Category Archives: Follow the Leaders

Follow the Leaders: Aaron Hall Steps Out of Class and into the Real World

Blog Author: Aaron Hall

The second class, BUSI 2200, had two parts to it. One was a leadership/team building lab and the other was a class focused on working on a team for a client.

The lab was an interesting concept that I was certain no other business school had. Each week, for a couple of hours, we would spend time learning about our classmates with different personalities/skills and how a leader must understand each member in order to accomplish objectives. The instructors would purposely put us in groups of different people and ask us to accomplish a task that would require communication and identifying who is strong or weak with certain items. We also participated in a challenge course that would also help us improve our communication skills and understanding of each other. This experience was helpful in providing me with the skills to lead a student organization where I had to work with people with different personalities.

In the class, students were divided into teams and placed with a client that we would complete a project for. Our team was given Uptown Greenville, an organization focused on improving the brand image of the “downtown” area of Greenville. Our task was to create a marketing plan that targeted young families with the idea of bringing in better businesses.


While working with the client, I was able to apply the fundamentals I learned in BUSI 1200, as well as the leadership skills learned in the lab, to a real world situation. It was also great experience to work with a real client by meeting with them, learning about their organizational objectives, and making recommendations for a marketing plan. Later in my college career, I would use this knowledge to work with local small business owners and other clients who needed help with their strategy. My experience working with a real client leads to my next blog and the start of my professional development.

To learn more about the Leadership and Professional Development Program, click here.

Follow the Leaders: Strategy First featuring Aaron Hall

Blog Author:  Aaron Hall

My first experience with the LaPDP came upon recommendation as  I took the first class, BUSI 1200 with Professor Ralph Flanary. Unlike other professors I had encountered, Professor Flanary had spent his entire career working in the business world and was spending part of his r'Strategy First!'etirement teaching. As mentioned in previous posts, I had zero business experience and really did not have much of a network of businesspeople to learn from, so Prof. Flanary was the first business “mentor” I ever had.

In the class we learned the basic fundamentals of what business is. We learned important definitions and listened to Prof. Flanary tell countless stories that he had experienced. One of the neatest things about the class was that the CoB provided us with new copies of BusinessWeek and a big part of the class was reading assigned articles and then discussing them in class.

Another big part of the class was preparing our first professional presentations. The assignment was to choose a company (I chose Coca-Cola) and we would present on the company using the basic definitions we learned and talked about in class (SWOT analysis, finances, marketing strategy, mission statements, etc.). The main purpose of the assignment was to make sure we knew how to do a professional presentation. I remember Prof. Flanary heavily critiquing our presentations from having “busy” slides, inappropriate dress, reading off the slides, fidgeting, and other things. I was nervous and made a lot of mistakes, but I learned a lot about what a professional presentation looks like.

So, now I have the basics down. I have an idea of how the business world works from a knowledgeable source, I know the lingo, and I know what my weaknesses and strengths are. BUSI 1200 helped me become more confident in myself as a sought to pursue my BSBA. Most importantly, I started my leadership development.

You can read my previous posts by clicking here.

Follow the Leaders: Why I Chose the ECU College of Business

Blog Author: Aaron Hall

When I first came to orientation, during the summer of 2009, I had finally decided what major I wanted to pursue. I confidently walked into the West End dining hall (where they hold the major specific information booths) and an ECU advisor asked me what I wanted to major in so she could lead me to one of the booths. I exclaimed, “Physical Therapy!” She replied, “That’s not an undergraduate major, why don’t we visit the undecided table?” And so began my semester-long trek of finding the perfect major.

Aaron HallAfter going through five different majors, I finally decided on pursuing a business degree over my first Christmas break. I had gone to work with a local small business owner and I got to see how he ran his successful business. All day I watched as he motivated and treated his employees with respect, how he conversed with customers, and how fun accounting actually is. I was blown away by how cool running a business was, but I had zero business experience. I didn’t know anything about finance, leadership, and customer service. What makes me think I could run or work for a business?


Luckily, I had a roommate that was in the College of Business and he explained how a business degree at East Carolina University works. The College had just created this new Leadership and Professional Development Program that focuses on building important skills that will make students more marketable and successful in the business world. They do this by starting you out at ground level with the basics of business. As a result, anyone could join in and not be hampered by the fact that they’ve never had any business experience.

Basically, the College of Business allows students to “come in as you are” and they will mold you into a leader and a professional.

Today I am a proud graduate of the ECU College of Business. Watch for my next posts as they share my experiences in the Leadership and Professional Development Program!