Category Archives: Advice/Tips

The Array of Opportunities with a Business Degree

By: Rachel Eker, junior in the Honors College

ekerI always knew I was going to be a business major. Both my parents were business majors and like any other kid, I wanted to be just like my parents. As I got into high school, I despised dissecting animals so I knew a science career was out. Poetry and writing were never my thing so that eliminated English as a career path also. It seemed like business was a good choice after all. I would be able to find a job after college and be able to relate to my parents.

Through my journey the last two years at ECU’s College of Business and the Honors College, I have interacted with many business professionals and I always ask them what they studied in college. For the most part, I get an answer that explains how they were studying a different part of business than the one they are in now. These conversations led me to realize how versatile a business degree is and I’ve come to appreciate that.

Business incorporates marketing, economics, management and finance. It’s impossible to separate one from the other while working in a business setting. I am thankful to have been chosen as a Business Scholar, where I have had the opportunities to understand the scope of a business degree.

Currently, I am studying accounting and finance. Next summer, I will have the opportunity to be an intern at Dixon Hughes Goodman in my hometown, Jacksonville, FL. I aspire to get my CPA after graduation and work at an accounting firm, but eventually transition into a finance position for a corporation.

With my business degree, I know I am not tied to a CPA position and can really go anywhere. I’ve always liked to be adventurous and I know I have chosen a degree that can let me take risks and will give me the chance to accomplish whatever I want.

Views from the Mess: My Experience at ECU LeaderShape 2016

By Glenesha Berryman, sophomore EC Scholar

leadershape1Stay in the mess.

Out of all the cool quotes and sayings I learned at this year’s LeaderShape, this phrase is the one that I keep coming back to. Staying in the mess was our co-lead facilitator John Mountz’s way of encouraging us to embrace challenges and engage when we felt the urge to withdraw. The more he said it, the more it stuck with me. However, I was not always eager to accept his message…

Avoiding the Mess

When people told me that LeaderShape would change my life, I responded with what any self-respecting college student would: a whole lot of skepticism. On the first day, I met every icebreaker, every definition of leadership we wrote, every “So what’s your major?” conversation with the satisfaction of knowing that I was right—LeaderShape wouldn’t change my life. Yet, a part of me was disappointed that I would not experience the life transformation my peers had experienced. When I voiced these frustrations with a former LeaderShape participant, she told me not to worry—just trust in the process.

Getting in the Mess

Without realizing it, the icebreakers became dynamic team building experiences that challenged everything I believed about my purpose on a team; the sessions spent defining leadership turned into moments of eye-opening reflection and bold vision building; superficial small talk became taboo; deep talks about anything under the sun became normal dinner conversation. Every hard lesson learned and every vulnerable story shared helped create a family out of strangers.

Staying in the Mess


Trusting in the process and getting super into the rock paper scissors tournament.

John Mountz called the things we were doing at LeaderShape a mess for a reason. Vulnerability, honesty, reflection, and growth ain’t easy—it’s downright messy. But by practicing all of these things and by staying in the mess, I was able to experience the life-changing LeaderShape my friends had promised me. Through deep introspection and adopting a healthy disregard for the impossible, I was able to challenge my career aspirations, sharpen my vision for the world, and discover my core values.

Looking back, staying in the mess is a testament to my LeaderShape experience, a reminder of the six days I spent participating in vulnerable conversations, fearless dreaming, and authentic relationship building. Before coming to LeaderShape, I could not have imagined myself willing to do these things. However, the fact that I did speaks to the power of LeaderShape, the power of re-thinking the status-quo, and the power of getting messy and staying in it.

Views from the Mess


My LeaderShape Cluster Family #2AAllDay

Explaining a life-changing experience like LeaderShape with just words is impossible. How can they capture all the learning, the laughter, the tears, the joy, the hope that LeaderShape gave me?

The only way to know LeaderShape is to experience LeaderShape. So to all the skeptics, the dreamers, the movers, the shakers, the I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-lifers, I challenge you to embrace the mess at LeaderShape.

The Power of SAAS: Scholarly Activity Awards for Students

By SAAS Award Recipients

The Honors CollSAAS imageege launched an initiative called Scholarly Activity Awards for Students (SAAS) a few years ago that funds approximately 12-14 awards each fiscal year. Below are some of the outcomes from the awards, which range from $125-$400 in support.

Kristalyn Gill: The SAAS award this semester has allowed me to reach beyond the norm of my experiences. It has supported sharing my anthropological research conducted in Peru at a conference in Vancouver. I have been blessed by the Honors College to widen my educational experience as well as enrich it deeply.

Sarah Judy:
Receiving the SAAS Award has allowed me to buy the basic supplies needed to test river sediment samples contaminated with coal ash runoff for pH and respiration. Not only this, it has also allowed me to further expand my research project to include other factors initially too expensive to test.

We are currently working on characterizing if there are heavy metals present in the sediment samples and after data analysis we can see if they are present and if they themselves might be affecting microbial respiration and pH. I can then share these results with my community which has been adversely impacted by coal ash ponds in Goldsboro, NC; a community I want to advocate for and protect.

Kendal Carter: Receiving the SAAS award has opened up great opportunities for my research project. My lab is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to run a study on tissue from pig hearts that they have already harvested. This money has allowed me to perfect my lab technique and protocol for this experiment as well as contribute to the shipping of the tissue from our partner lab. I am extremely excited to continue on with this research and receiving the SAAS award has made this feasible.

Daniel Franch: A SAAS Award helped me attend the 2016 Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference (SWCA) in Columbus, GA. At SWCA, I presented with two co-workers about writer identity and how consultants can develop writer identity in the writing center. My presentation focused on using Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences to adjust consulting methods according to the diverse learning styles of the students we serve.

Carrie Beard: Receiving a SAAS Award from the Honors College has greatly impacted my undergraduate research experience. The funding helped me purchase the resources I needed to complete my experimentation and also allowed me to expand the scope of my research further than I initially planned. I am very grateful for the Honors College’s support of student research!

Emily Bolger: The money went towards purchasing equipment in Dr. Sargent’s research lab that allows us to interface with high-end computers that preform the bulk of our calculations. The equipment also allows us to preform post-processing graphical visualization of key chemical results. Thanks again to the honors college for your support!

Shivam Patel: My SAAS Award allowed me to purchase more research materials for completing my senior honors project. These include reagents, antibodies, multi-well plates, and cell culture flasks. I have been able to conduct various assays and experiments repeatedly in order to obtain viable data as a result.

Denay Hayden: Children with special needs participate in less physical activity than the typically developing child. Physical activity and participation within activities is essential for a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Riding a bicycle is a typical childhood milestone that many children with special needs are unable to achieve. Through a local non-profit, ENC Ambucs, funds are raised to provide AmTrykes, or specially adapted tricycles, to children with special needs in this region. Our study focused on the effects of the AmTryke on the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. The SAAS award was very beneficial for purchasing mailing materials for the assessments. Our study did show that use of an AmTryke appears to improve the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. In terms of their sense of independence and mood, children with special needs who are unable to walk alone may benefit more than others from the use of an AmTryke.

What it means to be a Business Scholar

By Sarah Glave, junior Honors College student

SarahGlave_smallIt is an amazing thing to look back and see how far you have come.

When I first applied for the Honors College, during my junior year of high school, I noticed a special program to apply for called Business Scholars; although I was doubtful of myself and didn’t think I would have a chance at receiving such an honor, I still applied. The benefits were blatant: early assurance into the MSA or MBA program (with exemption to application fees and the GMAT), a scholarship award of $12,000 distributed over the four years of undergrad, and the ability to have close relationships with the College of Business faculty. It was unsaid in the application, but I have also been able to maintain a relationship with my sponsor of this scholarship, Lynn Schubert, who has been an amazing role model and I am so thankful to have in my life. Of all the perks, the most underrated is the ability to network with the faculty and staff, as well as, have the opportunity to meet and mingle with successful alumni who graduated from the College of Business – this has been invaluable, priceless, and vital to my growth as a person and student.

I came to ECU as a marketing and management major. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to study; I just knew I loved everything business because it is the way our world works, and it made a lot more sense to me than chemistry. For our foundations courses in the College of Business, we have to take classes with various departments to get an idea of what the options of majors are (marketing, operations management, accounting, management information systems, etc.). For me, accounting clicked. It seemed so tangible, challenging, real, and skillful. It is the language of business, and a great foundation for the rest of my career.

Each department has amazing faculty members that will do almost anything for students. Professors are understanding of our busy, overloaded schedules and do their best to be there for you one hundred percent. I’ve had professors meet with me outside of their office hours, even at 7 or 8 a.m. Anytime I have a question, it is answered or searched for deeply. They encourage and foster our growth as students and push us to learn more and work harder. I have found if you put in the effort, they will meet you halfway or further. I don’t think I could have found that type of commitment from any other university.

So what is it like to be a business major? Well, we take our classes like any other students. And then we network, constantly. We push ourselves to be better speakers, guests, and teammates; to be more self-aware, globally aware, and politically aware; to learn more and always engage one another. And after classes and between the studying, we put ourselves out there to find the end goal of our education – a job. We put on our suits and our happy faces when we are stressed, put time into our resumes, and put our hearts on the lines looking for a company that we would enjoy getting up at 7 a.m. to work for. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now I look back, to the days when I was an eager freshman beginning college. Meeting people I could only hope to be like one day. Being a nervous wreck and unsure of who I am and where I fit in the world. Anxious. Trying to manage studying, new friends, and old friends. It was difficult. Flash forward to today, and I know what I want. Instead of having a lack of self-confidence, I have an “I can do it” attitude. I am ready for my senior year. I am ready to work. I am preparing myself today for tomorrow; and I can attribute much of that to this university.

Won’t it be an amazing thing to look back and see how far we have come?

Preparing for the MCAT

By Jacylin Ticatic, Honors College senior

TicaticAfter three years of hearing about the dreaded four lettered test that pre-med students quiver at the sound of, it was my turn to take on the MCAT. After my first glance at my 7-book review package from Kaplan, I knew this venture would not be the easiest feat. This four part, computer-based test is used by medical schools to determine which medical school candidates will best fit their programs.

The breakdown of the MCAT is heavily science based, with three sections full of questions with elements from chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, sociology and biochemistry. The fourth section tests your ability to answer passage-based critical analysis and reasoning questions. Throughout the test, students are also tested on their ability to reason scientifically, in ways of research and statistics as well as on basic scientific concepts. After taking in what the MCAT was all about, I decided to take the plunge and begin studying.

When studying, I decided to take on the topics I found easiest first and start slow. Each day I’d set a designated time period where I’d sit and study from my Kaplan books. Slowly but surely, I made my way through the first three practice books and decided to take on a full practice exam to get a feel for the test. After taking this first practice test, I also realized that a huge part of studying for the MCAT is training your brain’s endurance level. Sitting in front of a computer for 6 hours and continually answering challenging questions is not a normal task for most college students. After I had this epiphany, as I continued studying I would also continually increase the time I spent sitting in silence and reading over the concepts of the test to train myself for the long day that was fast approaching.

The day before I took the MCAT, I felt as prepared as I could be and spent the day relaxing and slowly going over concepts for the last time. I highly advise to any soon to be MCAT sufferers to scope out the testing center the day before, so you can plan accordingly for travel time. It seemed all too fast, but soon enough I was walking into the Greenville Prometric Testing Center at 7:30 AM to finally take on the MCAT. After seeing some familiar faces I took my seat, and a few deep breaths, and took on the test that I’d been studying for all summer.

This isn’t a fairy tale ending though; when I received my scores back a month later I was disappointed with my results. At the time it seemed like the world was ending, but with the support of my friends and the faculty at the Honors College I was able to readjust my life plan and am now planning to take a gap year to strengthen my candidacy for medical school and retake the MCAT.

To any of the future MCAT takers reading this, this test will rock your world in both a great and terrible way but it does not define you as a person. You can and will conquer it in your own time, don’t lose your faith!

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