – which stems from his exposure to a broad swath of students from different areas of the country and different economic backgrounds.

Before launching West Mountain Partners 12 years ago, Alar managed risk arbitrage portfolios for institutional and private clients at Bear Stearns, developed hedging strategies for Oppenheimer’s Alternative Asset Group, and introduced domestic private placement insurance to Deutsche Bank as a strategy for making hedge fund investments more tax efficient.

In addition to investing, Alar is passionate about running, which is what brought him to ECU in the first place. Growing up in New Jersey, he says he wanted to move to the south for its warm climate. His cross country coach, who was also his guidance counselor, suggested East Carolina.

“ECU offered an outstanding cross-section of students, which I found stimulating,” Alar explained. “I use this term loosely, but ‘anyone’ can get a good formal education, at almost any college, if they apply themselves. ECU’s advantage in my view was being able to assimilate one’s self to a truly diverse student body. This was ‘real world’ training and can’t be duplicated.”

Alar says he also enjoyed becoming a member of TKE fraternity and all of the related Greek activities.

Today, Alar lives in Smyrna, Ga. with his wife, Donna (ACCT ’78), who also graduated from the College of Business. Their son John attends Rhodes College in Memphis, where he runs track and field; Mark is a freshman at Texas Christian University.

In his free time, Alar serves as the community coach in track and field at Whitefield Academy.  During his 10 years of coaching, he has had three State Champions who have won 12 individual State Championships.
For budding business students, Alar has three points of advice. He said, “First, you must make good grades and take challenging courses. A potential employer will take a straight A student with honors from ECU over a B student from ‘name brand’ schools almost every time. Second, do not take your first job based solely on compensation. You should reverse engineer your career: Decide what you want to be doing in 10 years, and then determine the steps needed to get there and work backwards. Your first job should be the first brick in building your career path. Third, you must get intern work during the summer, even if the job does not pay. This will allow you to decide if the industry you had interest in is, in fact, the industry you like.”

Alar also noted that of the three State Champions he coached in track, none of them thought they were “runners” until they tried the sport.

He said, “I think that in itself offers a life lesson: Try anything once; you will never know what you might be great at until you do.”

The College of Business Honors Students Through The ECU EXCELS Program

unnamed (11)On February 20, 2015 from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm 373 first semester ECU students who earned a 3.0 or higher were invited to attend an open house reception honoring their achievement!  Students were greeted with certificates and refreshments while sharing in fellowship.  These amazing achievers were able to talk to Dr. Eakins and Dr. Gibson along with many other faculty, staff, and Student Peer Mentors!  This year the celebration fell on ECU’s Parents Weekend and we were honored to have many parents in attendance who also had the opportunity to talk to us!

This informal connection between our future leaders with our Dean, Associate Dean, faculty and staff was an amazing experience for all involved!

ECU Wins Big at National Small Business Institute Conference

ECU College of Business faculty and students won big at the National Small Business Institute® (SBI) conference held in St. Pete Beach, Fla. from Feb. 11-15, 2015.

At the meeting, Dr. Joshua Bendickson and Drs. Phillip Davis and Michael Harris received Best Paper Awards for their respective research. Bendickson’s work focused on assessing attitudinal perceptions of business climate, while Davis and Harris explored philanthropy in small firm owners.  This makes four Best Paper Conference Awards from the ECU Department of Management within the last four months, including awards won at the Midwest Academy of Management and the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

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Mike Harris, Bill McDowell, and Whitney Peake receiving the best paper award at the conference (missing Phil Davis, co-author of paper). Dr. John Batchelor, who was responsible for announcing the award, is an ECU grad who is now a professor at the University of West Florida.

In addition, an ECU student team won second place in the National SBI Competition Business Plan Division for its work with a Winterville-based business called Salsa a la Rita. This team consisted of Jasmine Berryman, Travis Blount, Dana Raper, Steffen Reith, Parker Smith, and Jasmine Vincent.

Another ECU student team won fourth place in the National SBI® Competition Specialized Division working with Fresh Keepers in Snow Hill. The students in this team included Eric Grainger, Mike Fanning, Chelsea Boles, Hillary Pearce, Linwood Hines, Detric Allen, and Kyle Appel.

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Dr. Mike Harris receiving one of the plaques for the Project of the Year award from Patrick Walker.

The College of Business has enjoyed a long tradition of students winning top honors in the SBI’s Project of the Year Competition. Student teams from ECU have now placed in the top 4 nationally nine of the last ten years of this competition.

Each year, business students at ECU participate in the competition through Dr. Michael Harris’ Small Business Management class, which is linked at a national level with the SBI.  The course teams students with local companies in need of assistance as part of a course project. While firms benefit from free business consulting, students apply lessons they’ve learned in subjects ranging from marketing to accounting.  In the end, the student teams deliver a comprehensive consulting document to their respective clients, along with an oral presentation.

ECU’s SBI program has assisted approximately 600 clients since its inception in 1974. At the national level, the organization serves as the premier organization dedicated to field-based student consulting and outreach to small businesses.

For more information about the SBI at ECU, please contact Dr. Michael Harris at (252) 737-1057 or harrismi@ecu.edu.

How to Land a Job Before you Graduate

Insights from a Senior Business Student with Four Job Offers

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Senior finance student Tyler Boruff, 22, plans to graduate this spring, and he already has a great job lined up. Actually, he had four job offers lined up by the beginning of 2015, and selecting the best one was the hard part. Starting July 17, he will be an associate production manager for Aramark in Dallas, Tex. as he begins in thecompany’s management training program called Accelerate to Leadership, or A2L.

“The College of Business was there for me all the way and gave me a lot of valuable guidance throughout my job search, from beginning to end,” Tyler said.

So what are Tyler’s secrets to landing a good job?

1. Use your network
Tyler says he began by talking with friends who had already graduated, older students he knows through his role as president of the ECU Scuba Club, contacts he met through the dive shop where he works, and even family members like his older sister, Shelby Boruff (MGMT ’12, MBA ’13), who now works with Target Corporation (where one of his job offers originated).

“I also got to know the College of Business’ Career Center team and learned how to use the online CareerNet system, plus I spent extra time planning with faculty members like Prof. T.D. Gribble and Associate Dean Dr. Jim Westmoreland,” Tyler explained. “I tried to get the most out of my BUSI 3200 assignments and guest speakers, too, since the class focuses on teaching students how to become business professionals.”

2. Prepare for the ECU Career Fair
Tyler says he can’t say enough about the ECU Career Fair (the spring fair is March 19th – mark your calendar!) Do your homework beforehand, and you might be surprised at the opportunities that surface.

Tyler said, “Research the companies and people who plan to attend, and narrow down the firms that interest you most. Reach out to potential employers before the fair, and let them know about your interest (and send them your resume and portfolio in advance). Try to understand what each company is looking for – since each recruiter wants something different – and position yourself for that job.  Also, have an open mind at the Career Fair and look at companies that may not be on your list.”

3. Edit Your Resume
Tyler says his resume improved dramatically as he went through the editing process and gathered input. In the end, he had a solid resume that put his best foot forward and advanced him to the next round.

4. Practice your Interviews
Practice with a trusted professor. Practice through the Career Center. Practice in the mirror. Know what you are going to say and how you’re going to say it. Also, be ready with a firm handshake and elevator pitch. Even if you think you feel comfortable talking in front of others, like Tyler does as a scuba instructor, preparing will help you feel ready and confident.

5. Dress Professionally
For guys, that means you must wear a suit and tie. Be clean shaven and get a haircut. Wear a sport jacket. You may need to spend a little money, but your professional image is well worth it. (Tyler says he coupon shopped for his suit and found one at Belk’s.)

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6. Take Advantage of Opportunities to Become Well Rounded
Grades are very important, but what you choose to pursue outside of the classroom is just as important. Find something extra-curricular that sparks your interest. Seize opportunities to demonstrate leadership. Consider studying abroad.

“I think studying abroad is something every student should do if they can,” Tyler said. “I traveled to China through the College of Business Study Abroad Program in summer 2014, and it was a life changing experience.”

Always here to help!

Written By: Meredith Johnson, Peer Mentor

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Many of you may not know this valuable resource that is available to students in The College of Business Advising Center. This resource is The Peer Mentors and is comprised of six junior and senior business students that are here for one purpose, to help other students succeed.

They are here to serve as role models for first year and transfer business students. They participate in all of the College of Business events; you probably saw them at Open House when you first toured here. They are here to offer a student perspective for The College of Business. Most of them have taken the same classes that you have taken and are involved in some of the same organizations that you are involved in. These six Peer Mentors are spread across 4 out of the 5 majors offered in The College of Business. They are actively involved in the business student organizations and you may see them at a meeting.

The Peer Mentors are also actively involved in The College of Business Living Learning Community (LLC) here on campus. The Peer Mentors helped at LLC Move-In Day at the start of the school year. They also attended the Haunted House on College Hill with LLC students. Peer Mentors also get together during one of their weekly meetings towards the end of the semester and put together goody bags for exam week for LLC students.

There are some requirements for the Peer Mentors. One of which is having weekly office hours up in the advising center. These are available to students so they can come up and talk to them about any question or problem they may be having. They are also available during class registration time for students to come and get guidance about staying on schedule for graduation and suggestions for schedules. These office hours are a set schedule every week of the semester.

Now let me introduce you to all of our 2014-2015 Peer Mentors:

DesiThis is Desi Franc. Desi is a Senior Marketing and Supply Chain Management Major from Charlotte, North Carolina. Desi has been with the program for two years now and offers valuable experience from being an RA in the LLC for two years. Desi says the key to success is to stick with this quote “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”-Wayne Gretsky.

Meredith

This is Meredith Johnson. Meredith is a Junior Marketing major from Cary, North Carolina. This is Meredith’s first year as a Peer Mentor. Meredith currently handles all of our social media sites. When asked why she wanted to be involved with the Peer Mentors she said she wasn’t involved her Freshman year and decided what better way to get involved than with The College of Business and to be able to help incoming Freshman get involved early and find their place here at ECU.

kyleThis is Kyle Kwiatkowski. Kyle is a Senior Accounting and Managerial Finance Major from Greenville, North Carolina. When asked why Kyle wanted to be a Peer Mentor he responded that he believes all students have the potential to be successful as long as they have the motivation and study skills to achieve success.

ShannonThis is Shannon Murphy. Shannon is a Junior Finance- Risk Management and Insurance Major from Mooresville, North Carolina. Shannon is a former LLC student and from her involvement in the LLC wanted to become a Peer Mentor after working closely with them. Shannon says her key to success is to live by this quote from Steve Jobs “Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that kept me going was that I loved what I did”.

zekeThis is Zeke Sigler. Zeke is a Senior Accounting major from Wilmington, North Carolina. Zeke is also a former LLC student and after working closely with the Peer Mentors then wanted to be one himself. Zeke says that the key to success for him is to live by this quote from Mark Twain “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”.

lindseyThis is Lindsey Sing. Lindsey is a first year graduate student pursing her MBA from Charlotte, North Carolina. This is also Lindsey’s second year as a Peer Mentor. Lindsey is able to offer students the grad school process. Lindsey says the key to success is following this quote from Walt Disney “Around here we don’t look backwards for long… we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Now that you have met The Peer Mentors we hope to see and hear from you soon. If you would like to email us with any questions or concerns email us at cobmentors@ecu.edu. Also, Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ECUCOBMentors . We are also on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/ECU-COB-Mentors-8187995?home=&gid=8187995&trk=my_groups-tile-grp

ECU Professor’s Research Makes Cover of Premier Accounting Journal

RebeccaFayAn article authored by East Carolina University Assistant Professor Rebecca Fay recently made the front page of the Journal of Accountancy, the leading journal published by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The magazine reaches 500,000 accounting and finance professionals each month, more than all other accounting publications combined.
The article, “I’m not biased, am I?” was published  as the Journal of Accountancy’s cover story on Feb. 1, 2015. Norma R. Montague, assistant professor of accounting at Wake Forest University, served as co-author.

In the report, the authors explore five common judgment biases that can affect accounting and auditing decisions, concluding that learning how to spot and short-circuit these biases can help CPAs maintain their objectivity.  The authors also include a decision-making quiz so that readers can learn about their decision-making process and how it relates to their accounting work.

Fay explained, “The first step toward enhancing our decisions is recognizing the specific problems that may occur. In 60 seconds the quiz provides readers with an opportunity to determine whether common types of bias are affecting their decisions. It shifts the topic of bias from merely a textbook concept to something that is relevant to the reader personally.  Hopefully the article will pique interest and point readers to the wealth of literature available.”

To read the full article, click here: http://journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2015/feb/auditing-judgment-bias.html

Fay joined the ECU College of Business as an assistant professor of accounting in Fall 2011. Originally from Virginia, she earned her PhD from Virginia Tech and holds both a BS and an MBA from Liberty University. She is s a licensed CPA and has seven years of experience in public accounting. She worked as an audit manager with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland before returning to academia.

Internship Outside of Comfort Zone Pays Off

Written By Dr. Susanne Killian, Career Counselor, CoB Career Center

Henry David Thoreau stated, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” This quote encompasses the career path of Wings Mankedick, a Master’s of Business Administration student here in the East Carolina University College of Business.

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Wings is a fantastic example of how students can mold their graduate experience into a holistic and experiential route to a dream career.  By combining his academic interest in marketing and his love of the outdoors he secured an internship with the marketing department at the Voyageur Outward Bound School, which is a program that seeks to challenge students based on four main values: compassion, integrity, excellence, and inclusion/diversity.  The program also utilizes expeditionary travel to develop leadership skills and encourages participants to work as a group to complete goals.  Outward Bound uses adventure to develop personal leadership skills and to increase one’s understanding of the world around them.

This adventurous spirit is evident in Wings’ choice of participating in an internship outside of his comfort zone as he states:

“My career goals have changed drastically since I first started the MBA program at East Carolina University and this internship was more or less the biggest turning point I have had since the transition.  Two years ago I was on my way to having my dream job working for a Business Management consulting firm, but I soon realized my heart belonged to the woods, outdoor education, and adventure.  I still wanted to be able to use my past education in my future career and have found that marketing for organizations that I believe in, such as Outward Bound, could help bind together two loves in my life.  This is why I challenged myself to complete an internship with Outward Bound.”

We can conclude from this notion that internships are great opportunities for students to experience the real world of work, and in this case, a new realm of the world of marketing.

The experiences that Wings gained through his internship have enriched his education here at ECU which he clearly expresses:

“I have many new skills and also many programs I am now familiar with.  I definitely believe that part of my success was having pre experience and education in the marketing field.”

Wings not only benefitted himself through his internship, but also made a positive impact on the Voyageur Outward Bound School as they now wish to continue the marketing internship that he pioneered.  As he explains the value of the internship, “I believe it was very beneficial for anyone looking for a career in marketing.”

We are fortunate to have students such as Wings Mankedick leading our graduate programs to excellence through their strong work ethics and ability to realize the value of a holistic, graduate experience.  It is our hope that other students follow this example and search for their own passion along their path to a rewarding career.

**If you are interested in interning please contact Dr. Killian via email killians@ecu.edu or make an appointment by calling: 252-737-1236

New Year- Time To Update That Resume!

Written by Sharon Justice, Department of Management

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The start of the New Year always brings time for reflection, refocus, or resolutions.  Often, we think that resolutions have to be momentous, life changing events.  It’s not too late to start the New Year off with new habits that can make a difference, not just resolutions that get lost in the shuffle.  Here are a few to consider:

Update your resume:  With the beginning of the New Year, it is a good time to reflect on what you have accomplished since last year.  Did you work over the summer?  Did you start a new job?  Did you study abroad?  Have you been a volunteer?  Everything has potential to be a resume builder.   Remember to always make strong arguments for your accomplishments by using power verbs and incorporating facts and figures into your resume.  Don’t simply state job duties.  Expand your impact and grab attention by explaining what you accomplished and why it was important.  Remember, the resume is your teaser advertisement for you.  Take charge and spend time crafting the foundation that can be easily customized whenever you want to apply for a position.

Set up a LinkedIn profile, or update your current profile.  This online social media tool is an excellent way to stay connected with friends, work associates, prior colleagues, people you want to get to know…you name it.  Spend time crafting your headline, pull updated accomplishments from your resume.  Find new groups or people to share with.

Explore Twitter:  Don’t just tweet random thoughts.  Find groups with common interests and join the conversations.  Maybe you don’t start out adding your own tweets, and that it ok.  Follow a conversation on a hot topic one evening.  See what others in your industry are talking about.  Join a group of Millennials as they talk about entering the workforce after college.  Follow recruiters where you want to work.  Twitter has so much to offer, go see for yourself.

Refine your Pitch.  You never know when you will meet someone unexpected.  Have your pitch ready to share.  It’s your opportunity to shamelessly promote yourself.  You never know where these new connections and conversations may take you.

Now is the time to start off the New Year with new habits.  Take time to make a few updates and explore a new tool.  You may just find that the New Year brings you closer to your goals.

Student Highlight – Hunter Rudd

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Hunter Rudd likes to think big – and since he first started taking classes online at ECU in 2008, he has achieved victory on many fronts. He is set to graduate this spring with honors and most recently earned the Ward/Thompson Scholarship for 2014-15. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A full-time student, Rudd lives in Chapel Hill where he owns a photography business called Rudd Photography LLC . He specializes in high quality corporate imaging and has dozens of commercial and private customers.
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What’s even more notable, Rudd is a Special Forces veteran. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after 9/11, dropping out of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania to become a Green Beret and serve for 10 years in the Middle East. He earned three Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, and one Purple Heart during his service. He still teaches at Ft. Bragg.

He met his wife, an Air Force Intelligence Analyst, when they were both deployed in Afghanistan. In 2011, the couple decided it was time for a change. They left the military and pursued academics full-time.

“I wanted an institution that would work with me while I was in the service, to achieve my dream of bettering my understanding behind the art and science of management,” Rudd explained. “ECU fit that bill perfectly. Having a brick and mortar campus, along with a reputation for academic and athletic excellence, it stood out from the crowd of universities that were offering online education to service-members.”

Rudd’s wife is a currently a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, dual-majoring in Political Science and European Studies. She hopes to pursue her graduate degree next year, just like Rudd plans to earn his MBA.

In addition to juggling his full-time studies and work, Rudd actively participates in veterans groups such as the VFW and the American Legion. He’s currently the senior strategic planner for UNC’s newly formed student veterans group, the Carolina Veterans Organization. Rudd said that even though he is an ECU student, the veterans community at UNC has welcomed him wholeheartedly, surmounting any college rivalry.

This past fall, as part of MGMT 4343 (a senior-level elective course that provides a deep and applied exploration of leadership), Rudd and other ECU business students had to complete a hands-on leadership project – giving them the opportunity to lead others and make a difference. For his project, Rudd surpassed even his own expectations. He led a team of volunteers through the Carolina Veterans Organization to raise more than 4,500 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC and TABLE, a non-profit that provides healthy, emergency food aid every week to hungry children living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, N.C. The project was close to his heart, having lived through war and seen the devastation wrought by nutrition deficiency.

In all, Rudd’s student-veteran team spent more than 202 man-hours reaching out to local business and manning Fill-the-Truck events at community grocers. They started with the goal to deliver 1,000 pounds of food the week of Thanksgiving, but they quickly surpassed it and made an even larger impact within the community.
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Rudd said, “In my leadership within the military, you don’t readily realize how easy leadership is in such a hierarchical and compulsory environment. Through Dr. Grubb’s MGMT 4343 course, I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and lead in a volunteer project. That presented a number of challenges for me, but in the end I was successful in not only raising more than 4,500 lbs of food donations, but I also learned a great deal about the art and science of leadership in the civilian world.”

Rudd says that he has been humbled by the academic rigor of ECU’s College of Business experience, and he believes that with his education, he can truly change the world.
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“The ECU College of Business is one of the most interconnected schools that I’ve seen,” Rudd said.  “Aside from our career services, the rich network afforded by our distance education programs for both undergraduate and graduate business studies gives our students and alumni incredible reach within virtually every industry. In addition, our professors possess some incredibly relevant knowledge on not just the theory of business administration, but also the application. It is through educating our students on the application, not just the theory, that ECU finds its most critical value proposition for those businesses wise enough to recruit from our graduates.”