Registration: May the odds be ever in your favor

Happy Monday COB! I cannot believe this semester is over half way done. Seems like just yesterday I was registering for classes to start my junior year. Now it is already time to register for classes all over again.

I met with my advisor, Mr. McAllister the other day (he rocks!). When going through everything, my main focus was if I was going to be able to graduate in 4 years. Well…that’s what my parents are most worried about! He informed me that I could graduate in December if I really wanted to, because I have taken over 15 hours each semester. I thought about it for a minute, then realized I could never get a chance to be an undergraduate college student again, so I don’t want to rush through that!

When meeting with Mr. McAllister, he pretty much told me there are only 4 classes that I am required to take before graduating. Other than that I can just have to take marketing classes from here on out. This completely caught me off guard. Every semester before this I had certain classes that I HAD to take. It was pretty much mapped out for me. Now, I have a chance to pick what I want. He explained this to me as, I can choose my marketing classes based off of what I really want to do with marketing. This scared me even more, because I have no idea.

Trying to map out my schedule for next year, I was looking at all the 4000 level marketing classes; I researched all the classes to figure out exactly which ones I want to take. After looking on Rate My Professor, and talking to other marketing majors, I finally realized the direction of classes I want to take for next semester.

I have cleared 1 hour in my schedule Tuesday so I can be prepared when my registration opens. The minute it opens, I feel like is the most stressful minute ever.  Where do you start? Which class should you go after first? I am hoping I get all the classes I want for next semester.

Good luck to everyone with registration! May the odds be ever in your favor.

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The Realizations of being a Senior

Happy Friday COB! Hope everyone had a good week and a great night at the game. GO PIRATES!!

Currently I find myself in a very unsetting position, one that so many others around me are also in. My time as a student at ECU is almost over and that is not a thought I welcome. Although I do not graduate until May it is absolutely crazy how quickly this year is already going – I cannot believe it is almost November!

With that, at this point in my college career I can honestly say I am the most anxious I have ever been in my life. Constant questions pop up in my head all throughout the day. I’m sure I have the same questions running through my brain as many other seniors out there. Should I go to grad school or should I apply for jobs? I can at least say that I have made one decision – that I will try to work in the industry for a few years before going back to get my graduate degree. Even after that large decision was made, I still had all of these: what kind of jobs should I apply for? Where should I apply for them? Where will I live? Will I know anyone wherever I live? Will I be good at the job? Will I even get a job? The list of doubt goes on and on until you end up where I am currently, completely confused and overwhelmed. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to sound like a Debbie downer; it’s just the lack of certainty really gets to you and more importantly I don’t want to leave Greenville at all!

This week I tried to push all those looming questions out of my head and just try and focus on the job hunt. However, with my classes, schoolwork and two internships it’s very difficult to try and fit in the time! Looking for a job really is a job in itself! This semester as the weeks fly by I will keep you guys updated on how this job search is going. And for all you seniors out there – comment how yours is going!

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About Me

Happy Monday COB! Just want to start out by saying that blogging is a whole new animal to me. I was approached to be the “junior blogger” for the College of Business and did not know what to think. So many different emotions went through my mind. The uncertainty of if people will want to hear what I have to say, or if I am even interesting enough to be a blogger (hopefully I am)! But college is all about stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new stuff, right? Well here is the start of my blogging journey!

I want to start off by telling everyone a little bit about myself. My name is Madison Parsons, and I am currently a junior in the College of Business, with a concentration in marketing. Being a junior I am just now getting in to all of my marketing classes, and I could not imagine myself doing anything else! The College of Business has helped me in so many ways, and I cannot wait to share my experiences through blogging.

Madison Parsons featured with PeeDee the pirate on the field at homecoming game vs. SMU

PeeDee and myself on the field at homecoming game vs. SMU

A little bit more about me, I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. I fell in love with ECU’s campus as soon as I toured it. I didn’t want to spend my next four years anywhere else! My sophomore year I landed a marketing internship with Microsoft Windows promoting the Surface Pro and Windows 8.1. For this internship each week I have to survey over 40 people, send out three social media blast, and attended a conference call. Throughout the semester I will definitely share what I learned from with working for such a great company!

I look forward to sharing experiences and I hope everyone has a great rest of the week.

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Career Fair

Happy Friday COB! I hope all of you had a long and relaxing fall break and a very short week back! My week was particularly short with only two days of class and multiple classes being canceled for the career fair.

I hope everyone had a chance to go out to the career fair. It’s such a great way to network and meet industry professionals. Even if you are not looking for a job or internship it’s a great opportunity to go and practice speaking to employers. I attended my first ECU career fair the fall of my junior year but I wish I had started sooner. It’s the perfect way to get your face out there and make it known that you are serious about your future after graduation.

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Yesterday was a yet another great experience at the fair. It has a different feeling when you are a senior, it is the real deal! I had the opportunity to speak with a large quantity of companies and get a better idea of what they do and what an entry level position may be like. It’s a surreal conversation when they start talking to you about starting salary, benefits packages, and bonuses. However, if I have to leave ECU than it’s the only conversation I welcome! Today the most important thing I will focus on sending them follow up emails thanking them for taking the time to speak with me. I encourage all of you that attended to do the same thing!

 

 

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A Much Needed Break

Happy Friday COB! I could not be happier that this long waited fall break is finally here! It has been a great semester so far but a long weekend is always much needed; I need some time away from school and some time to clear my head. This year I am going to Westhampton NY to visit my family and finally enjoy some fall weather!

Currently I am headed there on a flight with my cousin Lauren who is a new student this year at ECU! She just transferred and is beyond excited to get out of the dorm and see her family – I don’t blame her. The Hamptons is one of my favorite spots and somewhere I hold very close to my heart. Although I grew up in Raleigh, we spent our Christmases and summers out on the water in the Hamptons – such a fun place to visit!

This break Lauren and I plan to take full advantage of our free time by relaxing by the water and indulging in some much needed retail therapy.  We also will make our way out to some of our favorite restaurants and enjoy the last warmth of the season before they close for winter. As we enjoy our mini vacation I hope all of you have a fabulous break and travel safely!

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Full Speed Ahead

Good morning ECU. It’s another Wednesday and there no time to slow down. We are close to the half way mark and school, work, and the home life is bearing down on my shoulders. Life’s designed to throw us curve balls and strong individuals come out on top of these adverse situations. This week I received my exam for Corporate Finance. It wasn’t a 100 but I was glad to find out there is extra credit opportunities and after completing this assignment, I should have an A in the class.

Today I have an exam for Operations Supply Chain Management. I’ve been in the library since 2 a.m. so please wish me luck. I feel like I’ve studied hard but I always put excess pressure on myself. It’s usually good because it pushes me to do my best but the stress doesn’t feel great during the process.

This week was a wake up call and once again it appears I need to refocus on school, and not so much on home improvements on the new home and work task. School is priority and I should treat it as such. Improvements will still be made but I think I need to pump the brakes on the rate of which these improvements are being made.

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This week we completed a majority of the appliance installs. This weekend my parents will be coming into town for fall break and some well deserved family time is in order. See everyone next week. Have a safe and fun fall break.

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My First Commercial Shoot

Happy Monday COB! Cheering on the Pirates combined with celebrating my last homecoming as a student made for an awesome weekend in Greenville. This semester the blog has focused on my internship at the Dalton Agency and I’d like to wrap it up with discussing my best experience.

I had many opportunities during my time with Dalton, my favorite being the day that I was able to see my first video commercial shoot. We worked with a company called Lonza, which is a chemical company that manufactures chlorine pool products. Lonza has hired the Dalton Agency to create an education campaign about the differences between chlorine and salt pools and the drawbacks that salt pools have. The campaign involves different elements from both PR and advertising standpoints, including a recent appearance on the Today show and the commercial that I had the chance to work on. The video shoot was called “Beautiful Pools” and they hired HGTV personality, Monica Pederson to be the spokesperson for the brand and the campaign.

Picture taken from behind the scenes of the shoot!

Picture taken from behind the scenes of the shoot!

Our shoot took place at a residential pool just outside of Atlanta and included a full production and film crew, makeup and hair artists, and our copywriter and creative directors. It was my responsibility to take photos behind the scenes so that we could use them to later promote the commercial on social media, for both Dalton and Lonza. I also made sure that everything was running smoothly, that we were on schedule, and that the client was happy with the progress. The shoot was absolutely my favorite day of my internship, it was such a unique experience and I was very grateful that they invited me to help for the day. It was so great to be able to see the process of how an entire commercial is shot, and what the final product will look like when it launches.

This summer at the Dalton Agency was a whirlwind to say the least. Most companies you hear about require their interns to make a lot of copies and get a lot of coffee; my internship was the exact opposite. I was immediately given such a large amount of responsibility, and I was expected to be able to handle all of it. I believe that is the main reason I am able to walk away from this internship having gained so much experience and industry knowledge. Through the responsibility given to me, I also gained the respect of the entire office. I never once felt like an intern; they instantly welcomed me and made me feel like I was part of their team. The Dalton Agency was my first choice when I was applying for internships, and it ending up being the best internship I could have asked for!

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Up Hill Battle

Happy Wednesday readers. Glad you could join me for another exciting version of a day in the life of an MBA student. Continuing to follow me during my exciting life altering events, trials and tribulations included. This past week may not have been the most eventful, in terms of exciting, but I’ll have to admit I was extremely productive. Prior to this past weekend my wife and I continued to chip away at the boxes in our house. We haven’t completely moved in yet but it’s starting to feel more and more like home everyday. tree

My wife enjoys collecting birdhouses. Unfortunately, we were unable to hang our birdhouses because of HOA regulations in our living community. This past week was a large milestone for the Pulido family that will forever be marked in our family history. The first hanging of a birdhouse at the new Pulido residence. We probably have 20 birdhouses, including 1 bat house, that we have slowly been hanging over the past few days.

This weekend, there was some special daughter father bonding time. Jordan’s dad came over to assist in our new faucet and sink installation. We now have no leaks in the sink and clean water coming from the fridge. Very exciting after not using our sink’s cold water line since the day we moved in.

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Slowly we are beginning to see progress, but we understand this will be a marathon not a sprint as we make improvements on this 140 year old home.

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Agency Competitive

Happy Friday COB!! Hope everyone had a great week after that incredible win against the Tar Heels! Watching that win will absolutely go down as one of my favorite memories at East Carolina and as a Pirate! Last week in the blog I talked about my first experience helping put together a social media campaign. This week the discussion continues with more projects within the agency world.

As I stated previously, the majority of my time was spent on extensive projects for clients and for the agency itself. One of the largest assignments that I took pride in was a full competitive analysis for a select number of clients. A competitive analysis is an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors.

In order to do this I had to research every competitor’s website, digital advertisements, social media accounts, creative and other properties. After I completed my research, I then had to analyze all of the information. I examined each competitor’s brand message, taglines, website tone and look, claims they made, and the tools they use for their campaigns. Finally, I put all this information into a presentation and it was sent off to the client. This was lengthy process because each of the three clients I analyzed, Harris Waste Management, NYCM Insurance, and Med Solutions, has a very large number of competitors.

Dalton Agency Workspace

Dalton Agency Workspace

These projects were very valuable both to me and to the agency. I gained firsthand experience in forming this type of presentation and completed something tangible that I can take with me when interviewing for a full time position after graduation. I also contributed to the Dalton agency in a big way, they also look at this presentation to see if the brands they are shaping can stand up to the competition.

Stay tuned for next week when I talk about my first commercial video shoot!

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Day One & Social Media Advertising

Happy Friday COB! I know all of you are ready for the weekend but more importantly ready to watch our ECU Pirates beat Carolina!

Like I said last Monday, I want to use my blog to in the next few weeks to further explain my experiences this summer working at the Dalton Agency, a full service-advertising agency in Atlanta, GA. So, why not start with day one?

On the first day of my internship I was given four different clients to work with during the summer – NYCM Insurance, Med Solutions Healthcare, Lonza Chemicals, and Harris Waste Management.  My internship duties consisted of multiple tasks that I was responsible for; however, because all of these clients are so different I never had the same type of day twice. I was given large and extensive projects and smaller daily tasks to keep with up regularly.

One large project that I spent an extended amount of time on was a full social media audit for our client NYCM Insurance. I was able to see the entire process of how an agency plans a social media strategy for the client and how they begin to execute it. The process started with multiple conference calls with NYCM so that way we could gain an understanding of what they hoped to achieve with social media properties.  Through these meetings our social media director and myself came up with a number of goals for NYCM’s social media platform and the client approved them.  The next step in the strategy was my responsibility; I needed to perform my first social media audit on all of NYCM’s competitors.

The purpose of this audit was too assist our social media director when forming the final social strategy to be presented and later approved by NYCM’s director of marketing. In order to complete this I had to fully audit a list of competitors such as State farm and Allstate Insurance. I researched their social media properties to see how they were using them and how well it was working. I included observations such as how many followers each account had, how often they post, whether or not people ‘like’ or ‘share’ their posts, among other remarks.

Sample tweet from the NYCM social campaign.

Sample tweet from the NYCM social campaign.

I complied all of this information into a presentation and presented it to our director of social media. I was then able to see how he formed their entire social strategy in a way that would help NYCM grow and expand their business and market them as a more talk-able brand. Prior to this assignment I had no idea what a full social strategy entailed, or what a social media audit was.  I enjoyed doing this because I was able to learn from someone that has been incredibly successful in the business and I was able to complete something that I will be able to take with me that show my experience level.

The social audit was just one of many projects I was given during the summer; however, it was one of my favorites! Stay tuned for next weeks post about my first commercial video shoot!

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