Am I really becoming a business woman?

This past weekend I had the luxury of going home to Charlotte, NC to watch my boyfriends opening weekend in his last season of college baseball. With being home this included going shopping with my mom. Out of all the shopping I’ve done in my years, this was definitely different.

The reason for this shopping trip being different from every other shopping trip I have been on is for one reason; I was buying a business suit. At this point in my career I had professional clothing, but I didn’t have an official business suit. The first thing Mrs. Justice said in our BUSI 3200 class was you are going to need to have a business suit, so I knew I had to buy one. When going shopping I felt so outside of my comfort zone. I wasn’t shopping for cute clothes to wear out downtown anymore. I was shopping for “grown up” clothes.

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When walking through the store, I didn’t know where to start. I was scared to pick something out, because what if it wasn’t right. Thankfully my mom was there to help because she pretty much picked out everything for me. I started out with a black suit that was too big; the blouse underneath was so stiff I looked like a robot. It was awful, and on top of that I looked like a boy. Needless to say, that suit was a no go. As the process continued of trying on all these different suits. The realization that I could be wearing this to work everyday hit me. Do I want to work at a company where I am in a business suit all everyday? That went through my head multiple times during this process. Which is something I would have to look into when investigating the culture of the work environment.

I never realized how uncomfortable suits are. Finally, after searching and trying multiple outfits on, I found two suits that worked. Soon to realize that suits are very expensive. Thankfully they had a sale going on buy one, get one half off — which helped out a lot. But now I am officially making progress towards being a big girl, in the real world. No more wearing a bathing suit to work, being a lifeguard, or a uniform to wait tables. It’s almost time for the real thing. As intimidating and scary it may seem I know I will be prepared for the next interview I receive. I have the professional dress covered from here on out! Now, time to land a job/internship!

Have you had this experience? I’d love to hear about it!! Hope everyone has a great week.

“So what do you want to do with the rest of your life?”

Happy Friday COB! Last week I talked with you all about life as a second semester senior and all of the simple pleasures that it entails (online classes, more free time, making a senior bucket list, etc.) This week I come to you with something I would not call simple by any means. That is how you must respond to this question, which seems to be asked to you every 15 minutes or so: “So what do you want to do with the rest of your life?”. That is a loaded question if I have ever heard one. A question that is not only loaded, but also one that usually causes panic, anxiety, moderate sweating and if you are like me, some slight stuttering.

Last week I was sitting in my leadership capstone and a speaker came in to talk to our class about his career and his experiences with becoming a leader. At the end of his speech he looked at each of us and asked what our dream job would be (insert panic, anxiety, etc. here). I know it should be a simple answer and for me, a girl that has over-planned her entire life, it should be a VERY simple answer. However, it triggered a nerve and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since then. If someone had asked me that question a year ago, I would have said “an account executive at a big advertising agency”. Since my experience this summer interning at an advertising agency, I have changed my mind and, honestly, advertising is not something I could stand to do for the rest of my life. I am thankful for having that realization prior to getting out into the real world; however, it still leaves me with the unanswered and daunting question.

As a way to combat this question I have tried to figure out how I am going to answer it. The only way that I can think of is to talk to people and hopefully have the opportunity to shadow them in their line of work. I think this will help me get a better feel for different jobs and what I enjoy. Today I am spending the afternoon with a friend’s mother who owns a very successful interior design business assisting her with appointments and administrative tasks. Next week I plan to speak with a few different professors that have retired from jobs in sales and B2B marketing. Hopefully this will help me gain some clarity and maybe even a little bit of confidence. Either way, I know at this age I cannot have it all figured out, but wouldn’t it be nice?!

I would love to hear from all you students out there! Are you experiencing the same or are you one of the lucky few that know? Comment here and enjoy your weekend everyone!

GMAT Do you really need to study?

Hello, my name is Caleb Koppelmeyer. I am brand new to the graduate program this Spring. I am here to tell you if you want to pass the GMAT exam you will need to buckle down and study for an extremely long time. If you don’t believe me then find any graduate student who has taken the GMAT exam and ask them how intimidating it is. For those that are exempt feel lucky because your hard worked paid off, congratulations! Now for those few that believe the GMAT exam is as easy as the SAT or ACT, you are sadly mistaken. What’s worse is I used to be one of those few. Until a friend of mine informed me that I had no idea what I was talking about. Being my confident self I challenged him to a bet. When I made the bet I was so confident that I would make a high enough score and receive a free meal from this fool that challenged me. Unfortunately, I was the fool and I lost fourteen dollars and all confidence I had in passing the exam. I don’t even feel comfortable with sharing my score with you. It was that bad. Now while I was embarrassed for my poor performance I did receive some enlightenment because I knew that I needed to take the little time I had left and study hard in order to pass the GMAT exam.

My schedule completely changed, I picked a category and took seven hours out of each week to study that category until I felt extremely comfortable with the material. The timing was very unfortunate however. Finals were sneaking up and I needed to provide more time for my classes, but I couldn’t afford to. Luckily, I was already managing all A’s in these courses and I began to neglect them and it showed on my finals. It did, however, provide myself with even more time to study for the GMAT and I took my second GMAT exam and passed! I was so happy I began to celebrate by buying sushi, texting friends, calling family, and having a good night out in the town. I was proud that all of the time I put towards the exam ended up paying off, it was exhilarating.

Now that I am done with describing my success story it would be more beneficial for you guys if I provided you with some advice. First of all, the biggest difficulty for the exam was the time frame that you are given. It is so much time that it’s exhausting and your brain feels like it want’s to give up. You are constantly struggling with maintaining a pace that allows you to answer questions with time to spare. The time you are given is 30 minutes on analytical writing, 30 minutes on integrated reasoning, 75 minutes on quantitative (math) and 75 minutes on verbal. The only breaks you are given are after integrated reasoning and quantitative and they only last about eight minutes. While that amount of time might seem extremely small, I would recommend taking all of the breaks available to you and use that time to clear your mind. Think of the break as a re-energizing period; daydream, talk to the lady at the desk, just do anything other than thinking about the exam. If you think about the exam you will only further exhaust yourself. Lastly, while there are four parts to the exam it has come to my understanding that the portions that really matter are the quantitative and the verbal portion. These portions are the majority of your grade.

For study material I used the 2013 GMAT Study Guide Edition and some other study material that friends of mine provided. Most of the people that ended up helping me with the exam ended up taking the GMAT Prep course and they said it was extremely helpful. If I had the opportunity I would take the prep course instead of studying by myself. I am sure if I did I would have only needed to take the exam one time.

 

Growing Up: COB Style

Written by senior business student, Emily Thayer

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Emily tailgaiting with her family.

It just hit me about a month ago, that this is my last semester at ECU. I will be walking across the stage in a few short months, sporting my purple cap and gown. When I think of this bitter sweet moment that is approaching, I begin to reflect on the last few years I have spent in this purple painted town.

When looking back at all the ups and downs of my college career, one thing keeps sticking out at me, and that’s the fact that I grew up, I turned into an adult in what seems like a blink of an eye.

Four years ago, I packed my car up and headed to Greenville, to start my journey as a Pirate. And to be honest, four years ago, I was a little teenage girl who had no idea what she was getting into. I had no idea that I was stepping foot on to the campus that shaped me into the grown….WOMAN…that I am today.

Of course I still have growing up to do but, in the last four years, I did more growing up than I ever expected!

In these four years…..

I lost friends….but gained new ones, solid ones, and most importantly true ones.

I realized the true meaning of family.

I realized how fortunate I am!

I started forming my own passions, and my own goals and dreams!

I made the decision to accept Christ in my life! And a thousand more decisions, that I can proudly say were MY OWN decisions.

And I took chances, I never would have taken!

And as small as this is….I knew my life was changing when, I bought a suit! (This had to be the real moment, where it hit me…Grown up’s wear suits, not teenage girls.)

College of Business Class Group

College of Business Class Group

These are vague descriptions of the pivotal lessons that helped me grow up in my time here at ECU. But most importantly, when I think of leaving this campus, and heading into the real world. I’m not scared, I am excited because ECU and the College of Business have shaped me into a mature young adult, who is ready to take on the world.

So whether you are a senior as well, or are a freshman or even a high school student deciding on what college to attend, choose the one that you will be proud to say, made you an adult….made you a leader…made you the man/woman you dream to become!

Junior Year = Internships

Happy Monday COB! When reflecting on this past week, I will just say it has been a busy one. I spent my weekend in Kingsport, Tennessee at a Leadership Conference with my sorority. Let me tell you, I could use a day of sleep after a nonstop weekend — but life must go on.

I am currently looking for an internship this summer in Charlotte, N.C. I have realized that many companies do not post internships on their websites. So I am going through the process of emailing all companies to see if they offer internships. One thing I am realizing is my BUSI 3200 class is going to teach me everything I need to know to apply to internships. As I am currently taking this class now, it seems that I am taking it too late because I need to know the whole process like now for finding internships, and not in May. I have reached out to my teacher, Professor Justice, to walk me through interviews, and how to prepare for them. She has been a great help thus far. And has offered me tons of resources to look at. I feel that when BUSI 3200 class ends, I will be very prepared for the interview process.

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With that being said, I had a phone interview two weeks ago, with a marketing company in Charlotte. I just received an email on Friday that I have a follow up interview this Wednesday. This was so relieving, because I felt that the interview didn’t go so great. One thing I hate about phone interviews is it is always hard to tell how it went, because it is nearly impossible to get vibes from the interviewer. In comparison, a face-to-face interview, you can read the interviewers facial expressions. Thankfully, the interview went well enough to land me one step closer to getting the position. My follow up interview this week is going to be a case study, which will be a phone interview again. I have never had an interview that entails a case study before, so that even more scary! I will put in a lot of preparation time for this interview. I am hoping for the best outcome!

If you have any advice for the process of finding summer internships, or the interviewing process, please comment and share. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Life as a Second Semester Senior

Happy Friday COB and congratulations on making it through the first two weeks of the spring semester! I must admit, the past two weeks have been challenging trying to get back into the swing of things. This is partly because of the long break but mostly because I am now a second semester senior. This means one-thing folks: SENIORITIS. And let me tell you I have got it bad, real bad. This semester I will finally be able to reap the benefits of multiple unpaid internships for course credit. I get to enjoy only taking 10 hours; the real kicker is that 2 of those classes are only being offered online.

I know I should be thankful but the amount of work is proving to be more difficult than expected. As a face-to-face learner, this is a girl that has avoided online classes for 3.5 years and now the majority of my work is completely online. I am struggling. How on earth do people keep up with all of these discussion boards, posts, and comments? I am sure I will be fine and I will get the hang of it eventually, but as of this moment I am really wishing these courses were offered in the classroom and not via Blackboard. However, online classes sure do have their perks. I certainly cannot complain about the extra time I have on my hands. Extra time to work, relax, job hunt, workout and, most importantly enjoy my time at ECU.

Perks of online classes. Class at the Coffee Shack.

Perks of online classes. Class at the Coffee Shack.

Other than trying to organize and catch up with classes I have spent a little time coming up with a “Senior Spring Bucket List”. This semester I have made a goal to soak up every possible experience that lies before me. I know it sounds cheesy but in all seriousness, there are a lot of things I want to do before I leave this place! A lot of memories that need to be made and a whole lot of experiences that need to be had.

The following is the list I have so far:

  • Spend an entire afternoon or afternoons floating down the Tar River
  • Jump in Wright Fountain at least once
  • One last Sunday brunch in the West End dining hall (You know you miss those French toast sticks too!)
  • Midnight on the Mall with all my best girls
  • Multiple days spent at my sorority house front porch swinging, reminiscing about how amazing these past few years have been

To all my COB seniors: What would you add to this bucket list? Do you have any crazy plans prior to graduation? Comment and let me know, I would love to hear your plans!

Is break really over?

WOW! I cannot believe it is already spring semester. When people say college flies by, they weren’t joking! As exam week was stressful like always, I was very satisfied with my grades. It is always good to know all the hard work paid off. Heading into break I was so excited.

During my break, I relaxed a lot. Took a break from everything just because it was such a busy semester with my schoolwork, internship, and sorority. Winter break is probably my favorite time of the year. I started out my break with my family Christmas party, that is always fun seeing my cousins and grandparents. Although I go to college with some of my cousins, Christmas parties are always fun!

Family Christmas Party

Ugly Sweater Family Christmas Party

My immediate family does Christmas a little different than most. We always have Christmas before the 25th; this is because we always go visit my dad’s family up in West Virginia. Ever since I was little I’ve never known Christmas other than being in WV.

Another reason December is my favorite time of the year is because my birthday is December 29th. This year was my 21st birthday so my friends came to Charlotte from school to help me celebrate; it was a really special birthday! To continue with the birthday celebrations, my parent’s surprised me with a trip San Francisco, California!

We flew out of Charlotte on Jan 1st at 7 in the morning. In San Francisco, we went to the Muir Woods (Red Wood Trees), walked the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the trolley car, and went to Fisherman’s Warf — the typical tourist stuff.

In front Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco California

In front Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco California

We ventured out of the city and drove the coastline, and experienced the 17-mile drive that took us to Pebble Beach golf course, which was BEAUTIFUL! One day we spent in Napa Valley, wine tasting along with seeing the beauty of northern California. This trip was so amazing, just reminiscing on it makes me want to go back! – Thanks mom & dad

Returning back to school has been a little stressful. I love all my classes so far, and I am so ready for them to actually get started – I’m tired of going over syllabus. I also started my internship back at Suddenlink, which I will continue this semester. This year I have also taken over a major leadership role, I was elected President of my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. This has sure has kept all of my free time occupied this last week, as I am sure it will continue to do that.

I hope everyone is off to a great first semester. I would love to hear about anything fun you have done over your Winter Break! Please comment and share.


 

New Beginnings or New Confusions?

Happy Monday COB! Hope everyone is surviving these last couple weeks of classes. As everything is coming to an end, my internship is just getting started. I have only been working there for a month, so the intensity of things are just picking up. I work every day 2-5, p.m. and there is always something for me to do.

Beginning something new is always hard. Everyday I go in, I am always learning something, but I am also in a field that I am not familiar with. The whole television industry is something new to me. I was asked to do an incentive for DSR, that’s all I was told. Would you have known what she was talking about? Because I sure didn’t. And that is the problem that I keep running into. It’s not the actual stuff they are assigning me to do, it’s figuring out what the heck they are asking me to do. In the company I have found a “go to person”, which I have became friends with to ask all the “stupid questions” that I feel like would bother my boss. It is always good to have this kind of person in the company that is very free spirited, and go with the flow. And when that person is not available there’s always one thing I can rely on, GOOGLE!!! This has helped me many times!

The more stuff I do, the more I am use to everything. But also, I am assigned something new everyday. What I am enjoying most so far is learning about what all-different things my boss does that is considered “marketing.” It is surprising stuff that I didn’t think would be classified under the marketing description. Her job is more than just marketing the company, its ordering supplies such as flyer channel guides, etc. for every department.

Found on Suddenlink Website

Found on Suddenlink Website

It is cool because I am using stuff I learn in my classes everyday. For example, entering marketing invoices into a spreadsheet shows variances. This is so cool to me because it is exactly what I am working on in my accounting class. I have also been coming up with incentives for sales reps along with many other promotional events. These tasks can relate back to my marketing classes. When it comes to my operational management class, I can see practices that Dr. Politio talks about in action.


As much as I enjoy my job, it’s also stressful this week with exams starting. I feel like I have the worst exam schedule ever – I have an exam Thursday this week and Monday-Thursday next week. All I have to say for this week is let the stress begin!

The Best Memories

Good Morning COB and happy Friday. This morning I am coming to you with a heavy heart. Last night’s game was a heart breaker for two reasons. First the obvious – coming back and then having a win get taken away within the last two seconds….honestly could not believe my eyes. The second is that it was my last home game as a student.

I never thought i’d see the day that happened. I also never thought i’d see the day that I would care so much about a football team, but thats what ECU has done to me, turned me into a die hard fan! I pride myself on never missing a game and almost never missing my beloved PURPLE HAZE so last night was a tough one for me. Throughout the past four years my favorite memories of college have taken place in and around that stadium. Whether it be putting 70 points on the board against Carolina earlier this year, countless tailgates with family and friends, or forming the senior tunnel on the field at half time last night I can thank Dowdy Flicklin and ECU athletics for the best experiences a girl could ask for.

Last game for these seniors!

Last game for these seniors!

Of course it will not be my last football game at East Carolina but it is crazy to think that its the last one for me as a student here. I know I will be making the trip to Greenville for many years to come and hopefully even make it to whichever bowl game we play in this year! Either way, win or lose I am still a proud pirate this morning!

Now that our last home game is over, the end of the fall semester is very fast approaching. This will be my last blog post until the new year and the spring semester begins. I wish everyone good luck on your exams – I hope they are quick, painless, and that your hard work pays off! Also to everyone, have a very happy holiday and a happy new year! Thanks for another great semester COB!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Welcome back ECU to another exciting edition of a day in the life of an MBA student. It certainly has been an interesting week to say the least. A very long and well deserved break with friends and family. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and Christmas is a very close second. Both holidays I get to spend with friends and family, but Thanksgiving involves one of my favorite past times, stuffing my belly until I am uncomfortably full.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for the final grind before Fall 2014 comes to an end and a short break soon leads to Spring of 2015. 1 year down and 1 year to go. Unfortunately during my break I didn’t pick up anything school related at all. I had been working very hard prior to my break so I could fully enjoy the time spent with my family. Now my past week has been spent with early mornings in the library and late nights with my nose in a book. Not particularly what I call fun but we sometimes do things we don’t want to do in order to have success later in our future.

My grades currently, as usual, reflect the effort put into each class. Proud to say they are very well. As previously reported I’ve made some minor adjustments and reevaluated my priorities (once again) and my school is definitely coming first. It’s not particularly my first choice but I understand the importance and have to make an effort to produce this change I desire. These grades aren’t going to produce themselves.

To be “frank”, my father-in-law said something to me the other day I would like to share. This probably wasn’t exactly what I “wanted” to hear, but I don’t mind hearing what I “need” to hear. There aren’t particularly unintelligent people, just people who aren’t willing to put in the effort. If you really want something you’d go to the edge of the earth to reach this goal if it mattered that much to you. In reflection, school does matter to me. It’s time I prove how much this matters to me and travel to the ends of the earth. I’m just not sure how long it will take and when I’ll be back. So long.

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