See you later!

As I am sitting in my last Monday Wednesday classes, I can’t believe its over. This is my last post, time has sure flown by. The semester is ending and graduation gets closer, its hard thinking about all the seniors that will be leaving. Many of my friends are graduating, it has made me very anxious about my senior year. Being a senior comes with a lot of challenges, that I don’t know if I am ready for.

Before I get ahead of myself and think about the fall semester and summer I still have to finish out junior year. When it comes to exams, the anticipation of the all nighters, and long hours in the library is killing me. I hope I am prepared for all five of my exams, I am aiming for A’s in every class. As the end of the school year wraps up I have been attending a lot of various events.

This Saturday I had the privilage of accepting the ECU Alumni Scholarship award. The banquet was in Harvey Hall, and it was a very nice reception. It was great to see the different recipiants along with meet the great alumni that East Carolina has. I am very thankful to receive this scholarship, and be recognized for all my hard work.

Harvey Hall, ECU Alumni Scholarship Banquet

Harvey Hall, ECU Alumni Scholarship Banquet

To everyone, I hope you do well on your exams, and have a great summer! See everyone in August!

Xoxo ~ Madison

Thank You ECU

Happy Friday ECU College of Business! I cannot believe the day has come for me to write my last blog post as a COB eXperience student blogger.

The past four years have gone by so quickly. They have been filled with so many memories: pirate football, tailgates, sorority bid day and formals, all night studying, and too much time in Joyner Library. East Carolina University and the College of Business have given me the best college experience I could have asked for. I have gained so much knowledge through my classes and have had so many great, experienced professors during my time here. The College of Business has opened numerous doors to so many learning and professional opportunities; I will be forever grateful.  The institution of East Carolina means so much to me. It has been where I gained a valuable education, realized my passion, met my best friends and honestly, found myself.

I must say, I am very envious of all of you under class-man. If I have one piece of of advice for you: enjoy every minute of your time here at ECU. Try and soak it all in and take every opportunity (the fun ones and the professional ones) because there really is no other place like this. Here are a few of my favorite memories:

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Beating Carolina my junior year!

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In NYC for the 2013 AWNY Conference

The best roomies!

The best roomies!

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Dowdy Ficklen Stadium on New Years Eve 2013

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ADPi Spring Formal

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Our last game as undergrad students. Go Pirates!

 

Coffee!!

IMAG0238 (1)Many of you might not know about the brilliant opportunity that awaits you. Yes, it’s free coffee located in the Bate building Grad lab and 3001 computer lab. Now we’re not talking about the most expensive coffee such as the coffee beans that are sorted out of elephant poop. We’re talking about coffee produced in a Kurig and if you don’t like it black there’s cream and sugar to make that darkness turn sweet on your pallet.

Coffee is a study enhancer! Perfect for the finals week we have ahead of us. It even aided me in finishing a couple projects that were due this week. These assignments were incredibly taxing, I’ve never been so stressed out in my entire life. Graduate school is a lot more difficult than I anticipated and caffeine was the drug that I needed to stay up and finish those difficult grad assignments.

When I end up studying for my finals I will be using coffee to keep me up and alert. Thus I’ll be studying for most of the day although I will add in a couple study breaks. Possibly every 45 minutes because we all need a refresher here and there.

A BIG Thank You to Dean Eakins

This semester I had the luxury of taking Business 3200 with Mrs. Justice. In this class we had a lot of work to do. But some of the major requirements were a practice interview, make a personal website, and attending a business etiquette dinner. Last week I had the luxury of attending the dinner that was hosted by the College of Business. This dinner took place in Harvey Hall over looking the football stadium. The event started at six o’clock on Wednesday evening.

When showing up for this event it was very weird seeing all of my classmates in business suites. This whole semester I’ve seen them every other day, but wearing normal clothes, such as jeans and a t-shirt. Even my teacher Mrs. Justice mentioned on how different everyone looked wearing their business suites.

Prior to sitting down for dinner we all stood outside in the lobby and mingled for about 30 minutes. Talking to different business professionals, along with getting to know people. This consisted of small talk, and focusing on how to carry on a conversation with someone you don’t know! There were many business professionals here that made this event happen. I spoke to Katie from Sanderson Farm all the way from Mississippi; she was so sweet as we talked about many different things besides just her company. As it got closer to 6:30 they opened the doors to start dinner.

At dinner we were assigned tables with different business professionals. I was at a table with all boys; expect the professional at the table was Casey Siega-Ritz from The Select Group out of Winston-Salem. Casey was great and she was young so she could relate to many things that we were going through as young professionals, along with help us with the interview and job search process.

We couldn't take our phones in the dinner...so this picture will have to do!

We couldn’t take our phones in the dinner…so this picture will have to do!

As the dinner continued, they brought out soup, salad, main dish, and dessert. The food was delicious, and the service was great. The week before the dinner, in class, we went over how to properly eat at the dinner table. So as the dinner went on we were all very cautious of what we did. Everything was fine to eat, until the dessert got there. The dessert was a pastry with ice cream on top. Now if I were at home, I would have just picked the pastry up an ate it because it was so hard to cut. My whole table looked at each other with those eyes of “what are we supposed to do.” I just ate the ice cream, and left everything else! I did not want to put myself in an awkward situation!

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The dinner concluded, and we all said thank you to our host Casey, as it was a lovely night. This dinner just went to show how awesome our College of Business is. As Dean Eakins, allowed this event to take place it allowed us to grow as young business professionals.

Dean Eakins, I would like to personal thank you from all of BUSI 3200, we all appreciated the dinner!

A Lasting Impression

Happy Friday COB! I hope everyone had a great week! As the semester is beginning to wind down I know many of your are still searching for jobs and internships. Today I came across a great article on the Huffington Post college blog called “11 Quick Ways to Make a Lasting Impression in the Business World”. It was posted on Thursday and was written by Danny Rubin.

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In the article Rubin asks the president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association, Richard Wahlquist, about what students can do to set themselves apart and to land that job or internship. Wahlquist sees firsthand how selective companies are being so he offered up the 11 following tips:

1. Introduce yourself before someone else has to introduce you.

2. Ask a question based on your last conversation

3. Say “I agree,” not, “I don’t disagree.”

4. State your full name and purpose when you a business phone call

5. Bring several (at least five) printed resumes to a job interview

6. Pick a follow-up question rather than launch into a “me” answer

7. Update people on the status of your project – even if they don’t expect an update

8. In the job interview, be curious about the employer’s own career

9. “I’ll do it” – an important sentence to make you a leader

10. When a person connects you to someone else view email, offer to     drop them from the chain

11. Treat every day like a “temp” situation

The competition is fierce! Set yourself apart!

The competition is fierce! Set yourself apart!

I found these tips to be incredibly useful! Although there are some I have always done, there were a good amount that I had never thought about doing in a workplace environment. I think number 6. Pick a follow-up question rather than launch into a “me” answer, is very helpful for students trying to find jobs and internships. Going into an interview we think that we need to tell them as much as we can about ourselves; however, I think stronger candidates have the ability to have a conversation with the person interviewing them. This way they have the opportunity to see how you are on a normal day having a normal conversation – you will stand out from your competitors that can only talk about themselves. My favorite out of the 11 is the last one, treat every day like a “temp” situation. The article says “Prove yourself. Earn your place. And tomorrow, do it all again.” This is a invaluable piece of advice for all of us. It’s so easy to get too comfortable in the workplace and more likely than not, that comfort comes with a less than perfect work ethic. I think making an effort to impress everyone you work with everyday is the best way to showcase your potential.

I encourage all of you to read the full article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-rubin/11-quick-ways-to-make-a-l_b_7080644.html

How to motivate yourself!

Picture1Most of us enter college not sure what we want to accomplish in life, while others believe they want to be rich, meet their soul mate, accomplish a goal, etc… My question is, if you do have a goal, such as getting rich, is it sufficient enough to make you happy? Because overall everything we do in life is targeted towards achieving happiness.

Algenon Cash was a speaker at the ECU Leadership conference and I gave an overview of his lecture a couple weeks ago. Algenon Cash told us that in order for us to be successful we need to understand our core values and remind ourselves of those values every day because good core values will bring us happiness and success. He then began to describe how every morning he is reminded of his core values through a note card on his night stand. (I would love to share them with you, but I cannot remember the exact words that he used). He then spends every day making sure that his values are met through every action he makes because it will lead to his success.

shaking handsIf apersons’ values were money, people (not relationships), or something else superficial, that persons’ values will not lead them towards success because there can be too much variance and eventually everything will come crashing down. My point is your goal in life should be based on what makes you happy. It shouldn’t be based on superficial things such as a car or a nice apartment. If people have values such as honesty, relationships, integrity, etc… then they will begin to gather relationships with other people and those people will, in turn, help them achieve success. Trust and loyalty towards one another brings a since of security. Everyone wants to be successful in life, all you need to do is help someone also achieve their success.

Is it really almost over?

Happy Monday Pirates! Hope everyone had a great weekend, since it was so beautiful outside! This past weekend I ventured to see my family in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I took the 8-hour drive Friday after class to see my sweet aunt who is battling cancer. As I had a lot of time to think in this drive through the mountains, I was recapping on this school year. I cannot believe it is almost over.

I am a planner. I have a huge agenda that I write everything down in. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it a couple times a day. This is how I keep everything straight! Well, over the past couple days I have been looking at my planner and have been asking myself how did this spring semester go by so quickly! As we only have 11 days in the classroom left. I can’t believe it. As my weekends are filling up with formals, banquets, and end of the year parties, I also have to worry about my exams. This is the first semester ever that I haven’t had an exam on the last day of exams. I could not be more excited; having an exam on the last day was absolutely awful. By that point in exam week I am so tried of studying, and the only thing on my mind is heading home. My grades on my last exam seem to show how checked out I am too!

As the fast as the semester is coming to an end, I can’t help but think about how fast my time at East Carolina has gone. I am still in disbelief that I am going to be a senior next year. I am already wishing I could go back to freshman year and do it all over again. I hope everyone can stay focused over these next couple weeks. With it being so beautiful outside, I know it is hard for me to get the motivation to do school work. All I want to do is ride my bike around the grid, walk the greenway, and hang out on the porch! This is why Greenville in the springtime is my all-time favorite thing (besides the pollen). What is your favorite thing about Greenville in the spring? I’d love to hear. Hope everyone has a great next couple of weeks!

Sunset in Greenville last night.

Sunset in Greenville last night.

The Race To Graduation

Happy Friday COB! Today I have one question for you; can anyone actually believe it is April 10th? I certainly cannot. Time is flying by so quickly this semester!

With time moving so quickly, my life feels much crazier than usual. Until this point I have been enjoying a very low key and relaxed semester but that is all about to change. This is what my life currently looks like: I graduate from college in exactly one month from today (that’s terrifying), my parents move out of my childhood home in one week and move to Wilmington, in two months I move to Atlanta and start my job (even more terrifying). Oh and I almost forgot, I actually need to take exams and finish all my classes in order to walk across that stage and get my diploma in a month.

I know what your thinking, “wow this girl being very dramatic”, and you are right. However, I cannot believe how much everything is changing and how fast it is all happening. The majority of my life I have called Raleigh my home and then when I came to ECU, Greenville was like a home away from home. Now in a matter of weeks neither will be where I call home and I will have two new cities to call mine.

Today I spent my morning helping my parents pack up our house and now I am on a flight to Atlanta to celebrate my birthday weekend with some of my favorite people in my new city. I am sitting here, at 24,000 feet wondering how this all happened so quickly. I feel like I was just a freshman living in Fletcher stopping people and asking where the Bate building was. Even so, I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward too.

To all my fellow seniors out there: how are you handling all this upcoming change? Are you happy, sad, overwhelmed, beyond excited? Comment below and let me know!

The Difficulty of Group Work

We all know how difficult working in groups can be. We sometimes have that ideal group where everyone on the team is eager to receive an A and sometimes we are unfortunately left with groups in which a team member just wants to leach off the other members. I’m here to tell you about the group experiences I have had at ECU from undergrad to graduate classes.

During my time as an undergrad student there were a lot more students that didn’t care what they received in the class. I view those students as a cancer to my work, but it’s my job to prevent that cancer from affecting my work. I used to blame my grades on my cancerouPicture1s group members. I would complain about that team mate and I wouldn’t focus or contribute to his/her part because that was their responsibility. However, looking back at my outlook on groups during my undergrad years I find my views on the subject to be childish. Group projects are viewed the exact same way in classroom and in business world, I am graded and judged based on the work my name is attached to. It doesn’t matter if my teammates decide to not carry their own weight, management doesn’t care, and it’s up to me to guarantee an excellent finished project.

I distinctly remember one bad group experiences that I had. It was during my junior year, and I was put into a group of four individuals including myself. When we were introduced to the project I came up with a reasonable deadline for everyone to begin their work so we could create some breathing room for the project. Unfortunately, bad luck began to strike later in the year. One of my teammates dropped the class, another teammate became sick for most of the semester, and the last teammate didn’t care about the quality of the work we turned in. The group work that the two remaining group members submitted was mediocre and cancerous to our project. It was full of errors and missing information and I knew that. I made corrections and asked them to add the required information to meet the project requirements. Sadly many of my suggestions were not followed. I could have done their portion myself but instead I told myself that it was their responsibility and I didn’t touch their work. I ended up getting a C on the project. I blamed my team for my misfortune and I now know that I was being childish just like my teammates who failed to meet the requirements that we needed for the project. I had the opportunity to write their portions and it was my decision that I was happy with the content that we had so far. Therefore, I deserved the grade that I received, it’s not the fault of my teammates because I made the decision to submit that work with my name attached to it.

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In general, as a graduate student, I have experienced better luxuries when it comes to group work. The students that I have worked with so far are all eager to succeed and will submit work that exceeds my expectations. I am beginning to learn from students that I am now working alongside and it’s an awesome experience. Although, I still carry the mentality that I am the one that determines my grade and I’m prepared to do all of the work to ensure it.

College of Business Conference

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, the College of Business hosted their first ever leadership conference. I had the luxury of attending multiple sessions throughout the two days. The conference took place in Mendenhall on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. The college invited many guests to come speak, and it was amazing since they all paid their own way to attend this conference.

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When picking the sessions I was going to attend, I really tried to look at the professional I was going to hear, rather than what they were speaking about. There were so many awesome people there, and I wanted to take advantage of hearing experienced professionals speak.

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I was able to hear Coach Ruffin McNeill speak as the keynote speaker. This was a great speech and made me look at Coach Ruffin in a different way. The way he talks about his style of coaching and teamwork makes sense. He talked about how moments in his life that he didn’t know where his next job would be, but he trusted in the Lord to guide him through his career. This hit home for me because my future as of now is so uncertain, for example, what I want to do in business, where I want to live, etc. I just have to trust there is a bigger picture for me.

The next session I attended was called “Leadership by Walking Around” and was by David Bond. Mr. Bond was apart of the start up for two companies in health care. He helped designed the online charting software. His speech was very helpful because he talked about how it’s not where you’re from, or where your degree is from, but it’s about if you will fit my company. This showed the importance of the interview process. He is very knowledgeable, seeing as he has taken two companies public.

Sports Marketing is something I have always been very interested in, but I have held myself back from exploring because I knew opportunities were very limited. Therefore, I decided to attend the Sports Marketing Panel. On which there there were panelists from the Carolina RailHawks, Carolina Hurricanes, and ScoutsForce. When While hearing them talk about the long hours they put in and how they work during the day and mostly at night I know this is a huge commitment time wise. Also, when other people enjoy time off, they are normally working events. I quickly realized this was not something I want to do. I highly value in family, and sacrificing this for a job is not something I am willing to do.

The next morning I went to hear Olalah Njenga speak. Her presentations called #Hashtag yourself. This was a great presentation seeing as she talked about how to reposition yourself, brand yourself, and discover what you really want in a job. Olalah was a great, enthusiastic speaker. She was a fresh of breath air seeing as she spoke about something different than everyone else. Her personality, and passion was very noticeable through her presentation.

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If you didn’t take advantage of this conference, you missed out on a great opportunity. I feel like it was such an enriching experience and I am so glad I was able to attend the sessions that I did. Honestly, I wish I could have attended more. The College of Business did a great job recruiting speakers to come speak. Overall, the whole experience was excellent. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. The location was great, check in when smooth, the gift bag was great, and the speakers were even BETTER! Thank you to everyone who helped put this on; this is what makes ECU and the College of Business so special.