The Australian Rainforest

Hunter Chapman

Hunter Chapmon: Management; Senior; Durham, NC

When we left the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, we took the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over the adjacent Barron Gorge National Park. The cable cars hold up to six people and provide exquisite views of Australia’s tropical rainforest. We rode through the mountains for about an hour and a half, stopping at a couple lookout points within the forest. Eventually, we reached Kuranda, a unique village in the middle of the rainforest.

At Kuranda, there are a few restaurants as well as many shops to get Aboriginal/rainforest souvenirs. A few of us decided to instead take a riverboat cruise down the Barron River. The river runs through the rainforest and allowed us to get much closer to some of the wildlife. We fed fish and ducks, and we also saw many other animals such as turtles and crocodiles.

Australian Rainforest

The tropical rainforests of Australia are the oldest surviving tropical rainforests on the planet, dating back over 120 million years. They have shrunk significantly in size over the years, but are still extremely diverse and home to many interesting species. Hundreds of rare plant species can be found in these tropical rainforests, as well as thousands of others. They are also home to various types of kangaroos, including two types of tree kangaroos and the most primitive – the Musky Rat Kangaroo. Another unique creature found in the forest is the Southern Cassowary, Australia’s largest flightless bird.


The rainforest was definitely one of the best parts of the trip, right next to the Great Barrier Reef. In 1998, the tropical rainforests of Australia were added to the World Heritage list, ensuring their protection and preservation. Neither words nor pictures can do justice to the beauty of Barron Gorge National Park, but it was definitely an experience I will not soon forget.

Free Day in Brisbane


Brandon Jenkins

Brandon Jenkins; Finance; Senior; Culpeper, VA

One of our last free days in Brisbane, Australia unfortunately started out as a rainy day but we still managed to get out and explore around the area some. Since we were on the go all the time, on the free days, we wanted to just take it easy and relax but with so many different things to do, we powered through it. Most of the group went to the zoo, but a small group of us stayed in the city to do some things around there.

To start out, we walked down to the Botanical Gardens, where we saw amazing landscaping while walking on a pathway down by the river. I was very surprised to see that a lot of people walking there were in business attire.  It seemed as if they were all taking walks while on their lunch breaks or on some sort of break.Botanical Gardens, Brisbane It was around noon when we were walking through it and there was a big group of people playing a pick up game of rugby. Along with seeing people all around being active and enjoying the gardens and fresh air, they had public bike stations set up all up and down the path for rent.  It was free once you bought the one time 2-dollar membership pass. While walking down the side of the river, we could see some cliffs on the other side. So with it being a free day and nothing planned, we decided to figure out a way to get to the other side and look around there some. Once we finally made it over to the cliffs, we found out that it was called Kangaroo Point.  It was a set of cliffs that was open to the public to go rock climbing on or repelling down. They made it so you could start at the top or bottom of the cliffs, which made for some great spots to take pictures of the city. It was mainly back on the other side of the river.

Kangaroo PointWe walked around the cliffs for a while and then talked to some locals.  We made our way to the City Hopper, which was a free ferry that dropped us off at different locations along the river. Although we didn’t have any activities planned to start the day, we were easily able to find plenty of interesting things to go out and do. Finally getting back to the room around five o’clock, I relaxed some before most of the group met back up for dinner, where we talked about the different things each other did. Overall the day turned out great, even though it started out a little rainy.  It was great to be able to just explore around the city on our own.

Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise

June 14, 2015

Brisbane, Australia-Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise

Jessica Holland

Jessica Holland; Management and Sociology (Double Major); Junior; Eden, NC

Today was our first full day in Brisbane, Australia and it was a free day. We were free to do whatever we wanted so being the adventurous teens that we are we decided to go to the beach. Almost everyone in the group wanted to visit the Gold Coast so our amazing bus driver, Cam, made it happen. When we started to leave the apartments, it was so rainy and awful outside but we stuck to our guns. We were going to the beach!

Ten after Ten, we finally arrived. The sun was beginning to come out and everyone was jumping to get out of his or her seat. First stop: surf shop of course! All of the guys and some of the girls wanted to try surfing, however, that’s not the best idea for a clumsy person like myself. So a couple girls and I went to the dollar store just down the strip and bought towels and tank tops that screamed ‘tourist’. Is there any other way to act in another country?

After finishing up with shopping and renting surfboards, it was a beeline to the beach for us. The surfers in the group quickly got the boards and headed out into the water. Keep in mind it was not the best weather for a beach day, let alone surfing for beginners but they went anyway. The sunbathers or attempted sunbathers (me) put out towels and basked in the beauty that is Australia. If you are anything like me, I get bored easily. The clear blue water and probably dangerous Australian wildlife was calling my name. A few of us headed for the water’s edge, which was awfully cold unfortunately. Some turned back but did I? Absolutely not. I’m in Australia; I’m getting in the water. Thankfully for me, the further out the warmer it became. It was only the surface that was cold and uninviting.

Gold Coast

One other girl and I probably floated around for a good thirty minutes. I would have stayed longer but as mentioned earlier; that weather created a nasty riptide that was quite a workout. I have experienced a pretty bad riptide before and they are not fun and not exactly safe. Of course being the rebellious teens that we all are, we were swimming outside of the flags, which means outside of the area patrolled by the local life savers (Australian version of life guards). After an exhausting swim we packed up and headed to another beach!

Our second stop: Surfer’s Paradise. Trust me, the name says it all. Everyone was drooling because it was that wonderful. I am 98% sure we are all going in on a house and moving there in the near future actually (just kidding, Mom). In all seriousness, Surfer’s Paradise was nothing short of perfect. Our time there was short but our memories will last a lifetime. Who knows though, reunion in five years guys? I’m in!

Surfer's Paradise Coastline


Surfer's Paradise

The Journey to the Land Down Under

June 09, 2015

Sydney,  Australia

Maggie Wilfong, Marketing, Senior, Raleigh, NC

The day had arrived.  It was time to start the 2-day voyage from Raleigh, North Carolina to Sydney, Australia.  As my mom dropped me off at RDU airport, she left me with the words “You are going to have the time of your life.”  From that moment the reality had set in that I was finally on my way to a country filled with new adventures.  As soon as I walked into the airport I was greeted with smiles and a warm welcome from the group I would be spending the next two weeks with.  I could tell it was going to be a great trip.

I have always heard it took a decent amount of time to get to the land down under.  This excursion proved that to be true.  The trip to Australia entailed a total of three flights, spanning about two days.  The flight from Raleigh left around 3:45 pm on June 7th and the last flight landed in Sydney at approximately 7:30 am on June 9th.  There was not much of a June 8th due to crossing the International Date Line and jumping forward 14 hours on the way to Sydney.  The first flight was from Raleigh, NC and stopped in Dallas, TX, then to Los Angeles, CA and from there our group caught the last flight to our end destination of Sydney.  For the flight from Raleigh to Dallas I found myself placed in a middle seat, snoozing in and out over the 3-hour length.  Once we arrived in Dallas there was not much of a lay over time until the next flight to Los Angeles. I was fortunate enough to get a window seat for this flight; it gave me the opportunity to have some amazing views.

Plane to Australia

After arriving in Los Angeles there was a lay over of about 2 hours until the flight to Sydney. This was the perfect amount of time to get some food for the upcoming 14-hour flight.  When 11:15 pm rolled around it was time to board the last plane.  Caroline, a fellow member of the study abroad group sat beside me.  We also sat next to a man who was from Sydney and returning from a stay in Las Vegas.  By the end of the flight we got to know a lot about him.   He told us about Sydney and recommended some of the best spots to visit.  It was fascinating getting to meet someone from where we about to visit.  This made me even more eager to start my Australian adventure. The plane landed around 7:30am, which marked the beginning of our group’s time in Sydney.  I could not be more excited to see what the beautiful city of Sydney has in store!

Holi Festival!

Holi before

Holi Before


Holi is a spring festival also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. Lately the festival has been expanding into Europe and North America as a spring celebration for love, frolic and colors. At the festival people throw colored water and chalk at each other. There is no such thing as status, at this festival everyone is equally assaulted with color and happiness.


During the Holi festival

Last Friday ECU threw a Holi festival in front of the Hendrix Theater. It was thrown to allow students to embrace a different type of culture that they might not have been familiar with. There was an educational speech about the Holi festival followed by a dance and delicious Indian food. Lastly they began to play music until everyone received a bag of color. Then began the count down; 3, 2, 1 (you then begin to hear the roar of the crowd followed by multiple colors being thrown into the air). When people ran out of color they would run back to the booth and receive more until there was nothing left. It was a joyous celebration filled with smiles and laughter. Even after getting pelted in the face by what I think might have been the color purple I kept a smile on my face. After I got my sweet revenge we both kept smiling and possessed no anger towards one another. It was amazing! If you have the opportunity to come to the event next year, I would recommend it.



During the Holi festival




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:


Beating Carolina my junior year!


In NYC for the 2013 AWNY Conference

The best roomies!

The best roomies!


Dowdy Ficklen Stadium on New Years Eve 2013


ADPi Spring Formal


Our last game as undergrad students. Go Pirates!



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 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!


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.


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: