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Intern to Executive: What You Can Do Today to Stand Out Tomorrow

Written by: Christian Hill – @slbecu

On April 12th in the Mendenhall Student Center, the 3rd annual College of Business Leadership Conference hosted their first ever student panel, led by Christian Hill, Sebastian Kressley, Colleen Todd, and Terrington Myles.

Pictured from left to right: Christian Hill, Sebastian Kressley, Colleen Todd, Terrington Myles

The students of the panel stressed the importance of internships and organizational activity, and how the lessons learned from both can be translated into vital skills necessary for being a successful, young professional.

4 Takeaways from “Intern to Executive”:

Students filled the room to hear from fellow College of Business leaders.

#1 – Internships Are a One of a Kind Experience!

There will be no other opportunity in your career to get risk-free experience; and on top of it, they pay you! As an intern, you get exposure to everything you need to know about that sector of the professional world, without the stress and pressure to perform. Hiring managers understand you are learning, which means expectations are set low, making it that much easier for you to excel.

Panelists answering questions from attendees.

#2 – Student Organizations Teach You Skills You Won’t Learn in the Classroom!

The technical skills learned in the classroom are only half of your education! Getting involved in student organizations allows you to exercise the vital qualities that make up the other half of your education, such as leadership, passion, and hard work. Both halves are equally important and both are demanded in the competitive work force.

#3 – Don’t Underestimate the Value of the Skills You Are Developing Today!

The fundamental skills you are developing as an intern or student organization member are vital to your long-term success as a professional. Skills such as multi-tasking, team leadership, and communicating with a wide variety of people, are all in demand skill sets. Don’t sweep your collegiate accomplishments under the rug; they provide the foundation for your professional skill set!

Students eagerly approaching the front of the room to ask questions after a successful panel discussion.

#4 – Network, Network, and Network Some More!

The relationships you begin to build now will be the professional relationships you start your career with. However, don’t fall into the trap of networking with somebody in the hopes of “getting something” from them. Create genuine relationships, ask people about themselves, and help others first; the benefits will come down the road when you really need them.

Now what?

If there is only one thing you take away from this, it ought to be to get started now! There is no better opportunity to prepare yourself for the rigors of the professional world than to begin taking on responsibility today. There is a direct translation between students entering the workforce with internships and organizational leadership and their early success; it’s undeniable. You must learn to swim in the shallows before you can dive into the deep end, so start paddling now!

From a Student’s Perspective: ECU Chapter of American Marketing Association Goes to New Orleans and Wins Two Awards

This blog was written by ECU ‘19 American Marketing Association, Vice President of Social Media and Promotions, Ashley Konarski.

Recently some of my colleagues from the American Marketing Association, as well as myself, had the privilege of travelling to New Orleans, Louisiana to attend the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference. This was a five-day experience where we toured the city of New Orleans, experienced the culture, and learned more about the city’s history. We explored the French Quarter on our first day in New Orleans as well as enjoyed some of New Orleans’ famous po-boys. During our trip, we continued to explore the historical French Quarter, as well as experience the New Orleans Market.

As a chapter, we competed in different competitions prior to and during the conference and attended informational sessions and focus groups. The students competed in the Ebay case competition, Marketing Strategy competition, and website competition. As a chapter, we completed a chapter plan and annual report to be submitted and judged. The suspense was at an all-time high throughout the entire conference. As we went through each session, we learned new interview tips and tricks, ways to further build our resumes, and acquired new perspectives on networking.

Last but not Least

As the last day of the conference approached, we attended our final sessions. We were amazed by the accomplishments of our fellow colleagues in their presentations of case competitions and how they carried out their chapters in order to become a top chapter in the Nation. As the end of the day approached, we attended the final banquet. Our nerves were running high and we were worried about how we did. As they began calling chapter awards, they called our chapter name and we were shocked. We not only received an excellence award in one area of our chapter plan but two areas! As a chapter, our hard work paid off and we received excellence in Chapter Planning as well as Communications!

As an organization, participating in this event is very important to us. By attending, we were able to see the winning cases and competitions, as well as learn about new networking events that are offered. With the experiences and knowledge we gained, we can now offer extended knowledge and advice to fellow East Carolina University American Marketing Association Members. As a chapter, we cannot wait until our 2017-2018 trip! We hope to gain further knowledge and come back with even more awards and honors in the future!

 

Farewell to Italy

June 18, 2016
Altavilla, Italy

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Ashley Montaquila, Senior Marketing major, Hometown: Greenville NC

Last night we had our farewell dinner at CUOA. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe that our time in Altavilla has come and gone so fast! Before it was time to head to Milan, I took a taxi to Creazzo to get in one last workout at Crossfit Never Stop, a gym I spent a lot of time in during my stay in Italy. The people there, though most did not speak English, were some of the nicest and most accommodating individuals I have ever met. It’s amazing how the universal language of exercise can bring people together. I shared many smiles and a lot of sweat between burpees and power cleans with the many friends that I made. I might have even shed a tear or two when I found out that they brought in a cake to share with me after my last workout there. I am so thankful to have been surrounded by some incredible people that I will never forget, but all good things must come to an end.

Bags packed, I started my journey to Milan. We made it to the city by noon, leaving us all afternoon to explore. Being known for its couture, I decided to spend the afternoon shopping and sight seeing. I walked the streets until I was face to face with the Duomo di Milano. What an incredible structure. In awe of its sheer beauty, I decided to have lunch on an outdoor terrace ashley banks hikinhoverlooking the piazza. After lunch, I spent some more time hopping from store to store. As the evening set in, I took in one last tramonto italiano (Italian sunset), had one last scoop of Gelato, and spent one last night with an incredible group of students who have come to feel like family. Even though our time in Milan had come to an end, and in the morning we would be catching planes back home; I knew that our journey didn’t stop here. There’s an entire World out there waiting for us, and our friendships have no expiration date. Though our trip has come to an end, this is just the beginning.

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Memories in Milan

June 18, 2016
Milan, Italy

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Alex Walsh, Senior Accounting major, Hometown: Wolcott CT

 

Today is our very last day in Italy. Five weeks came and went in the blink of an eye, but I guess you could attribute that to all the good times, lasting memories, and life lessons that this trip has instilled in me. As we all boarded our bus at 8:30 heading for Milan, it became all too real. In twenty-four hours I would board my direct flight back to the United States. I look back on my time in Italy as one of the greatest joys in my life so far. Everyday was a new journey with my new friends and each journey left me with a new tale to look back on. I could tell a continual story of my time in Italy and each day, but that could turn this blog into a novel, so I will tell you of our time in Milan.

The bus rolled up to Hotel Teco at approximately 11 a.m. From there, there was a team discussion of “where are we going to eat?”.  The cuisine that Italy has to offer is outstanding and has left my taste buds joyous from the meals I have been dining on for the last five weeks. To say that our next move from the Hotel was to go to one of these exquisite places would be a lie. The portions in Italy are not the size I am accustomed to in the U.S., so I, as well as others, wanted to eat as much food as we could so we chose to go the best buffet in Milan. After filling our appetite it was time to explore Milan. As we exited the buffet and into the streets, we separated into groups depending on what you wanted to do, my group set our sites on visiting the Milan Cathedral. Getting lost is as part of adventuring through Italy, as is anything else.

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Small streets and no cellular data is a recipe for disaster. After about thirty-five minutes of getting lost and turning around we made it.  As you walk up to this massive 14thcentury masterpiece, you are filled with awe and questions. How did they create this before cranes? How did they move all that marble from wherever to here with no trucks? But you just look up and appreciate what is in front of your eyes. We walked around the piazza and grabbed little souvenirs for some time till we decided that our next stop was Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione.  As we walked there, we visited shops and boutiques picking up last gifts for family members and friends. Talking about our time and stories from our adventures made the walk a quick one. As we entered the castle, there was a gorgeous fountain that greeted us. The castle had seen its days, and was now more of a standing barrier between the inside green yards and the bustling world of Milan. Once through the castle you are met with Parco Sempione, there we would spend several hours just sitting in a field overlooking the pond.

 

alex walsh churchThat night fourteen of us would go and enjoy our final meal at Brasserie Ristorante Mediterranea. Dining on lobster, carbanarra, tagliata, and our final glasses of fine Italian wine, we talked and laughed about how we had evolved as friends and family through our five-week journey in the beautiful landscape of northern Italy.

 

Last Day in Italy

June 15, 2016
Altavilla, Italy

Zachary Leonard

Zachary Leonard; Marketing major

Today is our last day in Altavilla. After typing that sentence and staring at the screen for five minutes, it just now hit me- I am coming home to North Carolina after five weeks in Italy. So much has happened in the past five weeks. To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed this trip, it would not be possible to capture the unforgettable moments and memories I have created in 500 words. So, in an effort to save time and precious room on the computer screen, I am going to tell you all what today has consisted of. To kick things off, we had finals this morning. We are in a foreign country but “finals” is a term we all know too well from being students at East Carolina.

After spending countless days in the classroom and intermittent Wi-Fi, it was time to show our professors everything we have learned from their online courses. It should czachary leonard dinner 1ome as no surprise, even though we are in a new country, our study habits do not change. With that being said, many of my classmates, including myself, stayed up in until the late hours of the night relearning the material. Good news for us, the hotel management did not seem to mind all of us scattered around the inside of the building. If you were to enter the area from the entrance, you would see college students nesting around the closet outlet like it was a fountain of knowledge. I do not know how late everyone stayed up until, but I went to bed past midnight. As morning rolled around, we were all eagerly set to get our last assignments and exams out of the way. The moment when we all finished our exams was when everyone breathed a sigh of relief. No more worrying about schoolwork, deadlines and extensions. No more spotty Internet connection too. We were finally done.

Shortly after rejoicing, I found myself on the way out to eat to lunch with some of my friends. We had chosen a quaint restaurant on the hill of Altavilla and consequently we dubbed the title of restaurant as, “The Hill”. It was a nice feeling not having to worry about czachary leonard dinner 2lasses anymore. Conversations seemed to flow more naturally too, maybe because the stress we all carried was nonexistent anymore. Much laughing and smiling was ensured at lunch. No doubt in my mind, I had met a special group of people. While waiting for our food, we passed the time sharing our favorite memories of the trip. Everyone had so much to say, we could’ve stayed at “The Hill” the rest of the day if we wanted to. On the same subject of spending time with all my friends, we got quieter as our food came out. Between the gaps of silence from eating our meal, it was obvious we were all thinking the same thing, leaving Italy.

All Work and Some Play

June 14, 2016
Altavilla, Italy

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Mackenzie King; Senior Marketing major; Hometown: Charlotte NC

Choosing to study abroad these past couple weeks has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Every day has consisted of a new adventure since our arrival in Italy. In the few short weeks I’ve been here in Italy I’ve explored and seen more than I ever could have imagined. Within the past couple weeks I’ve traveled to Florence, Rome, Venice, Verona, and multiple other cities that have left me speechless and amazed. Like I said, those are our usual days here in Italy, today though happened to be a little different than the rest. Since our time in Italy is coming to an end in a few short days, my classmates and I have been preparing for our final exams that we are taking at the end of this week. Unlike our usual adventurous days where we go out and explore, today we all stayed inside the hotel and dedicated the day to studying and getting our course work done.

Unfortunately I didn’t start off my day by hopping on a train headed to Rome or a bus going to Florence like I have the previous weeks. Instead I woke up, got ready, ate breakfast and arrived promptly to my lecture hall at 9am, there a guest lecturer was in the room preparing to give us a lecture. At first I was scared this was going to be a long and tedious four hours, but to my surprise it turned out to be the complete oMackenzie King guest speakerpposite. The guest lecturer, Diego Campagnolo, taught us about entrepreneurship and innovation, throughout his lecture he engaged my classmates and I by asking us questions and giving us activities to do. I would go into more detail about the lecture but I still have more to say about the rest of my day! Directly after the lecture ended, some of my classmates presented their projects in front of us. We listened to their individual presentations for an hour about the Italian marble industry and the Italian economic system.  When their presentations were done I continued my day by studying for my English and Management exam for the next 5 hours until dinner time.

Finally my favorite part of the day, dinner time! In Altavilla there are very few places to eat, although there aren’t many Mackenzie King Dinnerplaces to choose from luckily they all taste good! My friends and I have a favorite restaurant here, we don’t exactly know the name but we refer to it as “the place on the hill”. It is a family owned restaurant and we have been there frequently so all the workers know us, although they don’t speak any English and we don’t speak any Italian we still try to socialize with them the best we can by trying to speak their language and crack jokes with them, we can tell they really appreciate it! Every time our server gives us free food and gives us a discount on our bill. When it comes time to leave the restaurant, we are normally the last people there, if that’s the case the workers will drop everything they’re doing, move the tables around, and turn the music up all the way and start dancing with us! It’s funny how close we’ve gotten to the workers in such a short period of time especially with the burden of the language barrier. When we leave Italy in a few days there’s so many things I’m going to miss, even the “boring study days”. This summer I’ve made unforgettable memories and I am extremely grateful I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy.

Rewarding Work Day

June 13, 2016
Altavilla, Italy

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David Hubble, Junior Management major, Hometown: Winston-Salem NC

Today began the first day of the very last week here in Italy. As I pondered and reflected upon the experience I gained from the past five weeks, I began to realize how incredible this opportunity has really been. I have met so many people, gained so many friends, and learned so many things. Of course today was filled with a seemingly formidable workload, however; the random reflections of my time here served as the nostalgic mental break I needed in between each task. Having taken two classes in the five weeks here in Italy, I’ve come to realize that for today and for the rest of the week, time management is essential towards my desired grades. And while I wish I had just enough free time to spend the day as I’d like, I know that the feeling of getting my work done will be rewarding enough to enjoy the rest of the week. So, I made the decision to dedicate the rest of the day towards my work with the attempt and hopes of completing everything I needed to get done.

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Time was lost pretty easily as I found myself distracted by the hard work that lay ahead for the day. In fact, the time flew by faster than I had actually expected. Eventually, dinnertime rolled around and the friends I was surrounded by decided that we would go out to dinner together and try a restaurant that has been highly regarded with great ratings. Besides the couple of welcome dinners we’ve had and a few others on the optional trips, this dinner was by far one of the best.  Accompanied by a group of friends, we dined and toasted to our last week here in Italy together and as the night wound down, I knew that every part of this trip had been worth it.

Shopping Local

June 12, 2016
Florence, Italy

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Selena De Alva; Senior Management major Hometown: Wake Forest NC

It is the end to our weekend in Florence and also our last full weekend here in Italy. Four weeks down and one to go meaning many, including myself, had to catch up on shopping. Now I am not usually one to be very fond of having to shop, but when is the next time that I will be able to “shop until I drop” in Florence? After checking out at 11 am this morning from the hotel, a small group of us went to a local leather store to get some gifts for the family. Before we even made it in to the store, we were overwhelmed with the smell of leather. It is not uncommon for you to walk down the street and get a whiff of fresh leather at every corner. As much as I enjoy the smell, I think I have had enough exposure to it for quite some time. On the top of my shopping list, was a nice but simple leather wallet for my grandpa which I know will be a great gift for Father’s day next weekend. Luckily, the shop that we stopped at covered all of our needs. It also helped that the owners of the shop were extremely nice, talkative and willing to help. They had a large variety of merchandise to choose from. It ranged from large bags, purses, wallets, gloves to even bookmarks with all sorts of colors. We honestly could have spent the whole day there, but we knew there was still so much more to get done before we had to leave at 5pm.
Once we were done there, we continued walking along the busy streets of Florence. One thing I did notice is that a little rain did not phase the crowds. Today’s weather was off and on storms. Out of nowhere dark clouds would move in, stay for 10-15 minutes and then just pass. This happened at least twice while we were out and about. Even with the rain coming down, people were still out walking or standing in line to get into Blog 1 (1)the local attractions. The local street artists would stay out too, they just found a place to take shelter for the time being. Since Florence is known to be “The City of Art” I was really excited to take a look at and buy some local artwork. So many artists had absolutely beautiful works and it was hard to choose which ones to buy, but I was able to pick out a few that I liked. For example, I chose one of the Duomo which was one of the first buildings I was able to familiarize myself with this weekend. I mean it was really hard to miss this massive building from anywhere in the city. Then there was another of the Ponte Vecchio which was a bridge over the river, this area was most beautiful at sunset. We saw so many different types and interpretations of the city through each artist’s work and it was absolutely amazing.
After viewing the art, we walked around, grabbed a cup of the best gelato in town and looked around for the typical tourist souvenirs to take back. By this time, it was Blog 2getting close to the time that we needed to grab our luggage and catch the bus back to Altavilla. As we were on the way back to the hotel, another storm was passing over us so we rushed back to ensure we did not get poured on. Once everyone made it back to the hotel, we all packed the bus and prepared for roughly the three hour bus ride back.
Overall, I had a wonderful time in Florence and I am sure all those who were there would agree. As I have observed in each of the cities we have visited thus far, each area has its own unique “personality.” Each area has its similarities, but at the same time they all have different kinds of marvels and beauties that leave those who visit in awe. Still at the end of our fourth week, I am amazed at all that Italy has to offer.

8 Things to Know Before Traveling to Italy

June 12, 2016
Altavilla, Italy

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Taylor Hilliard Hometown: Quakertown PA

  1. When you are trying to figure out what to pack, plan to bring pants! If your goal is to try to fit in in Italy, the first step is to dress similarly and your safest bet is to wear pants. Jeans are key but prepare to dress them up fairly nice.
  2. Italians like to stare. This goes along with the dressing like Italians, if you can’t stand people making long awkward eye contact, dressing similarly will reduce your chances. Regardless, you’ll get some looks so embrace it now.
  3. If you don’t like pigeons, Italy is not the place for you. There are pigeons EVERYWHERE! My husband had one hit him in the face.
  4. You won’t understand now but there’s a string hanging from the wall in every bathroom/shower, don’t pull it unless it’s an emergency! Funny story: I was in the bathroom at a train station in the first week and could not get the button to flush the toilet. So, I
    pulled the string thinking maybe that would do the trick, I did not notice anything at first so I gave up and walked out of the stall to wash my hands. Suddenly, a bunch of the workers rushed in and started checking my stall and I noticed the red flashing light above the stall. They continued to check all of the stalls and I shrugged pretending I knew nothing.
  5. It is a common misconception that Italians don’t wear running sneakers, it’s a complete lie! When trying to figure out what to bring on the trip, all of my research had led me to believe that Europeans absolutely never wear running sneakers unless they are running. Maybe it will be different in other European countries but not in Italy. Especially for men, trying to wear nicer shoes almost made you stand out more because you’re the only one not wearing sneakers. Sneakers are acceptable with any outfit in Italy, with a dress, with a suit, anything.
  6. You’ll realize very quickly that all Italians smoke cigarettes. Often restaurants and public places  will have designated areas for smokers. However if you don’t want to eat your dinner with smoke blowing in your face, your safest bet is to eat inside.
  7. The transportation system is fantastic so take advantage of it! From planes to
    trains to buses, you can get anywhere very easily. I invested in a Eurail pass and it has allowed me to ride just about any train for free. It will also significantly reduce the cost of traveling on the fast trains. If you keep an eye on flights, you can easily get one for under $100!
  8. Given the transportation system, consider using your free time for traveling! Given your location, it is super easy to go wherever in Europe and the surrounding areas. I took advantage of this and visited a castle in Austria!
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Hochosterwitz Castle in Austria

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Pirate Nation in Florence

June 11, 2016
Florence, Italy

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Thomas Craft

On Saturday June 11th, I started my day in Florence at the Bargello museum. After the Bargello, we went to the Duomo. The Duomo was probably my favorite part of Florence. I believe that it is the biggest rotunda in the world, but I am not sure. The inside is even more impressive than the outside. The inside is massive. The whole structure is marble including some of the inside. The rotunda has a beautiful painting around it. Then I went to the popular central/leather market with eleven other Pirates. I tried some fried shrimp and zucchini at the central market, and they were delicious. I also ate some chicken nuggets, if I had to compare them to other nuggets, it was similar to Chik Fill A’s nuggets. After the central market, Drew and I met Alex at the Academia.

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On the way to the Academia, I stopped in the central market and got some jewelry made in Italy for my mother. We saw the real Statue of David at the Academia. I did not realize that David was that big of a sculpture. There are other frescoes and paintings inside, but David is the most popular thing to see. After the Academia, we met Blake outside and we went back to the Duomo since they had not been inside yet. This time we thought about going up to the top but we did not because we did not want to pay twenty euros. Then we walked to Eduardo’s, which has the best gelato in Florence, maybe top five in the world. It was a twenty minute wait the night before, this time we walked right in. They make the freshest cones and have the best fruit flavors. I got blueberry and cherry in a crunchy cone bowl, and it was delicious.

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After that, we walked to a bridge and sat on the ledge and chilled. We quoted movies and took a break from walking on the bridge. Then on the way back to the hotel, we ran into a parade. It was a historic parade with soldiers and drummers. Then we went to the best restaurant in Florence. We had to make reservations the night before and we are glad we did, because two people tried to eat there and was booked until 10. I split a meat platter with Drew. The platter had rabbit, duck, pork, sausage, and steak. After that, we watched England vs Russia in the Euro cup.  That was a wild game, the locals and us went nuts when Russia tied because we wanted England to win. After the game, we celebrated a classmate’s birthday. It was a good time and we met an ECU alum. We did not stay out too long because I went to Pisa the next day and the rest stayed in Florence.

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