Monthly Archives: January 2012

Who Runs The College: Meet Associate Dean Paul Schwager

I had the pleasure of meeting with Associate Dean Paul Schwager several weeks ago. Dr. Schwager is really kind and welcoming and it is apparent he really cares for his students. He is really inspiring to be around with the insight he has. He’s a family man who has a passion for helping others. Here is my interview with Dr. Schwager.


Where are you from?
I moved around a lot, I was in Long Island through Jr. High, in Central Florida for High School and then South Florida for College. 

Where did you go to school?
I went to Palm Beach Atlantic for my Undergrad, Florida Atlantic for my MBA and then Auburn University for my PhD.

What are your hobbies?
I love college sports. Especially Pirate sports, but all college sports in general. I like going to the games with my family, that’s really fun.


What kind of student were you in college?
I was a business student. I wasn’t really as engaged as I should be until I went for my PhD. I worked all through undergrad to pay for school, and I’m the first person in my family to get a college degree.

What motivates you?
Progress, the ability to move things forward “Progress not perfection”. ECU strives with the budget cuts and does better with less. I love this quote, “Short of death we can fix it”. We can make things better together.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you bring with you and why?
My family might say my tablet, but that only has 16 hours of battery life, so I don’t think that would be helpful. But, I would bring my family, my Bible and a survival kit. In that situation, I don’t think physical possessions would matter.

What is your favorite memory from college?
The SGA President was asked to resign, so as Vice President, I became President. It was really good, because I was very introverted, and it forced me out of my comfort zone. I also met my wife at a reception while I was representing SGA at an event. She told her parents she knew instantly, and three weeks later we were dating.

What is your favorite movie?
A Beautiful Mind, Batman the Dark Knight is pretty good, and I Am Legend.

Who is your all time favorite band/artist?
Wayman Tisdale, he’s a really talented jazz bassist.

Do you have any family or kids?
I have a wife of 23 years and two kids. My son is a Junior at ECU and my daughter is a Junior in High School.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be?
Everyone says Jesus, that’d be cool. I’d also like to meet Mother Theresa, and Steve Jobs. Oh, and Gandhi, Gandhi would be really cool.

If you could give a word of advice to a student, what would it be?
There’s a quote by the CEO of Pep Boys, “I just kept pushing, I just kept pushing”. I made every mistake in the book, and I just kept pushing. If you fall down seven times, get up eight. Persevere. You need to learn from your mistakes, it’s okay to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.

Who Runs This College: Meet Dean Eakins

I had the privilege to meet with our new Dean, Stan Eakins, for an interview. Dr. Eakins is very laid back, and well spoken. He is a guitar and boating enthusiast, with a passion for helping others learn through publishing his own finance text books. He is very intelligent, and has a strong love and understanding for students and their journey towards learning. Here is the interview with Dr. Eakins.


Where are you from?
I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska and was there from Kindergarten to graduation.

Where did you attend University?
I went to Washington State. I was one of the people who “went outside” of Alaska.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy flying planes. I used to fly both two and four passenger planes, and loved taking the family out in the airplane and flying around the country. I’ve also been getting into boating, and have my own boat as well.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I’m kind of traditional, so I’d say it’s raising my family. I have good kids that are successful, and I have good grand kids.

What is your New Year’s resolution for 2012?
More exercise – I walk a two mile power walk every night.

Who is your favorite music/artist?
As with everything it depends on the mood. If I’m on the boat it’s Jimmy Buffet, I also really like Eric Clapton and James Taylor.

What is your favorite memory from college?
When I was getting my PHD, there was a little bar we would all go to every Friday night, where the staff and faculty met for $1 margaritas. That was a really good opportunity to network and get to know my professors in a better way.

Do you have any family or kids?
Yes, my Father lives in Greenville and I am married to my Junior High sweetheart. We have two kids, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.

What is your all-time favorite movie?
The Sting, mostly for the soundtrack, I love the soundtrack and learned to play the whole thing on guitar.

What were your aspirations during your undergrad?
I wanted to go to grad school for psychology and intern at a mental hospital, but I ended up working at the Alaska Pipe-line, which lead me to business and schooling. I bounced around a lot in school.

What is your vision for the college?
To produce leaders that will compete effectively in the 21st century. When students graduate, they need everything they can have to graduate, to try to distinguish a student with courses. Business courses and the Leadership and Professional Development Portfolio give students an edge.



Social Networking, Jobs and You

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It’s Spring semester, which means graduation is in the air for many Seniors. Some students may have jobs, or offers, but many Seniors will likely not be accepting a diploma with a job secured. One aspect of job hunting that has evolved over the past decade is the screening process. A background check previously sufficed for credibility on who you are as a person. However, as social networking has grown and changed, so have these screening processes.
Many employers now check an applicant’s Facebook page, as well as other social platforms they may deem relevant, such as Twitter or LinkedIn. Here are several tips to help eliminate social networking as a hindrance to your future career.

There is any number of things that may be considered inappropriate by a recruiter or hiring manager that could be found on Facebook.

  • Cater your photos. Pictures that portray you in a less-than-professional manner should be untagged and deleted, if possible, when looking for a job.
  • No profanity. Status updates and posts on your wall should not contain any profanity. Many managers find this offensive and see online profiles not as a personal page, but as a page managed and run by a representative for the company and brand.
  • Be careful what you share. If you are a user of Spotify or another type of sharing service, make sure the information being shared is something that would build face for a hiring manager, not hurt you. If you’re trying to listen to some Weezy, try a “private session”.
  • Optimize your Facebook! If you have an internship, management positions, or a job, add these things to Facebook. When a hiring manager is looking at your Facebook, this will be beneficial to reiterate who you are as a business professional, as opposed to a “crazy partier”.
  • Get connected. You can use Facebook as a networking tool, by also joining groups like ECU College of Business and connecting with alumni and fellow Pirates.

Many students are actually late adopters when it comes to LinkedIn. The COB e-recruiting service is currently connecting incoming students with LinkedIn, but many of the upperclassmen I have met and had class with are either not on LinkedIn, or are very inactive. I would strongly encourage students looking for an internship or a job to get on LinkedIn, join groups, and be active in that space. Here are some tips to optimize your LinkedIn and help you stand out from the crowd of other students on LinkedIn.

  • Create a solid headline. The headline is the text next to your name with your job position. Your headline should stay current, so if you interned last semester, but are no longer an intern, your headline should reflect your change in the work force. This may also be used to help find a job by adding something like “currently seeking a full time job in Medical Sales”. This will allow recruiters to better target and identify you for relevant jobs.
  • Add a strong summary. This should contain who you are, your major, your strengths, and your desired areas of employment. This gives other users a better grasp of who you are and what you are capable of.
  • Optimize experience section. Many times I see other students who have paragraphs or many grammatical errors in this section. This should contain bullet point responsibilities similar to a resume, as many employers view Linked-in as a sort of online resume. This is vital for the success of your profile and networking.
  • Join groups. I have had several opportunities arise just from talking to people in different groups on Linked-in. Two good suggestions are East Carolina Alumni Association and East Carolina University (ECU) College of Business as crazy as it may sound, Pirates really are willing to help other Pirates.
  • Add skills. These will help you show up in search results as being keywords for your profile. This is very important and very helpful.
  • Add extras. Differentiate yourself from your classmates. Did you make an awesome PowerPoint? Put it in SlideShare and connect it with your LinkedIn. Tweet much? Connect Twitter to LinkedIn for a better online representation. Do you blog? Add that. This is where you get to be creative and show who you are, and what you do.

Although it is still controversial, it seems your boss will be Facebook creeping for quite some time, so if you can’t beat them, join them. Build yourself as an online brand. This will help you find a job and network with people in your desired industry.