The Final Chapter

This is it. The week that has always seemed so distant in the future, the last few moments you never think will be real. I can’t believe it, and I know most of my classmates can’t either. It genuinely seems like just the other day that my Dad was driving me to ECU to help me move into my dorm, and I cried the whole drive down because I was apprehensive about starting this new chapter of my life. Sappy as this is, I know many tears will be shed this upcoming weekend, and for many different reasons. Time is a crazy thing. When it passes we miss it, and when we feel as if we’re stuck in it, we want it to pass faster. Some days seem like they drag on, yet in a blink of an eye days, weeks, months, years have passed and you’re wondering how it went so fast.

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My Onecard that has seem some better days. This picture as you can tell from the stylish lanyard, was taken at freshman orientation.

I came into college thinking I had everything figured out and was ready to conquer anything thrown my way. Needless to say, that logic was quickly shot down and hit with a big dose of reality. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate the present more, genuinely get to know someone; ask how their day is, notice actions over words, and most importantly roll with the punches. As cliché as it is when people say “notice the little things in life”, it’s true. Whether it’s someone taking an interest in your hobbies, a book a friend suggests you’ll like, or even your dog cuddling up in your lap after a long day, sometimes these things that seem “small” in the present, actually turn out to be the big things when you look back, simply because these moments consist of subtle sincerity.

My time here these past 4 years here at East Carolina has been an extreme array of experiences, emotions, opportunities and awakenings. There is not one word, or even 500 I could pick to even begin to describe how amazing, and at times not so amazing my journey has been as an undergraduate student here. From pulling an all nighter to cram for a final, to going out with friends to a party, to moving into my first apartment, to countless tailgates and football games, these are moments that are irreplaceable and I know I will hold close to my heart. Honestly, I’ll never remember how to read a sensitivity analysis and that is perfectly okay. As great as it was to expand my educational horizons and work ethic, meeting all the wonderful people I’ve met along the ride and creating memories was equally as important to me. The relationships I have built, lost, strengthened, or decided to let go within these past 4 years were all more than worth it even up until this present day. I have experienced something unique with every person I have met in my college career and for that I am thankful.

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First football game of my freshman year on college hill with my roommate I have known since 3rd grade, to my very last game of my senior year.

My senior year has been the most exciting, crazy, scary, happy and challenging year of my entire life. Fortunately, it’s also the most positive growth I’ve ever seen in myself by consistently forcing myself to work outside of my comfort zone.

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        And of course I had to throw in a picture with Petey!

Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited to see what the future holds for me! From ending freshman year with a 2.4 GPA, to working my butt off and making Dean’s list/Honor roll a couple of times in between, it has been a trivial past couple of years positioning into young adulthood. Although it will be a bummer to not have pirate bucks to go to Chick-Fil-A or Starbucks anymore, or lucking out and getting registered in your first class of the day anytime after 11 AM, I know I have learned what I’ve needed to learn through some trial and errors in my college career. Sometimes it gets hard to learn how to let go of a place you consider home with people in it that feel like family, but hey sometimes the best things in life make us the saddest. Since coming into college as a little 18 year old that barely knew how to cook or do laundry, I have learned to push myself—in my education, work, values, beliefs, dedication, friendships and relationships, and that is something no one can take away from me.

Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to thank Shelly Spear for giving me the opportunity for this amazing internship, Sarah Morgan for also assisting me along the way, and a big thank you to everyone who has read my blog posts throughout the course of this school year :) You guys are the best, and please keep in touch! My LinkedIn is: http://ow.ly/tUzQg

          Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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Chicago!

This past Friday morning I was on a flight bright and early at 7 AM to fly to Chicago to train for my internship I have with Campus Special this upcoming summer. The first evening I was there we had Bill Rancic as a speaker. He spoke to us about having a hard work ethic, his experience on ‘The Apprentice’ reality show. For all of you that don’t know, Bill was the winner of Season 1 in 2004. He also gave us tips on how to thrive in the real world business setting.

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      Chau Nguyen, CEO of Campus Special (left) and Bill Rancic (right)

We spent the rest of the weekend listening to speakers and in training workshops. I was able to meet and hangout with the 4 other people of the East Carolina Campus Special team, and am very fortunate to be part of a great team for the summer.

    Of course no trip is complete without getting some Chicago deep dish pizza!
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        This was possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had :)

After a long and exhausting weekend we were on our flight back to North Carolina! Fortunately, I don’t have any final exams this week, so I am using this week to relax, catch up, and prepare myself for my last week of college and taking exams for the rest of my life! :O It’s definitely very bittersweet but I am trying to make the most of this upcoming week and a half. Stay tuned for my lost blog post I’ll ever write for the COB next week!

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              Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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Stay Strong Fellow Pirates!

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to go home back to Raleigh and spend time with my family for Easter Weekend. Last year I was able to go home, but had to cut the celebrations early because I had to come back to Greenville to work on Easter, so it was nice to be able to spend time at my leisure :) It was a pretty low key weekend with family, and family friends and of course my dog, Murph.

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        Here he is, with one of his several snoopy toys

As everyone is talking about, we really are in the home stretch! I know I have been counting it down since we came back from Spring Break. One of my biggest regrets in my college career is leaving 18 hours of some of my most difficult and work extensive classes left for my last semester as an undergraduate; it has not been an easy or stress-free semester to say the least but I am proud of myself for the hard work I have dedicated these past couple months, and more than anything HAPPY that in just a few short weeks I will be done with school :) As I have learned throughout my last 4 years of college here at ECU, a good amount of your grade is unforunately determined within the last month of school, just got to stay strong through this last little stretch of classes and exams!

This upcoming Friday I am leaving to fly to Chicago until Monday evening to train for my internship that starts the week after graduation…stay tuned for pictures and my next blog post!

          Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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Spring Has Finally Sprung!

After a past couple of weeks of a lot of time and dedication to school I got to take a little break and relax this past weekend! Of course this beautiful weather we have had the past week or two definitely does not help my productivity factor, but hey I’m just thankful it’s not freezing and snowing every other week anymore! On Thursday I participated in East Carolina’s AIMO Fashion Show. One of my friends that I worked with at Mellow Mushroom is a textile major and had to design outfits for one of her classes as a project. I was lucky enough to be chosen by her, and she did an awesome job with her designs!

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    Here are all of us and the outfits from the show! (Jessica Robinson dressed in black in middle, Designer)

Bright and early the next morning I headed to Charlotte for the weekend! Living in North Carolina my whole life, I have surprisingly never been to Charlotte before, so it was neat to see the city and get out of Greenville for a weekend. This weekend was beautiful and permitted for a great time in the Queen City! I went to Carowinds on Saturday; I am not much of a “rollercoaster rider” per say—I have a deathly fear of heights, but I expanded my horizons that day and surprised myself by riding some rides I didn’t think I would had ever ridden. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone! As a well-known quote goes: “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone” :)

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        Top of the Park from the observation deck
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And I even got to see Snoopy Land — (I love Charlie Brown) and the kid’s roller coaster in that part of the park was the only that fulfilled my comfort level of a ride, even though I still screamed like a little girl. :)

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    Yesterday, I roamed the city and looked at all the neat buildings, shops and scenery. It was a beautiful weekend!
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    I hope everyone has a good weeking coming up! Graduation in 26 days…so close, just got to make it through these next couple of weeks!
            Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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The Home Stretch!

It’s that point in the semester where everything is starting to wrap up, and group projects are more hectic than ever. This past week was very busy to say the least between several tests and different group meetings/assignments due. I think over the course of my senior year, I have done enough group projects to last me for awhile! Even though group projects are good experience for working in teams in the real world, it sure is stressful when you have one in every class and everyone’s schedules seem to conflict! I sure do miss the days where I could sit silently in a lecture class, be home relatively early in the day, and have weeks to prepare for a test/assignment. Things don’t seem to work out like that anymore, but I’m in the home stretch… only 33 days! (But who’s counting anyways? ) It’s crunch time! More next week!

          Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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No Registration, No Worries (Kind Of)

With all the buzz in the air with registration this past week, I officially feel old. I never saw the day coming where I wouldn’t have to sit down for half an hour and try to strategically plan out class times and molding my schedule with aiming to have no Friday classes; you also can’t forget reading (and sometimes laughing) at the reviews on Ratemyprofessor.com— a college kid’s best friend of a website. All my roommates and some of my friends have been stressing about it this past week, but I could just sit back and relax :) However, it is just another reminder that I am hitting the real world in a little over a month (yikes) and will be beginning a completely new chapter of my life. As draining as it can be, I can’t imagine any other life than class, homework and studying during the week days. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling!

Speaking of starting a new chapter of my life, this past week I accepted an internship with Campus Special for a sales and advertising internship for the summer. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what Campus Special is, it’s a company that works with local business owners and educates them on how to market themselves to college students in the area. They usually choose 2-4 interns per University, and then all the interns fly to Chicago the last weekend of April to train. I’ve never been to Chicago before so I am very excited to visit, and get started with a new transition in my life!

When I’m not busy with school or studying, call me a nerd but I love to read. I’ve always been a bookworm since I can remember, and am always looking for a new good book to read (if you have any good suggestions please comment and let me know!). Last semester I read a book called “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. I always try to take away something from every novel I read, and this one was no exception. This is hands down my most favorite book I have ever read. I enjoyed it so much that I bought it for a Christmas gift for my mom this past year.

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I started re-reading it again this past week. The Last Lecture is about Randy Pausch, the author, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who gets diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The Last Lecture is about his ability to hang on to everyday life, and his journey as it comes to an end. This book really highlights inspiration, human compassion, re-thinking priorities, and reflections and mystery about life.

A quote from Pausch: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand”.

What I liked most about Pausch’s story was his honesty in his writing, and his ability to try and lead a normal life and make the most of it until the very end. If you enjoy reading and have some free time, I highly recommend this book. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

              Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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Spring Career Fair 2014 & Interview Articles!

This past week coming back from spring break was hectic to say the least! I know I wasn’t the only one who felt like I got hit in the face with school work after having more than a week off. Between multiple tests and several group meetings and assignments due, the only times I was home were to sleep at night, and weeks like that are never fun! As most College of Business students know, the Career Fair was this past Thursday. Myself and Katie, the other Social Media/Marketing intern volunteered this past Thursday afternoon, and helped out with the Suit Up Instagram contest. I did it by myself last semester, but this semester we had a little bit more organization being supplied with COB pins and other supplies :) Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our Facebook album of all of our Suit Up contestants, and other general pictures from the Career Fair and make sure to follow us at: @ecucob if you don’t already!

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I usually don’t read magazines and haven’t bought one since probably middle school, but my sister recommended me checking out the April issue of Glamour. For guys I know this probably doesn’t apply since it is mainly a fashion magazine, but they had not only one, but several articles on interview tips, and reasons why an employer should/would hire you.

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These articles were not only surprisingly knowledgeable and helpful, but provided a great amount of insight from the other side — the professional’s point of view, but was also appropriate for graduation coming up in just a month and a half!

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I would definitely recommend this to not only seniors about to hit the real world here shortly after graduation, but any young adult about to start their professional career in the near future. These articles included things you always want to ask but maybe just don’t know how; like asking how much the salary of a certain job position may be, or how to ask for a promotion in a respectful and professional manner. They also include pictures of clothes shoes, and bags to invest in for the work environment, interview do’s and don’ts, and how to negotiate—and why it’s important. Check out these articles if you get the opportunity! I enjoyed them and know all you guys would as well :)

          Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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Transitioning from Spring Break Back To Reality

As I scrolled through my Instagram newsfeed throughout break, every other picture was of someone on a cruise or in a tropical paradise such as the Bahamas or Miami. Of course, this naturally striked a tiny bit of jealousy within me, considering I was at home in Raleigh twiddling my thumbs and petting my dog. Not to mention, nothing about the pastiness of my skin was changing. Some could call this poor planning or being broke, and they would be completely correct. On a brighter note, it was great to be able to spend some time with my family and have some time to unwind and relax, get a mini-vacation away from school work, and enjoy some home cooked meals.

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          And it’s always nice to hangout with this cutie :)

The past month or two I had been thinking about donating to Locks of Love. For anyone that isn’t familiar with what Locks of Love is, it’s a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under 21 years of age, suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis, mainly cancer. Having very long hair all throughout my college career it was definitely a big decision to make, but I figured it’s time for a change!

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I got 10 inches chopped off to donate, and hopefully it makes some little girl as happy as it has made me! Hair always grows and that’s how I viewed it :)

On a more business related note, the career fair is THIS Thursday!! It has definitely snuck up on us but if you are on the fence about attending just do it! Last semester was my first time going to a career fair, but I am very glad that I did. It gives you great practice on talking to employer’s, presenting and selling yourself and just basic communication skills. Last fall, I was initially pretty nervous to approach employers, but after I did one I was perfectly fine approaching others after. It gives you a better idea of what qualities companies are looking for, and I wish I had started going to career fairs earlier in my college career.
Some tips I have found helpful from preparing for the career fair last semester are pretty simple but helpful:

1.) Looking sharp. I strongly believe the way you present yourself is the way others see and believe in you. Even if you have a lot to offer and have all the qualities for the job, if you look like a bum no employer will give you a second look.

2.) Have a mentor/professor/professional look over your resume. There is always room for improvement, even if you think everything is fixed to a tee. There is always something that can be worded more professionally, or maybe a grammar error or two you overlooked.

3.) Have confidence. Not only in the way you present yourself, but in the abilities and talents you have to offer as well. Not only in the business world, but in the real world as well people can sense if you are not sure of yourself. Nothing is more attractive than the right level of modesty and confidence.

4.) Research. It’s vital to make sure you are aware of what companies will be there. It’s even better to narrow down to approximately 5 main companies you have a genuine interest in working for. Find their web page and absorb as much as you can about them! Nothing looks better than knowing exactly what you are talking about in relation to an employer’s company, and even be able to incorporate some background information or even fun facts to really show you did your research.

5.) Practice, practice, practice! As cliché as it sounds, if you have an idea of what you want to say to employers, it provides you more confidence and avoids making you come off as unprepared.

I hope everyone has a great first week back from break, and I hope to see you guys at the Career Fair this Thursday, March 20th! The College of Business will be doing the Suit Up Instagram contest again this semester, so make sure you bring you’re “A” game! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Blog by: Haley Nowlin

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Spring is Upon Us!

Last week might have seemed like you were never going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, at least that’s how it felt for me anyways. Having multiple tests and assignments due is the last thing you want to tackle knowing a break from school is so close, but I think it’s safe to say we all survived and thankfully, Spring Break is officially here! Most people are going somewhere tropical and amazing but I celebrated the first day of Spring Break in bed with a tub of ice cream and Orange is the New Black on NetFlix. Not as exciting as a cruise to the Bahamas, but I have to start saving some money and also start applying to some more jobs!

With that in mind, the Career Fair is right around the corner, being the week we come back from break! Katie Bellino and myself will be at the Career Fair taking pictures of everyone looking spiffy in their suits and business attire for our Instagram Suit Up contest! Stay tuned the Monday we come back from break for helpful tips and advice in relation to preparation for the Career Fair!
Everyone have a fun, safe and hopefully warm Spring Break :)

Blog by: Haley Nowlin

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Anxious for Spring Break!

As spring break is quickly approaching us, I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a crazy week coming up! Between multiple tests and projects due, it’s definitely going to be a long stressful week. Thankfully by the time Thursday afternoon rolls around, I can breathe again and have a relaxing little break from school :) (just got to get through it first!)
This past Friday I attended the UNC Retailing Conference in Chapel Hill. Myself, and a handful of other College of Business students from Mrs. Robinson’s Retail Management class and also some members of the American Marketing Association attended.

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We listened to two panels, one about Retail Marketing in the Digital Age, and the second about Global Channel Management in a changing Retail Environment. We also had Steven Tanger, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers as an opening speaker, speaking about Tanger Outlets and general Retail Marketing. My favorite person speaking at this conference was Parker Wilson, Assistant Manager from Lululemon Athletica. Doing cross country all throughout high school I’ve always been into fitness, and stayed in a general routine since, so her company was the one I could relate to the most since they sell fitness and yoga wear for women. Parker spoke about social media experience saying their company’s technique for using social media has “nothing to do with what we sell”. She highlighted how storytelling, conversation, communication, and human connection is what makes a social media presence spark and connect to the consumers.

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            The group at the end of the day!

    Even though I had a good amount of studying and school work to get done this weekend, I felt guilty not spending at least a little bit of time outside on this past Sunday so I headed to the Greenway to spend the afternoon, it was a beautiful! Plus, it’s supposed to get chilly and cloudy once again this week…Where is summer?!

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    Hope everyone has a fun and safe Spring Break! Enjoy your time off :)

            Blog by: Haley Nowlin
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