BUIES CREEK -- Network. Keep your options open. And do something you enjoy.
Those, and dozens of other words of advice were offered by alumni of the Campbell University Lundy-Fetterman School of Business who returned to campus Friday to share with students what they’ve learned during their academic and professional careers as part of the school’s Ninth Annual Alumni Recognition Day.
Throughout the morning and early afternoon, about 50 alumni divided up and attended 25 classes filled with freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors from all across the business school. The alumni talked about how they ended up as accountants, financial planners, lawyers, marketing strategists, managers, and small business owners, and in numerous other professions. They also offered students their keys to success, which ranged from networking and developing strong communication skills, to adhering to the Golden Rule and praying, to finding a passion and keeping options open.
One of the returning alumni was Bobbi Harris, who received an undergraduate degree in mass communications in 2000 and then an MBA in 2013 from Campbell.
She told a class of several dozen students that when she completed her associate's degree from Wake Technical Community College in 1998 and transferred to Campbell, she was going through one of the hardest times of her life. She was getting a divorce, and she was a single mother with small children. Today, she’s a senior manager of strategic marketing at Sensus, a global utility infrastructure company that has its headquarters in Raleigh.
“Campbell gave me so much. It’s the reason why I’m a success, the reason I am who I am, and the reason why I have the job and the opportunity I do now,” Harris said. “I never would have been able to have thrived . . . if not for Campbell.
“There is a true success path at Campbell, and once you leave, you just don’t leave,” she added. “Campbell is always a part of you, and there are a lot of very successful people who want to come back and help you. Reach out and let them help you.”
Based on Robert Carter’s experience, the students will do just that. Carter, a 1998 graduate who works with BB&T Insurance, was back Friday for his fifth or sixth Alumni Recognition Day. The first time he set out to share his academic and career experiences with students, he thought he’d be talking to a “class of sleepy heads,” he said.
But no, the students listened. And they introduced themselves to him, they asked him questions, and they followed up with him. Some even contacted his employer’s human resources office to inquire about internship and career opportunities.
“Every time I speak to a class, every now and then, I see one of the students lock in and relate to what I’m saying,” Carter said. “To hear a past student come back to give the good, the bad and the ugly, I think that’s very helpful for them.”
It is helpful, said Mark Komives, a freshman from Cleveland, Ohio, who is in the School of Business’ PGA golf management program.
“One of common themes I’ve heard [from the speakers] is that your education doesn’t stop when you graduate,” Komives said. “I’m in the PGA golf management program, and when you start, you think you’re going to be in the golf industry, but so many graduates start off in one thing, and then life takes you somewhere else.
“It’s good to get that perspective, because as a student, you lose sight of that.”
So excited to meet some lfsb alumni today at @campbelledu ��❤️— Anna Renwick (@princessanna032) October 25, 2013
Excited and honored to speak @campbelledu my alma mater tomorrow for alumni day! Can't wait to get back to The Creek!— Bobbi Harris-McCoy (@BobbiJean66) October 25, 2013